LEXINGTON, Ky. – In a dominating performance, the Vanderbilt pitching staff combined to throw a no-hitter against Kentucky, leading the Commodores to a 10-0 series opening victory over the Wildcats on Friday evening at Kentucky Proud Park.
The no-hitter served as the program’s first combined no-hitter since four different pitchers completed the feat (Jensen Lewis, Nick Pilkington, John Scott and Matt Buschmann) at Western Kentucky on May 6, 2003.
With the win, the Commodores improve to 27-10 on the season, including an 8-8 mark in Southeastern Conference play.
The Vanderbilt pitching staff tallied 13 strikeouts across the nine hitless innings, while surrendering four walks. Headlining the effort was starting pitcher Chris McElvain (5-2), who worked the first 7.0 innings. The junior right-hander struck out nine batters on the night to pick up his fifth win on the year.
Sophomore Christian Little covered the final two frames to preserve the no-hit effort. Little registered four punchouts to close things out and help the Commodores secure the win.
Vanderbilt jumped to an early lead with a pair of runs in the third. With one down in the inning, Enrique Bradfield Jr. and Jack Bulger reached on back-to-back walks to place runners on first and second. In the next at-bat, Dominic Keegan lined a single up the middle to cross the first run of the night.
Spencer Jones followed suit, sending an RBI single through the right side to score Bulger and put Vandy in front, 2-0.
The Commodores scored four in the sixth to increase their lead. The inning began with a walk to Tate Kolwyck before Calvin Hewett was hit by a pitch to put two runners on. One out later, Matthew Polk sent an RBI single through the left side to cross the first run of the frame.
Carter Young followed with an RBI double to the left-center gap to plate another run. Vanderbilt added two more runs in the inning with a pair of bases-loaded walks to push the lead to 6-0.
The Dores added insurance in both the eighth and ninth, scoring four runs across the final two frames. With one down in the eighth, Bulger picked up his first hit on the night with a single through the left side. One batter later, Jones registered his first career triple with a hard-hit ball to the right-center gap to score one. Kolwyck brought across the second run of the frame with an RBI single up the middle to push the lead to 8-0.
The Vanderbilt ninth began with back-to-back walks to Polk and Young. One out later, Bulger collected his second RBI on the night with a single to left field to score one. Keegan followed up with another RBI single to bring Young across and set the score at 10-0, the eventual final.
Vanderbilt and Kentucky will return to the diamond tomorrow for Game 2 of the three-game series. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. CT, with action airing live on SEC Network.