Nashville, Tenn. (VUAD)– Julian Infante drove in seven runs and Zach King turned in 5.1 no-hit innings to lead Vanderbilt to a series-clinching 14-5 win on Sunday afternoon at Hawkins Field.
With the series on the line, the Commodores (29-18, 12-11) came out swinging, scoring four runs in the first two innings to claim an early lead. Infante’s three-run double in the second inning pushed the Vandy lead to four runs before Missouri (29-20, 9-15) scratched out two runs in the third to chase VU starter Chandler Day. Three more runs off reliever Collin Snider put the Tigers on top in the fourth before King finally got the Dores out of the inning.
The Commodores’ offense answered back loudly in the bottom of the fourth, matching Mizzou’s three runs with three of their own. Reed Hayes drove in his second run of the afternoon with a double to tie the game. A two-out, two-run single from Jason Delay put Vanderbilt on top to stay.
As King was cruising on the mound, the Vandy offense kicked into high gear. A two-run single from Infante tacked on two more in the fifth and his two-run double in the sixth was part of a five-run sixth to break the game open. Infante’s seven RBIs are the most by a Commodore since Dominic de la Osa drove in seven against Georgia in 2006. Infante’s three hits led a balanced Vanderbilt attack in the win with eight different Dores collecting hits with eight scoring at least one run. Stephen Scott scored three runs in his first game as the leadoff hitter.
King was outstanding in relief in the longest outing of his career. The left-hander retired the final 16 batters he faced to earn the win. After hitting the first batter in the fourth inning to load the bases a ground ball ended the inning and the Missouri threat. That ground ball started his streak of 16 consecutive retired to finish the game. King fanned five in his second win of the year.
Missouri starter Bryce Montes De Oca took the loss after allowing seven runs, five earned, on six hits over 3.1 innings. Brett Bond led the Tigers’ offense with two hits and three RBIs.
The Commodores return to the road this week with Tuesday’s Battle of the Barrel at No. 2 Louisville and a three-game series at No. 18 Arkansas beginning Friday night.