Lexington, Ky. (VUAD)– For the second day in a row a big inning from No. 16 Kentucky was too much to overcome for Vanderbilt, this time in a 7-4 loss on Saturday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
A five-run second inning cost the Commodores (17-11, 3-5) on Friday night but it was a five-run third inning that bit the Dores on Saturday. VU starter Kyle Wright issued his first walk of the day with one down in the inning, that walk set off a stretch that saw seven of the next eight Wildcats (21-7, 7-1) reach base and five of them score. Evan White followed the walk with a double to put two runners in scoring position before a groundout to shortstop scored the game’s first run. The inning unraveled from there, as Luke Becker singled in another run and Riley Mahan’s triple made it 3-0 Kentucky. Kole Cottam capped the rally with a two-run single through the left side of the infield.
Vanderbilt made it interesting late, thanks to Jeren Kendall. The junior smashed his ninth home run of the season to lead off the eighth inning and cut the Kentucky lead in half in the ninth inning, launching a three-run shot for his 10th homer of the season and second two home run game of the year. Kendall’s two homers were part of a three-hit game as he matched his season-best with four RBIs.
The Commodores squandered early chances to take the lead, wasting a leadoff double from Julian Infante in the second inning and leaving two runners in scoring position in the third as the Dores left eight men on base in the game. Infante and Alonzo Jones each added two hits in the loss. Wright gave up seven runs on nine hits with four walks and four strikeouts in his fourth loss of the season.
Kentucky starter Zach Logue picked up the win with eight solid innings. The lefty allowed only one run on six hits with seven strikeouts for his fifth victory of the year.
The Commodores hand the ball to Drake Fellows tomorrow in the series finale against Kentucky’s Justin Lewis. Game time is scheduled for noon CT on SEC Network+.