Comeback in Corvallis Falls Short

Vandy drops opening game of NCAA Tournament to San Diego

CORVALLIS, Ore. — The Vanderbilt baseball team’s comeback came up short Friday afternoon as the Commodores fell 3-2 to third-seeded San Diego at Goss Stadium.

With the loss, Vanderbilt dropped to 36-22 and moved into the loser’s bracket of the NCAA Corvallis Regional.

The Commodores face New Mexico State in an elimination game at 3 p.m. CT Saturday with action airing live on ESPN+.

Entering the bottom of the ninth trailing 3-2 on Friday, Enrique Bradfield Jr. reached on a lead-off walk representing the tying run. Bradfield advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt on the next at-bat before a groundout to third went for the second out of the inning.

The Commodores reached the go-ahead run as Dominic Keegan was intentionally walked to place runners on first and second, but a lineout to right field would go as the final out to end the ballgame.

San Diego built a 3-0 lead through the first four innings of action before Vandy began to mount a comeback across the final three frames. The Commodores put up single tallies in both the seventh and eighth innings to make it a one-run game before reaching both the tying and winning run in the ninth.

Carter Holton (8-4) suffered his fourth loss on the season despite another quality outing. Holton worked six innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits while striking out five.

Christian Little covered the final three frames and allowed just one hit while recording two strikeouts.

San Diego got on the board with one run in the top of the first. After the lead-off man reached on a hit-by-pitch to begin the game, an errant throw by Holton placed runners on first and third with no outs. Two batters later, a fielding error allowed the game’s first run to cross to put San Diego in front 1-0.

The Toreros plated single tallies in both the third and fourth innings to extend their lead. San Diego began the third with a lead-off single before a one-out groundout moved the runner into scoring position. After a wild pitch advanced the runner to third, a two-out single through the left side scored one to make it a 2-0 contest.

The Toreros began the fourth with a leadoff double before using a sacrifice bunt in the next at-bat to place a runner on third with one down. One batter later, an RBI groundout plated one run to push the San Diego lead to 3-0.

Vanderbilt broke into the scoring column in the bottom of the seventh as Keegan connected on his 13th home run on the season with a solo shot to center field to trim the deficit to 3-1.

The Commodores returned to the dish to add one more in the eighth and make it a one-run game. Calvin Hewett led off the frame with a solo shot to left field, marking his fourth homer on the year to bring the score to 3-2 with one inning left to play.

Vanderbilt threatened in the ninth, but was unable to cross the tying run resulting in the 3-2 final.