HOOVER, Ala. — The Vanderbilt baseball team’s run in the 2022 SEC Tournament came to an end on Friday as the Commodores fell 10-2 to Kentucky in an elimination game.
With the loss Vandy dropped to 36-21 on the season.
The two teams kept things close through the early innings Friday before Kentucky started to pull away in the middle frames. The Wildcats plated five in the seventh to put things out of reach and hold on for victory.
Chris McElvain (5-5) suffered the loss for Vandy, marking his fifth on the campaign. McElvain allowed five earned runs on 10 hits while lasting 4.1 innings.
Kentucky struck first by plating one run in the bottom of the second. A one-out double followed by an RBI single to left center crossed the game’s first run to put the Wildcats in front, 1-0.
Vanderbilt answered back with a run of its own in the very next frame to even the score at one apiece. Enrique Bradfield Jr. reached on a lead-off walk before Javier Vaz sent a single through the right side to place runners on the corners with no outs.
One batter later, Spencer Jones put the Dores in the scoring column with a sacrifice fly to center to score Bradfield and make it a 1-1 contest.
Kentucky put up four runs across the fourth and fifth innings – scoring two in each frame. The Wildcats loaded the bases in the fourth on a pair of singles and a walk before a squeeze play brought one run across. A sacrifice fly scored one more for Kentucky in the fourth to put them ahead 3-1 after four full.
The Wildcats added two more in the fifth to extend their lead to 5-1. The inning began with a leadoff double before an RBI single plated the first run of the frame. Kentucky executed another squeeze attempt to cross its second run of the inning to gain the four-run advantage through five innings of action.
The Commodores plated one in the seventh to bring the score to 5-2. With one down, Vaz picked up his fourth hit of the ballgame with a single to left field before advancing into scoring potion on a stolen base. Two batters later, Parker Noland lined a single up the middle to score Vaz and trim the deficit to three.
Kentucky pulled away with five runs in the seventh. The Wildcats used four hits and a Vanderbilt error to produce the five-run frame and set the score at 10-2, the eventual final.
Vaz led the Vanderbilt offensive effort 4-for-4 with two doubles and one run scored.