Dores shut out Gamecocks in opener

COLUMBIA, S.C. – For the second straight Thursday night Vanderbilt used a dominating start from Carson Fulmer to shut out the opponent, blanking South Carolina 12-0 to win the opener at Carolina Stadium.

Fulmer tossed a two-hit shutout with a career-best 14 strikeouts against Ole Miss last week and followed that up with seven scoreless innings against the Gamecocks (23-16, 6-10) Thursday night to earn his team-best seventh win of the year. The right-hander was sharp early, retiring 11 straight batters to cruise into the fifth inning before he finally yielded his first hit of the night, a single to left off the bat of DC Arendas. The Gamecocks put just one runner in scoring position all night with a pair of singles in the sixth but Fulmer worked out of the jam with a line drive out to Will Toffey at third. Fulmer’s night ended with him striking out the side to run his total to nine for the game. The junior scattered three hits and walked just one over seven innings. In his last two starts, Fulmer has allowed five hits with one walk and 23 strikeouts over 16 innings.

With Fulmer dominating on the mound the Vanderbilt (29-10, 12-4) offense cranked out 12 runs on 12 hits, scoring 11 runs over the final four innings. The Commodores held a 1-0 lead going into the sixth when the team broke the game open with four runs. Ro Coleman extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a double to lead off the inning. Rhett Wiseman’s bunt moved him to third and Dansby Swanson’s first sacrifice fly of the game made it a 2-0 lead. The Dores’ offense then put together a two-out rally when Zander Wiel doubled and scored on Bryan Reynolds’ single. A South Carolina error led to the final two runs of the inning.

A four-run seventh for the Dores put the game away. Coleman again led off the inning but this time with his second career home run, belting a solo shot to right field. Reynolds’ two-run double and Toffey’s RBI-single capped the rally.

Coleman finished the night with a career-high four hits and a triple shy of the cycle, adding a RBI-double in the ninth. Reynolds continued his hot streak going 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBI. The sophomore is now hitting .397 in league games. Vanderbilt’s 12 runs are the most since a 14-3 win over Tennessee on March 29.

Freshmen Collin Snider and Aubrey McCarty finished off the Commodores’ ninth shutout of the season, each working a scoreless frame.

South Carolina starter Vince Fiori took the loss allowing two runs, one earned, on two hits over 5.1 innings. The Gamecocks’ bullpen used five pitchers that were roughed up for 10 runs over the final 3.2 innings.

The two teams play tomorrow night at 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network. Walker Buehler gets the ball for Vandy against South Carolina lefty Jack Wynkoop.