Bayou Battle

Jayden Davis hits go-ahead homer in eighth inning

BATON ROUGE, La. – Vanderbilt scored three runs in the final two innings to even the series at LSU on Friday night with an 8-6 win.

In a game that featured six lead changes, Jayden Davis’ go-ahead, two-run home run in the top of the eighth put Vanderbilt in front for good.

LSU took an early 1-0 lead with a solo home run by Tommy White with one out in the bottom of the first inning.

Braden Holcomb, making his fifth start on the season, hit a double off the wall in right to start things off for the Commodores in the top of the third. With two outs, RJ Austin blasted his third home run on the season to give Vanderbilt a 2-1 lead.

The Tigers responded with a leadoff, solo homer in the bottom of the frame to even the score at 2-2. Tommy White hit his second home run with one out in the third, this one a two-run shot to put LSU in front 4-2.

Matthew Polk laid down a bunt-single with one out in the top of the fourth and took second on a throwing error. With two outs, Davis lined an RBI single to right field to plate Polk from second and bring Vandy to within one at 4-3.

With one out in the top of the fifth, Calvin Hewett singled and Jonathan Vastine was hit by a pitch to put a pair on. Hewett and Vastine executed a double steal and Austin tied the game on a groundout that scored Hewett.

LSU jumped back in front with a run-scoring single in the bottom of the fifth. Brennan Seiber took over on the mound for the Commodores and stranded the bases-loaded with an inning-ending strikeout.

The back-and-forth battle continued in the top of the sixth as Vanderbilt again tied the game. Alan Espinal lined a leadoff double and advanced to third on a groundout. Davis plated Espinal on a groundout to even the score at 5-5.

The Tigers got a leadoff double of their own in the home half of the sixth and pulled back in front on a groundout to take a 6-5 lead. Ethan McElvain took over on the mound with two down and a runner on second. McElvain got out of the inning with a first-pitch groundout to third to keep Vandy within one.

With one out in the top of the eighth, Polk was hit by a pitch. With two outs, Davis provided the late-inning heroics, blasting the go-ahead, two-run homer to right field to give the Dores their first lead since the third inning.

LSU put runners on the corners with one out in the bottom of the eighth, threatening to once again tie the game, but McElvain escaped the jam with an inning-ending double play.

Vandy added insurance in the top of the ninth off the bat of Camden Kozeal. After Calvin Hewett singled and advanced to second on a sac bunt, Kozeal lined a two-out single to right to give Vanderbilt an 8-6 advantage.

McElvain returned to the mound in the ninth and after a leadoff single, recorded a fly out and back-to-back strikeouts to earn his first collegiate win. The freshman tossed 3.1 scoreless innings with four strikeouts and two hits allowed.

Davis finished the game with four RBI on a 2-for-4 night. Austin drove in three runs and Hewett went 3-for-3 and scored twice.

No. 7 Vanderbilt (24-7, 7-4 SEC) and No. 18 LSU (21-11, 3-8 SEC) will meet at 2 p.m. Saturday to decide the series. The finale will air on SEC Network+.