COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Vanderbilt’s Cooper Davis delivered a two-strike, two-run squeeze bunt and right-hander Drake Fellows shook off early command issues to highlight a 7-4 victory against No. 19 Texas A&M in the SEC opener Friday night at Blue Bell Park.
With two aboard in the sixth, Davis placed a 1-2 pitch down the third base line, scoring Julian Infante from third and a charging Harrison Ray from second base. Austin Martin followed, reaching on a routine fly ball to center and two batters later, Stephen Scott got aboard on a throwing error for a four-run advantage.
Fellows (4-0) overcame a career-high six walks, including four in the first inning, holding the Aggies (15-5, 0-1 SEC) scoreless in four consecutive frames. The junior scattered three hits and allowed two runs while striking out four in 5.2 innings.
With the hit-and-run on in the eighth, Davis (2-for-5) slapped an RBI-double down the third base line, stretching Vanderbilt’s lead to two. Harrison Ray (2-for-4) raced around to score after reaching on a one-out single.
The top-ranked Commodores (15-3, 1-0 SEC) jumped ahead in the first behind a two-out RBI-single from Pat DeMarco, plating Austin Martin who sent a first-pitch single into center. It marked the 11th time this season Vandy has scored in the opening frame.
The Aggies trimmed their deficit to one in the seventh on a two-run double from cleanup batter Mikey Hoehner before Vanderbilt reliever Tyler Brown entered, fanning consecutive batters to strand the slugger at third. The sophomore logged his team-high third save behind 2.2 scoreless frames.
Texas A&M starter John Doxakis (3-2) allowed six hits and two runs while walking and pair and striking out six in five innings. Reliever Bryce Miller permitted two runs on one hit in 0.1 innings. Eight Vandy starters totaled at least one hit off four Aggie pitchers.
The clubs return for the middle game on at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Vandy right-hander Patrick Raby (3-0, 0.87 ERA) will face Texas A&M’s John Doxakis (3-1, 1.44 ERA). The matchup can be seen on the SEC Network Plus and heard on VUCommodores.com and WNSR 560 AM/95.9 FM.