NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A four-run seventh inning proved to be the difference on Sunday afternoon as Vanderbilt earned the series sweep over Missouri with a 7-4 win at Hawkins Field. With the win, Vandy improves to 17-2 on the season, including a 3-0 mark in SEC play.
The Commodores entered the stretch trailing, 4-3, before putting up four in the frame to take the lead. Tate Kolwyck led off the inning with a solo shot, sending the second pitch of the inning to right field to tie things at four apiece. Carter Young connected on the very next pitch with a solo homer to left center to put Vanderbilt in front, 5-4.
The Commodores went on to score two more in the inning to make it a 7-4 ballgame, as Enrique Bradfield Jr. scored on a wild pitch and Spencer Jones crossed on an RBI double by Dominic Keegan.
The two teams traded runs across the early innings, as Missouri struck first in the top of the second to grab an early lead. The Tigers used a leadoff walk followed by a stolen base to place a runner in scoring position. Two batters later, a single through the left side brought across the game’s first run to put Missouri ahead, 1-0.
Vanderbilt responded in the bottom of the third with a pair of solo home runs to take a 2-1 lead. Jones connected on a 1-0 pitch, sending a deep drive to right center for his third home run on the season to tie things at one apiece. The Commodores went back-to-back, as Keegan homered in the next at-bat – his fifth on the year – to give Vandy a one-run lead.
Missouri answered right back by plating three in the fourth to gain control. The Tigers used one walk and four hits to manufacture three runs in the inning and take a 4-2 lead.
The Commodores added one in home half to make it a one-run game. With one down in the frame, Javier Vaz drew a five-pitch walk before stealing second to place himself in scoring position. In the next at-bat, Kolwyck delivered an RBI single to left center to make it a 4-3 contest.
The two teams went scoreless across the next two frames until Vanderbilt scored four in the seventh to set the score at 7-4, the eventual final.
Vanderbilt used five arms in the series finale, with sophomore Hunter Owen making his first career start. Owen lasted 3.1 innings and allowed four earned runs on three hits, while walking two batters and recording five strikeouts.
Nelson Berkwich (1-0) picked up his first career win with a strong relief outing. Berkwich worked 1.1 scoreless innings, allowing one hit while striking out three. Thomas Schultz earned his fourth save on the year, holding the Tigers hitless across the final 1.2 frames, while registering three strikeouts.
Keegan paced the Commodore offense, finishing 3-for-4 with a team-high tying two RBI. Bradfield and Kolwyck each contributed multi-hit outings with two apiece, while Kolwyck added two RBI to his totals.
Vandy will face Belmont on Tuesday evening for a midweek matchup. The Commodores and Bruins will square off at First Horizon Park, home of the Nashville Sounds, with first pitch set for 6 p.m.