NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt starter Drake Fellows set a new career high with 13 strikeouts and the offense pounced early, lifting the top-ranked Commodores to an 11-3 series-opening victory against Dayton on Friday night at Hawkins Field.
Fellows (2-0) held the Flyers to three runs on five hits alongside two walks across six innings. The right-hander set a new personal best in punch outs, striking out the side in the sixth. His previous high mark was 10 against Alabama on May 20, 2017.
Leadoff hitter Cooper Davis powered the offense, driving home a career-high three on a pair of doubles. The teams return to action on Saturday with doubleheader action scheduled for 1 p.m. The stadium will be cleared between games with the finale slated for 40 minutes following the opener’s conclusion.
MID 6 | LUCKY NO. 13!
A new career high for @DrakeFellows.
— Vanderbilt Baseball (@VandyBoys) March 2, 2019
Vanderbilt (7-2) scored in four consecutive innings between the second and fifth. JJ Bleday swatted his team-leading third home run of the season in the third, putting the Commodores ahead 3-2 after Dayton (1-4-1) scored twice in the top half to even the game.
Davis (2-for-4) lined an RBI-double down into the right field corner and Austin Martin provided an RBI-groundout to up the advantage to 5-2. The Dores struck three times on as many hits in the fifth highlighted by a two-out, two-RBI double from Davis.
Bleday (2-for-3) and Martin (1-for-5) extended their hit streaks to 19 games. Martin did so in his final at-bat, looping an RBI-single into right center, scoring Davis for a 9-3 advantage. Martin has reached base in 24 consecutive games while Bleday has reached in 37 straight games.
Dayton starter Hunter Wolfe (1-2) drew the loss, permitting five hits and as many runs while walking three and fanning one in four innings. Vandy benefited from seven walks, five wild pitches and three hit batters against seven pitchers.
Vanderbilt reliever Mason Hickman locked up his second save thanks to three scoreless innings. The sophomore righty struck out five while allowing three hits.