Nashville, Tenn. - Vanderbilt claimed the series on Saturday afternoon at Hawkins Field with a 12-2 win over Missouri behind a strong start from Philip Pfeifer.
In his first start since 2013, Pfeifer was outstanding over seven innings striking out a career-high 13. The lefty had it going from the start, striking out the side in the first and second inning around a pair of hits. Strikeouts bailed him out of a two on, nobody out jam in the fourth when Pfeifer struck out two batters and used a ground ball to end the inning and the threat. Missouri (26-17, 12-8) finally reached him for a run when Jake Ivory snuck a home run over the top of the left field wall. Pfeifer found more trouble in his final frame when Jake Ring reached on a wild pitch after striking out. The strikeout would have ended the inning but Ryan Howard's flare double into shallow right field scored a run and put two runners in scoring position. Pfeifer responded with a fly out to right field to end the inning and his longest outing of the season. The junior gave up two runs on seven hits and two walks to go along with his 13 strikeouts to notch his third victory of the year. Pfeifer's 13 punch outs are the second-most by a Vandy pitcher this season behind Carson Fulmer's 14 against Ole Miss.
The Vanderbilt (32-12, 14-6) offense used the long ball effectively on a windy Saturday at The Hawk. Rhett Wiseman broke open a scoreless game in the third inning with a three-run homer to right field for his team-best ninth round tripper of the year. The Dores used three doubles in the sixth two score three more runs and put the game away. Jeren Kendall drove in the first run of the rally with a double off the right field wall and was followed by Jason Delay's two-run double down the left field line. The Dores broke out the long ball again in the eighth inning when Zander Wiel smashed his third grand slam of the season to set the final score at 12-2. Six of Vanderbilt's 11 hits went for extra bases on the afternoon.
Seven of the nine Commodores in the lineup contributed at least one hit in the win with four players having at least two hits. Ro Coleman scored three runs from the leadoff spot despite not getting a hit. Wiseman, Wiel and Dansby Swanson combined for eight RBI in the win.
Missouri starter Tanner Houck was pinned with the loss allowing seven runs on nine hits over five innings. Howard and Josh Lester each had two hits to lead the Tigers.
The Commodores and Tigers wrap up the series tomorrow at 1 p.m. on SEC Network+. Walker Buehler gets the ball for the home team against Missouri's Peter Fairbanks.