Complete-Game Shutout for Cunningham

Bryce Cunningham goes the distance vs. Mississippi State

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Bryce Cunningham threw a complete-game shutout to lead Vanderbilt past Mississippi State, 4-0, in the series opener Friday night at Hawkins Field.

Cunningham turned in the longest outing of his career, throwing 122 pitches while allowing only two hits to the Bulldogs. Cunningham’s performance on Friday was Vanderbilt’s second complete-game shutout on the season and first against an SEC team since Hunter Owen blanked Ole Miss on March 17 last season.

Vandy’s offense provided Cunningham with an early two-run lead after a pair of solo homers in the first inning.

Jonathan Vastine sent the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the first over the wall in right-center for Vanderbilt’s fourth leadoff homer this season.

Alan Espinal doubled Vandy’s lead in the first with a two-out blast to center field that traveled 429 feet to put the Dores up 2-0.

Vandy added on as Matthew Polk singled with one out in the bottom of the second. Polk stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch before touching home on a groundout by Colin Barczi, giving Vanderbilt a 3-0 lead.

In the eighth, Braden Holcomb led off the frame with a double down the line in left. Jacob Humphrey pinch ran and stole third with one out. RJ Austin made it 4-0 with a sac fly to score Humphrey.

With the win, Vanderbilt improves to 31-11 overall and 11-8 in the SEC. Game 2 against the Bulldogs is at 2 p.m. Saturday with the action airing on SECN+.