NASHVILLE--- A trio of Vanderbilt hurlers combined on a six-hit shutout to lead the Commodores to a 1-0 win over Middle Tennessee Tuesday night at Hawkins Field.
Senior right-hander Drew Hayes threw 6.2 innings of four-hit baseball, striking out four and walking two to pick up the win and move to 4-0 on the year. Junior southpaw Richie Goodenow recorded the final out in the seventh and junior right-hander Russell Brewer threw two innings of two-hit relief with five strikeouts to pick up his fifth save of the year.
"Both our pitching and defense are performing with confidence right now," said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin. "When we talked about MTSU, we said it was like facing South Carolina again. They are a very aggressive hitting team that has strong kids in the middle of the lineup that can hit balls that leave the yard at any given time."
The teams were locked in a scoreless pitchers duel until the sixth when the Commodores scratched across a run to take a 1-0 lead. Anthony Gomez singled to lead off the inning off of MTSU starter Daniel Palo and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brian Harris. Gomez advanced to third on a wild pitch and later scored on another wild pitch by Palo.
Palo (0-1) allowed one run on three hits in 5.1 innings with five strikeouts and four walks.
VU only had three hits on the night with Brian Harris and Drew Fann recording the others in addition to Gomez' single in the sixth.
"We are having a hard time hitting right now but like free throw shooting or any other skill, it comes back to you," said Corbin. "These kids are preparing and working at it hard, sometimes the cycle goes down before it comes back up."
The shutout was the Dores second straight over MTSU dating back to a 6-0 win last season in the NCAA Louisville Regional. It was the VU's fourth shutout of the season.
The Commodores will close out their eight-game home stand against Auburn in Southeastern Conference action this weekend. The teams will open the three-game set on Friday at 6 p.m. and will continue on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.