NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt baseball put the tying run in scoring position in the ninth inning Tuesday night against Central Arkansas but was unable to complete the comeback, falling 5-4 to the visiting Bears at Hawkins Field.
Jonathan Vastine launched a three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth to bring the Commodores to within one. Freshman RJ Austin doubled with two outs in the ninth but was stranded on second as Central Arkansas escaped with the win.
The Bears pulled ahead early with a two-out, two-run single in the top of the third to lead 2-0.
Vastine broke up the Bears’ no-hit bid with a rope single to right field in the bottom of the fifth. The sophomore then advanced to second on a Jack Bulger walk, to third on a T.J. McKenzie fielder’s choice and scored Vandy’s first run on a throwing error by the Central Arkansas second basemen.
The Bears extended their lead to 5-1 with a run in the sixth and two in the seventh.
Vastine delivered again in the bottom of the eighth to the tune of a three-run blast to right field that cut Central Arkansas’ lead to one, but the Bears managed to hang on in the ninth.
Grayson Moore worked 3.2 innings in relief for the Commodores and struck out a career-high eight batters. Thomas Schultz and Nick Maldonado held Central Arkansas scoreless over the final 2.1 innings.
Patrick Reilly (0-1) got the start on the bump and picked up the loss, allowing two runs on two hits over three frames. The Vandy staff combined for 16 strikeouts on the night.
Vanderbilt looks to bounce back Wednesday against UAB. First pitch at Hawkins Field is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. CT with action airing on SEC Network+.