NASHVILLE, Tenn. – No. 6 Vanderbilt received a strong from Mason Hickman and consistent two-out production en route to its eighth-consecutive midweek victory, defeating Indiana State 7-1 on Tuesday night at Hawkins Field.
The Commodores (28-9) batted .467 (7-for-15) and scored five runs with two away. Catcher Ty Duvall drove in three runs as part of a 2-for-3 night and right fielder JJ Bleday (2-for-4) clocked his SEC-leading 16th home run of the season and 10th in the last 14 games.
Hickman (5-0) did not allow a baserunner until the fifth when the Sycamores broke through for a pair of hits and plated one. The right-hander allowed three hits and one run while striking out five in seven innings. The sophomore has allowed one or no runs in four of his five starts.
Indiana State (27-8) pitching permitted 14 hits, matching a season high. Six Commodores registered multiple hits including Isaiah Thomas who logged a career-high three hits. Offensively, the Sycamores batting just .100 (3-for-30) overall and .182 (2-for-11) with two outs.
Making his 10th start of the season, Duvall started the scoring in the second, roping a two-out, two-run double into left center. The junior’s fifth two-bagger of the season scored Julian Infante (walk) and Thomas (single) and marked his second multi-RBI game.
Thomas produced his third multi-hit performance in the last four games. Harrison Ray contributed two hits and added a diving snag and toss to first for the third out in the sixth. The inning-ender followed a strong play at deep short by Ethan Paul to cut down the lead runner at second.
Vanderbilt added single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth. Paul lifted a ground-rule, RBI-double into the left field bleachers for his 12th two-bagger of the season. Duvall sent home Thomas with a single in the seventh and Clarke lined an RBI-single into left in the eighth.
Indiana State starter Geremy Guerrero (1-2) lasted just 1.2 innings, allowing three runs on as many hits. The Dores scored runs off four of the Sycamores’ five pitchers including a pair on six hits against Tyler Grauer.
Vanderbilt returns to action Friday with a 6 p.m. tilt at Alabama. Saturday’s middle game gets underway at 8 p.m. on the SEC Network and Sunday’s finale starts at 1 p.m. All three games can be heard on WNSR 560 AM/95.9 FM and VUCommodores.com.