NASHVILLE, Tenn. — An 11-run eighth inning proved to be the difference on Saturday afternoon, as Vanderbilt fell, 21-10, to LSU at Hawkins Field. With the loss, the Commodores move to 35-19 on the season, and conclude the SEC slate with a 14-16 record.
Vandy struck first on Saturday to gain its first lead of the weekend with a six-run second inning, before the two teams went on to trade runs for the rest of the day. The Commodores carried a 6-3 lead into the sixth inning, but LSU would score 18 runs across the final four innings to gain control and clinch the series sweep.
Reliever Thomas Schultz (4-2) suffered the loss for Vanderbilt, marking his second on the year. Schultz allowed eight earned runs on five hits, while walking one across 0.2 innings of work. The Commodores used six pitchers in the matchup.
The Commodores used a two-out rally to plate six runs in the bottom of the second. Parker Noland began the scoring sequence with a single through the left side before Tate Kolwyck doubled to left to place runners on second and third. One batter later, Matthew Polk legged out an infield single to bring Noland across and score the game’s first run.
Carter Young continued the inning with another infield single to score one more, before advancing to second on a throwing error by the LSU second baseman. Enrique Bradfield plated two on a single up the middle after working a 10-pitch at-bat, before Spencer Jones capped the frame’s scoring with a two-run shot to left center to put Vandy in front, 6-0.
LSU answered back with three runs in the next frame to cut the Vanderbilt lead in half. The first two batters of the frame reached on a walk and a hit-by-pitch before an RBI double plated two. Two outs later, another RBI double scored one more for the Tigers to make it a 6-3 contest.
The Tigers made a two-run game in the sixth with a solo shot to left to move the score to 6-4.
The Commodores responded with two in the home half, as Jones launched his second homer of the day with another two-run shot over the batter’s eye in center field to push the Vandy lead to 8-4.
LSU plated three in the seventh to make it a one-run contest. The Tigers used a pair of walks to place runners on first and second before a three-run homer to right center brought the score to 8-7.
Vanderbilt got one run back in the home half, as a bases-loaded walk scored one to make it a 9-7 ballgame.
The Tigers’ offense exploded for 11 runs on seven hits in the eighth inning to take an 18-9 lead. The inning including a pair of home runs, highlighted by a grand slam.
LSU returned to the dish to add three more in the ninth, while Vandy scored one in the final frame to set the score at 21-10, the eventual final.
The Commodores will head to Hoover, Alabama, next week for the 2022 SEC Baseball Tournament. Vanderbilt’s opponent will be decided following the conclusion of today’s conference games.