Dores Bounce Back

Vanderbilt defeats EKU 5-3

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt held off a late rally from Eastern Kentucky on Wednesday to win 5-3 at Hawkins Field.

The Commodores jumped in front early with a three-run first inning. RJ Austin singled and Jayden Davis worked a walk before the duo executed a double steal with one out. Alan Espinal plated the game’s first run on a groundout to third, bringing home Austin.

Troy LaNeve then ripped a two-out double to plate Davis and Davis Diaz followed with a double of his own to give Vanderbilt a 3-0 lead.

EKU loaded the bases with one out in the top of the third, but Vanderbilt starting pitcher Andrew Dutkanych IV got a strikeout and fly out to end the threat.

The middle of the order for Vanderbilt manufactured another run in the bottom of the third. Espinal led things off with a single and stole second. Espinal then moved up to third on a groundout before scoring on a groundout by Diaz to give Vandy a 4-0 lead.

Dutkanych was relieved in the fifth inning as Levi Huesman (W, 1-0) took over on the mound. Dutkanych allowed just one hit and struck out six over four innings of shutout ball.

EKU used four hits to score twice in the top of the sixth and added another run in the top of the seventh to cut Vandy’s lead to 4-3.

Camden Kozeal reached base on an error to lead off the bottom of the eighth. Jacob Humphrey pinch ran for Kozeal and stole second and third base on subsequent pitches. Humphrey came in to score on an RBI single by Espinal, giving Vanderbilt a 5-3 advantage.

Alex Kranzler tossed 2.1 innings in relief and gave up one run on two hits. Ryan Ginther (S, 1) worked around a pair of baserunners in the top of the ninth to earn his first career save.

The Commodores move to 3-2 on the season and will host Gonzaga for a three-game series beginning Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Hawkins Field.