NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Top-ranked Vanderbilt saw an early five-run lead slip away as Austin Peay used a two-out, two-RBI single in the ninth and pair of runs without a hit an inning later to defeat the Commodores, 7-6, in 10 innings on Wednesday night at Hawkins Field.
Sophomore reliever Jake Eder recorded two quick outs in the ninth but struggled to find his command, loading the bases on three walks. Then, with sophomore Tyler Brown in from the bullpen, Matt Joslin sent a 2-2 pitch through the right side to tie the game.
The Commodores (6-2) allowed 12 walks, the most since permitting as many on March 3, 2015, against Evansville. Two free passes and a hit by pitch loaded the bases for the Governors (3-4) in the 10th inning before Parker Phillips reached on a fielder’s choice for a 6-5 advantage.
Austin Peay added additional run support one batter later as Garrett Spain drew a bases-loaded full-count walk. The run proved necessary. In the home half, Austin Martin slapped a triple into right field and came home to score on a JJ Bleday sacrifice fly.
Vanderbilt senior Stephen Scott clubbed a three-run home run as part of a four-run third inning. The Dores’ top of the order continued its red-hot tear as Cooper Davis and Martin jump-started a four-run third inning with consecutive one-out singles before Philip Clarke collected his team-leading 12th RBI.
Austin Peay trimmed its deficit to 5-3 in the fifth, breaking through with its first hit off Vandy freshman starter Chance Huff. The Governors scored three times in the frame, helped by three walks and a pair of doubles – including a two-RBI base hit from Malcolm Tipler.
Vandy reliever Jackson Gillis (0-1) was saddled with the loss. The junior allowed two runs on two walks in 0.1 innings during his season debut. The result spoiled a night in which Huff permitted one hit and three runs while walking four and striking out five in 4.1 innings.
Martin (4-for-5) matched a career-high with four hits and scored three runs while raising his average to .615. Scott (2-for-4) contributed three RBIs and belted his first homer of the season. Paul (2-for-5) added his fifth multi-hit performance of the year and Bleday (1-for-5) drove in two.
Austin Peay reliever Brett Newberg (1-2) allowed two hits and one run while striking out five in the final three innings to pick up the victory. The Governors managed just six hits offensively. Batting in the cleanup spot, Spain drew four free passes.
Vanderbilt returns to action at 4:30 p.m. on Friday when it opens a three-game series against Dayton. Saturday’s middle game is scheduled for 2 p.m. and Sunday’s finale will take place at 1 p.m. Tickets are still available by calling (615) 322-GOLD or by visiting VUCommodores.com.