NASHVILLE (VUAD) – Fourteenth-ranked Vanderbilt erupted for five runs in the fifth and received timely hitting from a trio of freshmen to defeat No. 25 Duke, 9-1, in Friday night’s season-opener at Hawkins Field.
The Commodores pounded Duke (0-1) pitching to the tune of 15 hits highlighted by six from true freshmen. Philip Clarke produced three RBIs in a 2-for-5 performance while Pat DeMarco went 3-for-4 with two runs.
Ethan Paul drove in three runs with a pair of hits and provided the go-ahead, two-RBI single off Blue Devils’ reliever Hunter Davis in the fifth. The Commodores (1-0) batted around and recorded six hits in the frame.
Vanderbilt opened the sixth with three-straight singles, chasing Duke’s Matt Dockman from the game. Paul followed, providing a sacrifice fly and with two down, Clarke brought home two more courtesy of a single into left field.
Three Vandy pitchers limited the Blue Devils to as many hits. Jackson Gillis earned the victory, tossing 3.2 innings in relief while fanning four and permitting just one hit. Drake Fellows was solid in the start, limiting Duke to one run on one hit while fanning four and walking as many.
Adam Lanskey (0-1) drew the loss for Duke, permitting five hits and three earned runs. Aaron Brown made his collegiate debut for Vandy, tossing the final inning. The freshman allowed a two-out double before ending an eight-pitch at-bat with a strikeout.
The win was the 18th-straight home-opening win for Vanderbilt. The squads return to action on Saturday with first pitch now scheduled for 3 p.m. due to the threat of inclement weather. Sophomore Zach King will make his first career start for the Dores.