April 15, 2014
Wiel | Corbin | Highlights
Nashville, Tenn. - No. 18 Vanderbilt jumped on Middle Tennessee State early and cruised to a 19-1 win Tuesday night at Hawkins Field.
The Commodores (28-10) raced out to a four-run first inning to grab an early lead and never looked back. Dansby Swanson's bunt single started the rally and Bryan Reynolds' double put Dores on second and third with one out. Blue Raiders' (18-19) starter Kooper Kessler then lost control with a pair of wild pitches that led to both Swanson and Reynolds scoring the first two runs of the game. After a walk to Zander Wiel, back-to-back triples from Rhett Wiseman and John Norwood capped the four-run first and started the blowout.
Vandy sent 10 men to the plate in the fourth scoring four runs on just two hits. Karl Ellison lined a crisp single to center field to push the first run of the inning across before MTSU reliever Will Small entered the game with no control. The right-hander hit three Commodores and walked a fourth to force in three more runs and push the VU lead to 8-0.
Vanderbilt put the game away in the sixth with a 10-run outburst on eight hits with 14 men coming to the plate. Vince Conde's three-run double struck the big blow and was followed by RBI-singles from Wiel and Wiseman. Wiel collected two RBI-singles in the inning and was one of three Commodores to score two runs in the frame. The 10-run inning is the most by a Vanderbilt team since 2011 when the Dores put up 11 runs in the sixth inning of a win vs. Tennessee. Wiel's two singles in the inning makes him the first Commodore to collect two hits in an inning since Tony Kemp last season vs. Missouri.
While the offense was cruising so was Vanderbilt starter Walker Buehler, who picked up his team-best seventh win with 5.1 innings of work. The right-hander struck out the first two batters of the game on his way to nine punch outs to run his total to 34 over his last four starts (23.1 innings). The lone run allowed by Buehler came in the second when John Norwood misplayed a fly ball into a triple to leadoff the inning and came around to score on a groundout to second. Buehler struck out at least one in his first five innings, striking out the side in the fifth. John Kilichowski, Hayden Stone and Adam Ravenelle finished off the win combining with Buehler for 15 strikeouts to set a team season-high.
Eleven different Commodores collected at least one hit on the night with six different Dores recording two-hit games. Conde's four-RBI game matched his career-high with Karl Ellison's two hits and two RBI setting career marks for the freshman. Wiel drove in three runs and scored three more along with Reynolds, who also scored three runs. Xavier Turner pushed his hitting streak to 23 games with a seventh inning, RBI-double to right field.
Kessler took the loss for the Blue Raiders allowing four runs on four hits in his two innings of work. Middle Tennessee State used eight pitchers on the night with six of the eight allowing at least one run.
Vanderbilt returns to Southeastern Conference action this weekend on the road at Arkansas. The Commodores and Razorbacks open the series Friday at 6:35 p.m. at Baum Stadium. Saturday's game will be broadcast on Cox Sports at 6:05 p.m. and Sunday's finale will air on ESPN at noon.