Nashville, Tenn. - The Gold team survived an outstanding start from Black team pitcher Steven Rice and scored a pair of runs late to win the Black & Gold series with a 2-1 victory in seven innings at Hawkins Field Sunday afternoon.
Rice dominated the Gold lineup turning in 4.2 no-hit innings before turning it over to the bullpen in the fifth inning. The lefty retired nine straight batters from the first to fourth innings but found some trouble with a leadoff walk to start the fifth. Freshman Xavier Turner worked a walk off Rice then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by John Norwood. Connor Castellano bounced out to second base for the second out but advanced Turner to third. Freshman Luke Stephenson entered the game on the mound for the Black team and was greeted by a Zander Wiel single to right-center field to tie the game.
Joel McKeithan started the game-winning rally for the Gold team in the seventh with a leadoff single off freshman right-hander Tyler Ferguson. After walks to Turner and Norwood to load the bases, Kevin Ziomek was summoned from the bullpen to get the Black squad out of a bases loaded, no outs jam. Castellano, however, had other plans as he ripped a single up the middle for the walk-off winner.
Pitching dominated the day with Gold team starter Jared Miller joining Rice with a strong outing. Miller allowed a first inning run before allowing only one hit over his final three frames. Both bullpens shined on the final day of fall practice led by freshman Pat Delano, who worked the final two innings for the Gold team allowing only one hit.
The Black squad grabbed an early lead in the first inning when Tony Kemp led off the game with a walk. The speedy junior stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch before coming across on a Dansby Swanson single.
The final scrimmage of the fall marks the end of fall practice for Vanderbilt. The Commodores return to action next spring with the season opener at Hawkins Field against Long Beach State on February 15.