Murfreesboro, Tenn. - Vanderbilt used a season-high three home runs en route to an 8-4 win at Middle Tennessee State Wednesday night.
The Commodores (19-22) claimed an early lead, scratching out a run in the first inning when Mike Yastrzemski singled and scored on Anthony Gomez's triple. The Dores blew the game open in the third scoring five runs on four hits sending nine men to the plate. A Gomez single led off the frame before Conrad Gregor blasted a two-run shot over the right field wall for his second home run in as many games. After a MTSU (24-19) pitching change, Spencer Navin greeted Nick Montgomery with a solo shot for Vanderbilt's first back-to-back home runs since last June when Aaron Westlake and Curt Casali belted home runs against Troy in the NCAA Regional. Connor Harrell capped the five-run inning with a two-run double into the left-center field gap. VU pushed the lead to 7-0 on a Vince Conde double in the fifth and Harrell crushed his third round tripper of the year with a solo shot in the seventh.
The Blue Raiders mounted a late rally scoring a run in the seventh and two more in the eighth. The Commodores used the hidden ball trick in the eighth to help shut down a potential big inning for Middle Tennessee State. Six different Dores had at least one hit with Gomez, Gregor, Navin and Harrell all having two-hit games. Harrell led the team with three RBI. Hank LaRue and Ryan Ford each had three hits to pace the Blue Raiders.
Sam Selman (5-3) earned his fifth straight win with his fifth straight quality start. The lefty gave up two runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts over 6.1 innings. Selman did not allow a run until the fifth inning when Ford singled in LaRue, who had doubled. MTSU starter Nathan Foriest (1-2) took the loss giving up three runs on four hits.
Vanderbilt returns to Hawkins Field to host No. 3 Kentucky this weekend. First pitch Friday is slated for 6:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.