Knoxville, Tenn. – No. 4 Vanderbilt’s offense struggled in Saturday’s 2-1 loss at Tennessee registering just four hits.
The Commodores (30-9, 10-7) allowed two early runs with the Volunteers (22-17, 5-12) stealing home as part of a double steal in the second for the first run. Jeren Kendall crashed into the right field wall in the third inning as Benito Santiago’s line drive bounced off the wall. With Kendall on the ground, Santiago raced around the bases for an inside the park home run and a 2-0 Tennessee lead.
Vanderbilt scratched out a run in the fifth inning with a two-out rally thanks to back-to-back doubles from Liam Sabino and Tyler Campbell to cut the Tennessee lead in half. The Commodores drew leadoff walks in the sixth and seventh but failed to do anything offensively as the Dores were held hitless over the final four innings by Tennessee’s Andy Cox.
The Commodores’ pitching kept the team in the game down the stretch with John Kilichowski working out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth and Matt Ruppenthal working out of a jam in the eighth to strand the bases loaded. The VU offense, however, failed to get anything going offensively over the final two innings.
Vanderbilt starter Kyle Wright took the loss allowing two runs on four hits over five innings. The right-hander struck out five but walked three in his third loss of the year. Kilichowski and Ruppenthal combined for three scoreless innings of relief out of the bullpen.
Zach Warren earned the win for Tennessee working five innings and allowing one run on four hits. Cox earned the save with his four innings of work. Jordan Rodgers led the Volunteers with two hits.
Vanderbilt and Tennessee wrap up the series tomorrow at 1 p.m. CT on SEC Network+. Freshman Patrick Raby gets the ball for the Commodores.