NASHVILLE, Tenn. - No. 1 Vanderbilt scored two runs in the first and cruised by crosstown rival Belmont 6-1 on Tuesday night at Hawkins Field.
The Commodores (46-6) jumped on the Bruins (36-16) in the first inning with Tony Kemp singling and stealing second to open the Dores' night. Kyle Smith put the home team in front on his third home run of the season, a rope into the right-center field bleachers. Vandy blew the game open in the fourth with a three-run rally. A one-out single from Rhett Wiseman ignited the rally before John Norwood lined a single into left field to score Wiseman from second. The red-hot Tony Kemp followed with a triple into the right field corner to score two more runs and open up the VU lead up to 5-0. The triple for Kemp was his sixth of the season and 21st of his career matching the Southeastern Conference career mark held by Florida's Brian Duva. Kemp reached 21 triples in 180 games, 61 games faster than Duva did in the early 1990s.
Philip Pfeifer (3-0) worked six scoreless innings to beat the Bruins for the second time this season. The lefty did not allow a hit through the first three innings before finally yielding a single to Drew Turner to lead off the fourth. Pfeifer responded by retiring the next six batters he faced and closed out his night by working around a pair of singles in the sixth. Belmont starter Jordan Deal was pinned with the loss allowing Smith's home run in his two innings of work.
The 46th victory of the season for the Commodores matches the school record for the most wins in the regular season set by the 2007 team. Vanderbilt is now 29-3 at Hawkins Field this season.
The Dores' offense remained hot with 13 hits on the night led by Kemp, Wiseman and Norwood, who all had three-hit games. For Kemp it was his fourth straight multi-hit game and third three-hit performance in his last four games. Wiseman's three hits match a career-best while Norwood's three-hit night is a career-high. Smith added a RBI-single in the sixth inning to finish the game with three RBI in his first career start at third base. Matt Beaty drove in Belmont's lone run while going 1-for-4.
The Commodores host Alabama in the teams' final SEC series beginning Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The Dores and Crimson Tide play Friday night at 6:30 and wrap up the regular season Saturday at 1 p.m.