Advancing to the Semifinals

Commodores take down Crimson Tide

HOOVER, Ala. — Vanderbilt advanced to the semifinals of the 2023 SEC Tournament with a 9-2 win over Alabama in an elimination game Friday night at Hoover Met.

Vanderbilt starting pitcher Devin Futrell (W, 7-3) went 5.0 innings and held the Crimson Tide to two runs on four hits. Thomas Schultz (S, 1) took over on the mound in the sixth and tossed the final four frames, allowing no runs with just one hit while striking out four.

Vanderbilt’s offense came alive in the top of the first with a five-run frame on four hits.

Enrique Bradfield Jr. led the game off with a walk and Davis Diaz singled to bring up RJ Schreck. Schreck doubled to right field to score Bradfield and open the scoring. Diaz came home on a Parker Noland groundout to make it 2-0, Commodores.

Chris Maldonado kept things moving with a one-out single that brought home Schreck. With two outs in the inning and an 0-2 count, RJ Austin launched his seventh home run on the season, a two-run shot to left to put Vandy in front 5-0.

Alabama entered the score column with a two-run home run in the bottom of the third, cutting Vandy’s lead to three.

The Commodores struck again in the top of the fifth. Maldonado walked and Austin recorded his third hit on the night, a double down the third base line to put runners on second and third with one out. Matthew Polk then singled up the middle to bring home both runners and extend the lead back to five.

Another run came home as Alan Espinal singled up the middle and Polk advanced to third before scoring on an error by the Alabama center fielder.

Vanderbilt wasn’t done yet. Maldonado capped off his night with a solo homer in the top of the ninth to put Vandy up 9-2. Maldonado finished the contest 2-for-2 with two RBIs, three runs scored and three walks.

Vanderbilt advances to the SEC Tournament semifinals for the fourth time since 2013.

With Friday’s win, head coach Tim Corbin moves into second place in SEC history for most wins at an SEC institution with 880.

The Commodores will face top-seeded Florida in the semifinals at approximately 3:30 p.m. on SEC Network.