NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A solo home run from Carter Young proved to be the difference on Saturday afternoon at Hawkins Field, as the Vanderbilt baseball team held off Georgia State with a 5-4 victory. With the win, the Commodores improved to 4-1 on the season, while evening the series with the Panthers at one apiece.
Vanderbilt jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, plating two runs in each of the first two innings. Georgia broke into the scoring column in the third with one run in the inning before the two teams went scoreless across the next three frames.
The Panthers tied things in the seventh with a three-spot in the inning, before Vanderbilt regained the lead in the home half thanks to Young’s solo shot.
The duo of Young and junior Dominic Keegan paced the Commodore offense with multi-hit efforts, each finishing 2-for-3 with two RBI and one home run.
Four Vanderbilt pitchers saw action, sophomore Sam Hliboki, who made his first career start. Hliboki was followed by the trio of Chris McElvain, Miles Garrett and Luke Murphy. Garrett (1-0) picked up the win, while Murphy earned the save.
From Head Coach Tim Corbin
“I thought we responded right away immediately inside the game. Sam (Hliboki) did a heck of a job getting out of that fourth inning. That was a touchy situation, especially when he went 2-0 on (Dalton) Pearson and had to come all the way back and land a breaking ball 3-2 before striking out (Jonathan) Ponder. I thought we swung the bat a little bit better as the day went on in the sixth, seventh and eighth. We found a few more barrels, so that was encouraging. It was some tough baseball. Anytime you win a one-run game, that’s a good thing. It’s good for the fibers of your team moving forward, so we did enough.”
How It Happened
- B1 – Carter Young broke the seal with the first hit for Vanderbilt, a single to center field putting one runner on base. Dominic Keegan followed with a two-run shot to right field, his second home run of the season. (2-0, Vanderbilt)
- B2 – After CJ Rodriguez and Tate Kolwyck drew back-to-back walks to begin the frame, Enrique Bradfield Jr. laid down a perfectly-placed bunt to load the bases. A sacrifice fly from Jayson Gonzalez brought in Rodriguez and was followed by another sacrifice fly from Young to bring in Kolwyck. (4-0, Vanderbilt)
- T3 – A solo home run to left field put the Panthers on the board and narrowed the gap. (4-1, Vanderbilt)
- T7 – Georgia State scored from second base on a bunt single due to errant throw to first. The Panthers scored again on another Vanderbilt error which was followed by a run on a groundout to erase the Commodores’ three-run lead and even the score. (4-4)
- B7 – Young led off the seventh with his first career home run, a deep shot to left field to put the Commodores ahead. (5-4, Vanderbilt)
- Sam Hliboki struck out a career-high seven batters. His previous high was five against Hawaii back on February 28, 2020.
- Carter Young extended his hitting streak to seven games, dating back to the final two games of last season.
- Dominic Keegan launched his team-leading second home run of the season. He also leads the team in RBI with seven.
- Miles Garrett picked up his first career win, and marks the second Vanderbilt freshman to win a game this season.
- Luke Murphy notched his first career save.
The two teams will return to Hawkins Field tomorrow for the final two games of the series. The doubleheader is set to begin at 11 a.m., with both games airing live on SEC Network+.