NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt mounted a late comeback but ultimately fell 7-5 to seventh-ranked Oklahoma State in Sunday’s series finale at Hawkins Field.
Carter Holton got the start on the mound for the Commodores and struck out the side in his first inning of collegiate baseball. The freshman lefty from Savannah, Georgia fanned six of the first nine batters he faced.
Vanderbilt struck first with back-to-back two-out doubles in the home half of the first inning. Spencer Jones got things going with a double down the left-field line and Dominic Keegan scored Jones with a rope off the wall in center.
Javier Vaz showed off his power with his first home run as a Commodore in the bottom of the third, putting Vanderbilt in front, 2-1. He’d finish the game 2-for-3 with three runs scored.
Holton ran into trouble in the fourth, walking in a run before giving up a two-run single. Vanderbilt limited the damage with an inning-ending 6-3 double play.
Holton exited after four innings, totaling seven strikeouts while allowing four runs on three hits.
Trailing 4-2 in the fifth, Enrique Bradfield Jr. cut Oklahoma State’s lead to one with an RBI double down the line in right to score Vaz.
The Cowboys extended their lead to 5-3 in the sixth on a bases-loaded infield single, but Vanderbilt reliever Hunter Owen ended the inning with a strikeout to strand the bases full.
Owen worked three innings in relief, allowing one earned while striking out six.
Vandy mounted a rally in the bottom of the eighth. After a leadoff single from Vaz, Bradfield Jr. drew a walk to put two on with no outs. Jack Bulger singled into right field, scoring Vaz from second and moving Bradfield Jr. to third base.
With runners on the corners and one out, Keegan worked a walk to load the bases for pinch hitter Gavin Casas, who brought home the tying run with a deep fly ball to right to even the score at 5-5.
Oklahoma State pulled ahead for good in the top of the ninth with a pair of RBI doubles and retired Vandy in order in the bottom half for a 7-5 victory in the final game of the series.
Reliever Thomas Schultz (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing two earned runs across his 1.0 inning of work.
Vanderbilt is back at Hawkins Field on Tuesday to host North Alabama at 4:30 p.m., with action airing live on SEC Network+.