Nashville, Tenn. (VUAD)– Vanderbilt used the long ball to claim its first-ever series win over Texas A&M with a 17-3 victory on Saturday afternoon at Hawkins Field.
With game time shifted up in the day due to the weather forecast, the Commodores (16-8, 3-2) came out hot, scoring all 17 runs in the first five innings of the game led by a seven-run second inning. The Dores scratched out the first run of the game and added a RBI-double from Ethan Paul for a 2-0 lead but the offense escalated with two outs. A Reed Hayes two-run triple was followed by a RBI-double from Will Toffey before Julian Infante’s two-run homer capped the Commodores’ fourth seven-run inning of the season. The two-out hitting was a theme for the day with Vandy going 9-for-16 with two outs.
The Dores continued to play long ball in the third with Kendall lining a two-run homer into the left-center field seats and Will Toffey joining the homer party with an opposite field, two-run shot to left field two batters later to make it 11-0 VU. Ethan Paul smashed his third homer of the year in the fifth to give Vandy its season-best fourth round tripper of the day.
The offense collected 16 hits in the win with 10 different Commodores recording at least one hit with Kendall leading the way with his fifth straight multi-hit game. The junior is 12-for-25 over his last five games with 11 runs scored and three home runs. Hayes drove in a career-high four runs and Infante knocked in three more. The offensive outburst of 17 runs matches the team’s season-best from Wednesday’s win over Belmont and brings the team’s total to 52 runs over the team’s last five games.
Commodores’ starter Patrick Raby dominated alongside the offense over seven innings to earn his fourth win of the season. The right-hander held the Aggies (15-9, 0-5) down all afternoon, allowing only three runners to reach scoring position. Raby used a pair of strikeouts to end the second with a runner at second and a foul out left another runner at second in the fourth. The sophomore’s day came to an end after the seventh when he walked back-to-back batters with one down. His sixth strikeout and a groundout to Jones at shortstop kept the Aggies off the scoreboard for the seventh straight frame wrapped up Raby’s fifth quality start of the season.
Texas A&M starter Stephen Kolek took the loss after allowing 10 runs on eight hits over 2.2 innings. George Janca drove in all three runs for the Aggies with a three-run homer in the ninth.
The Commodores and Aggies wrap up the series tomorrow at 3 p.m. on SEC Network. Freshman Drake Fellows gets the ball for the Dores against Corbin Martin for Texas A&M.