Comeback Commodores

Vanderbilt overcomes eight-run deficit to beat Texas

HOUSTON – No. 9 Vanderbilt scored 11 unanswered runs Sunday vs. No. 15 Texas to overcome an eight-run deficit and defeat the Longhorns 14-11 at Minute Maid Park.

The Dores trailed 11-3 after four innings before scoring 11 consecutive runs, highlighted by a five-run seventh inning that gave Vandy its first lead on the day.

With the win, Vanderbilt (10-3) goes 3-0 at the Astros Foundation College Classic and has now won five consecutive games.

Camden Kozeal drove in three runs on a 4-for-5 day at the plate. Troy LaNeve delivered the big hit, a three-run triple in the bottom of the seventh that tied the game. LaNeve finished with four RBI. Kozeal, Alan Espinal and Jonathan Vastine each homered in the win.

Texas came out of the gates swinging, scoring three runs in the first inning. Espinal’s two-run blast in the bottom of the first put Vanderbilt on the board.

The Longhorns added a run in the second and four in the top of the third. The Dores cut Texas’ lead to 8-3 with a sac fly from Jayden Davis in the bottom of the third, but Texas put four more runs on the board in the fourth to lead 11-3.

Vanderbilt chipped away at the deficit, beginning with two solo homers in the bottom of the fifth. Vastine hit his second on the season to lead off the inning and Kozeal hit his second homer on the year to make it 11-5.

LaNeve hit an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth and Vastine scored LaNeve on a sac bunt, cutting Texas’ lead to 11-7 after six innings.

The big inning was the seventh, with Vanderbilt pulling even and then going on top with a five-run frame. Davis was hit by a pitch to start off the inning. Kozeal singled to put runners on the corners and Espinal singled to left, scoring Diaz.

After Texas made a pitching change, Davis Diaz laid down a sac bunt and reached first safely on an error to load the bases with nobody out. LaNeve then sent a line drive to the gap in right-center, clearing the bases with a triple to tie the game at 11-11.

Matthew Polk gave Vanderbilt its first lead with a sac fly, scoring LaNeve to put the Dores in front 12-11.

Vandy added some insurance in the bottom of the eighth. RJ Austin and Davis hit back-to-back singles to lead things off. Kozeal then brought both runners home on a double to the wall in left-center to make it 14-11, Vanderbilt.

Ryan Ginther (S, 2) got two strikeouts in the top of the ninth en route to his second save after holding Texas scoreless in the final two innings. Sawyer Hawks (W, 1-0) threw two scoreless innings to earn the win while striking out three.

Sunday’s comeback was the largest since 2019 when the Dores defeated Ole Miss 11-10 in the SEC Tournament championship game after trailing 9-1 in the third inning.

Vanderbilt completes the week 5-0 with a 3-0 trip to Minute Maid Park. The Commodores return home to host Eastern Michigan on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at Hawkins Field.