NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt baseball team used strong offensive performances to cruise to a pair of victories over Georgia State in Sunday’s doubleheader at Hawkins Field. With the wins, the Commodores improved to 6-1 on the season while the Panthers fall to 3-6.
Vanderbilt claimed a 12-2 win in the first matchup of the day before defeating the Panthers 17-6 in the second contest.
“It’s a pretty good day, obviously, to get on the field and play two games when there was a 100 percent chance of rain this morning so we do feel lucky we got both of them in,” Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin said. “It was a pretty good week. We were shoveling snow off this field seven days ago, so we got seven games in in a week.
“It was a pretty good response to Friday in taking the last three games.”
The Commodores combined for 29 runs across the day while registering 12 hits in each contest. The duo of Dominic Keegan and Maxwell Romero Jr. combined to drive in 15 of the team’s 29 runs with Keegan recording eight RBIs and Romero Jr. contributing seven.
Vanderbilt will take the upcoming week off before returning to action Friday when it hosts Illinois-Chicago for a three-game weekend series. The two teams are set for a 4:30 p.m. first pitch Friday afternoon with coverage airing live on SEC Network+.
The Commodores jumped out to an early lead in the first matchup of the day, scoring three runs in the very first inning. Jack Bulger began things with a lead-off walk before Keegan reached on a one-out walk to place runners on first and second. One batter later, Parker Noland lined a double to left field to score Bulger and cross the game’s first run.
CJ Rodriguez continued the inning’s scoring with an RBI single to left field scoring two runs to put Vanderbilt up 3-0 after one full.
The Commodores plated single tallies in the third, fourth and fifth innings to widen their margin. Tate Kolwyck connected on his second career home run in the third to make it a 4-0 contest before Vandy used a bases-loaded walk in the fifth to score one run.
Noland cashed in on his second RBI of the contest in the fifth inning, lining an RBI double to right center to bring another run across and set the score at 6-0 after five frames.
Georgia State broke into the scoring column in the seventh inning with two runs before Vanderbilt answered back with five runs in the home half. After Carter Young reached on a hit-by-pitch to lead off the inning, Noland launched a two-run shot to left field marking his first career home run.
The Commodores went on to score two more runs in the inning highlighted by an RBI double from Kolwyck and an RBI single from Jayson Gonzalez to increase their lead to 11-2 after seven innings.
Vanderbilt added one more in the eighth as Young registered a home run for the second consecutive contest. The sophomore shortstop connected on the first pitch of the inning with a deep drive to right field to make it a 12-2 contest, the eventual final.
Commodore starter Kumar Rocker (2-0) picked up his second win of the season with a quality outing. The right-hander worked five shutout innings, allowing three hits and three walks while striking out six batters before turning it over to the bullpen.
Vanderbilt struck first in the second game of the day by plating a trio of runs in the third inning to grab an early lead. Enrique Bradfield Jr. led off the frame with a five-pitch walk to give the Commodores a baserunner.
One out later, Bulger reached on a bunt single to pitcher, before an errant throw placed runners on the corners with one down.
In the next at-bat, Young continued his hot hitting with an RBI double to left field to score one and put the Commodores in the scoring column. After the Panthers made a call to the bullpen, Keegan lined a double down the left field line to cross two more runs and increase Vanderbilt’s lead to 3-0 after three full.
The Commodores broke things open with a five-run inning in the fourth.
Romero Jr. led off the frame with a solo shot to deep center marking his first collegiate hit. After a pair of walks and a throwing error loaded the bases, Keegan connected on his second home run of the weekend with a grand slam to center field making it an 8-0 ballgame.
The two teams traded runs across the sixth and seventh innings as Georgia State plated its first run of the day in the sixth inning. Vanderbilt responded with four runs in the home half to make it a 12-1 contest highlighted by a three-RBI double from Romero Jr. to clear the bases.
The Panthers plated a pair of runs in the top of the seventh before the Commodores answered back with another four-run frame in the seventh. Vanderbilt scored one in the eighth followed by two runs from Georgia State in the top of the ninth resulting in a 17-5 final score.
Starter Jack Leiter (2-0) turned in a quality outing and picked up his second win of the season. Leiter worked five scoreless frames allowing three hits and four walks while striking out seven batters.