Nashville, Tenn. – Vanderbilt rolled over Middle Tennessee 17-7 on Tuesday night at Hawkins Field with 11 different Commodores combining for 17 hits.
The rout was on from the very first pitch of the bottom of the first inning when Will Toffey belted his seventh home run of the season out to right-center field. The Commodores (31-21) blew the game open in the third with a five-run rally and never looked backed. Jeren Kendall got the rally going with his 14th home run of the season, launching a two-run shot out of the ballpark to right after a Ro Coleman single. Back-to-back walks put two on in front of Ethan Paul, who kept the line moving by raking a two-run double into the right field corner. Paul raced home on Jason Delay’s double to cap the rally.
The Dores tacked on four more in the sixth with Connor Kaiser’s RBI-double making him the ninth Commodore in the starting lineup to record a hit. Alonzo Jones tripled and scored in the ninth and Harrison Ray doubled in a run to become the 11th Dore to post a hit on the night. Toffey led the way with his third straight two-hit game, driving in three runs in the win.
While the Vandy offense was firing on all cylinders, Matt Ruppenthal struggled out of the gate throwing six straight balls to start the game but the right-hander bounced back to retire the next six batters to reach the third inning with a 1-0 lead. A single snapped the streak and eventually came around to score to tie the game with Kendall throwing the go-ahead run out at home. Ruppenthal ended the threat with a ground ball to Toffey and kicked it into cruise control from there beginning by striking out the side in the fourth. The junior allowed just a pair of singles he rest of the way, going six innings to earn the win. He struck out six and allowed one run on five hits before handing the ball to the bullpen.
Middle Tennessee (22-30) starter Tyler Hasper took the loss after giving up four runs on three hits over 2.1 innings. VU roughed up the Blue Raiders’ bullpen for 13 runs on 14 hits the rest of the way. Aaron Antonini had three of the team’s 10 hits.
Vanderbilt begins the final weekend series of the regular season on Thursday night against Alabama at 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network+.