NASHVILLE – Vanderbilt spotted Tennessee Tech six runs over the first three innings and could not climb back, falling 6-4 on Tuesday night at Hawkins Field.
The Commodores (25-23) stranded a season-high 16 runners on base including leaving the bases loaded in the seventh inning. The No. 23 Golden Eagles (41-6) struck for seven hits and five runs (three earned) against Vandy starter Reid Schaller to pick up their 32nd win in the last 33 games.
Vandy relievers Tyler Brown, Zach King and Chandler Day held Tech’s high-octane offense to just one run in the final seven innings but the Dores were unable to complete the comeback, despite bringing the tying run to the plate twice.
Philip Clarke (3-for-5) finished a triple shy of the cycle while JJ Bleday (1-for-2) reached base four times in his first game since March 27. The Commodores batted just .160 (4-for-25) with runners aboard, however, to spoil the team’s highest hit total (10) in five outings.
Clarke tagged his fourth career home run, and second in the last four games, cutting the deficit to five in the fifth. Two innings later, the freshman led off with a double and came home to score on a two-out Jayson Gonzalez RBI-single.
Vandy threatened for more with two down as Stephen Scott was hit by a pitch before a groundout ended the threat. The Dores put two aboard with one out in the eighth only to see Tech closer Ethan Roberts fan Pat DeMarco and Ty Duvall to end the threat.
In the ninth, Stephen Scott roped a one-out double into the right-field corner, moving Bleday (walk) to third. Garrett Blaylock brought one home on a groundout before Austin Martin fought off a 1-2 pitch to reach on a run-scoring infield single, trimming the margin to 6-4.
Roberts was able to lock up his 12th save, however, striking out Ethan Paul. The right-hander fanned five in 2.1 innings while permitting three hits, two runs and a walk. Reliever Colton Provey (4-0) picked up the win despite walking three and allowing a hit and run in 2.1 frames.
Schaller was saddled with the loss while lasting just two innings. Scott (2-for-2) reached base four times including contributing a pair of doubles and a run while Martin went 2-for-5 with an RBI.
Vandy returns to action on Friday, visiting Tennessee in the second-to-last Southeastern Conference series of the season. The opener of the three-game set is set for 5:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network Plus.