NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt was held to two hits and visiting Louisville won a 1-0 pitchers’ duel at Hawkins Field on Tuesday.
The Commodores (29-14) struck out 14 times and dropped the Battle of the Barrel rivalry game for the second straight season.
Louisville used seven pitchers in the victory. Michael Prosecky (S, 9) picked up the save after giving up a two-single to Javier Vaz in the ninth – but nothing else.
“You get into a situation like this (offensively) and you get frustrated and you get split mentally and fastballs start getting by you and you taper off your bat speed and you just don’t go up there with the same mojo. I’ve been round long enough to see that before – it changes,” Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin said of his team losing 3 of 4 and averaging two per game in those three losses. “This game can test you in a lot of different ways. We’re just going to have to fight our way through it. We certainly have a good enough group to manage that and we’re going to do it.”
Vandy starter Devin Futrell (8-1) went six innings and allowed just the one earned run in his first loss on the campaign. He struck out five and threw 88 pitches – 58 for a strike.
Futrell got in and out of trouble through four scoreless innings. His fifth inning didn’t start very well as Ben Bianco smoked a solo home run into the bleachers in left field.
“He’s been so consistent just keeping the game right where it’s supposed to be,” Corbin said of Futrell. “I think he managed runners in scoring position three or four times really well. Asking a young kid to slow an offense down like that? That’s a .316, .317 offense coming in. You saw how many touchdowns they scored this past weekend – he did really well.
“It was a really well-played game. From a defensive and pitching standpoint we put ourselves in a position to win the game and that’s really all you can ask for.”
The Commodores were held hitless through 5 1/3. Spencer Jones broke up the no-hitter with a single to left.
Riley Phillips (4-1) earned the win for Louisville.
Vanderbilt returns to action at 5:30 p.m. CT Friday at Georgia (30-14) for the first of a three-game series.
- Vanderbilt had won 28 straight midweek home games before Tuesday’s defeat.
- Vandy is one win shy of 18 straight 30-win seasons (not including the shortened 2020 campaign).
- Jones now has a 15-game hitting streak.
- Vanderbilt is now 1-14 this season when trailing after eight innings and 7-11 when the opponent scores first.
- Vandy leads series with Louisville 27-12 and 13-6 in games played in Nashville.
— Chad Bishop covers Vanderbilt for VUCommodores.com.
Follow him @MrChadBishop.