HOOVER, Ala. – The Vanderbilt baseball team’s run in the 2021 SEC Baseball Tournament came to an end on Friday as the Commodores fell to Ole Miss 4-1 at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
With the loss the Dores fell to 40-15 on the season.
Ole Miss jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and controlled momentum from that point. Vanderbilt was able to threaten on multiple occasions, including loading the bases in the eighth, but could not complete the comeback.
Despite a quality outing, Commodore starter Jack Leiter (8-3) suffered his third loss of the season. The sophomore right-hander lasted 6 2/3 innings, allowed three earned runs on three hits and two walks while striking out seven.
After allowing two runs in the second inning, Leiter settled in to retire 13 of the next 15 batters he faced before yielding a run in the seventh inning and exiting the game.
Nick Maldonado covered the final 2 1/3 frames allowing one earned run while punching out three.
Ole Miss struck first with a pair of runs in the top of the second. A hit-by-pitch followed by a walk and a single loaded the bases for the Rebels before a bases-loaded brought across the game’s first run. One out later, a sacrifice fly scored another run in the frame to give Ole Miss a 2-0 lead.
The Rebels added one in the seventh to increase their lead. With one down, a hit-by-pitch and a stolen base placed a runner in scoring position. A two-out base hit to right field scored one run for Ole Miss to make it a 3-0 ballgame heading to the stretch.
Ole Miss added another run in the eighth, using a solo shot to right center to extend the gap to 4-0.
Vanderbilt threatened in the home half by scoring one run to trim the deficit. The inning began with a lead-off double from Javier Vaz before a walk to Enrique Bradfield Jr. and a single from Isaiah Thomas loaded the bases.
A double-play ball in the next at-bat minimized the Vandy threat, but allowed one run to cross for the Commodores to set the score at 4-1 – the eventual final.