Dores Take the Series

Vanderbilt bounces back with 11-1 win

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt claimed the season-opening series against Florida Atlantic on Sunday with an 11-1 win at Hawkins Field.

Devin Futrell (W, 1-0), a Perfect Game Preseason All-America second teamer, turned in a quality start in his first appearance of the 2024 season. The lefty struck out five over six innings of work while holding the Owls to one run on just three hits.

The Commodores entered the scoring column in the bottom of the third. Calvin Hewett was hit by a pitch and stole second before coming around to score on a double by Jonathan Vastine. With two outs, RJ Austin beat out an infield single and Vastine scored from second on the play to stretch Vandy’s lead to 2-0.

FAU responded with back-to-back doubles in the top of the fourth to make it a 2-1 game, but Futrell retired the next two batters to limit the damage.

Vastine, who was tied for the team lead with two triples last season, led off the bottom of the fifth with a triple off the wall in center field. Vandy would load the bases with no outs as Jack Bulger was hit by a pitch and RJ Austin worked a walk.

Vastine touched home on a groundout by Camden Kozeal and Bulger scored on a sac fly off the bat of Alan Espinal to give Vanderbilt a 4-1 lead. Jayden Davis tacked on another run with a two-out single to center, scoring Austin from second base.

Futrell retired the side in the top of the sixth on six pitches in his final inning of work.

Vanderbilt extended its lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the sixth. Hewett singled, stole second and took third on a wild pitch. Bulger was hit by a pitch for the second time and the pair of Vandy baserunners executed a double steal with Hewett sliding into home safely and Bulger taking second.

Freshman Brennan Seiber (S, 1) made his collegiate debut on the mound in the top of the seventh and retired the side in order on eight pitches.

Espinal gapped a double to right-center to lead off the bottom of the seventh. The next batter, Davis, doubled down the line in right to trade places with Espinal. Pinch hitter Jacob Humphrey, a transfer from UMass Lowell, followed with his first hit as a Commodore in his first at-bat, a single to plate Davis from second and put Vandy up 8-1.

Humphrey stole second and moved up to third on a wild pitch. After Chris Maldonado earned a walk to put runners on the corners with nobody out, Hewett doubled home Humphrey. Maldonado crossed the plate on a sac fly from Vastine to make it 10-1, Commodores.

Bulger extended the inning with an RBI-single up the middle that plated Hewett with one out. Vandy pushed five runs across in the seventh on five hits.

Seiber continued to set down the Owls in order en route to a three-inning save. Seiber struck out three and didn’t allow a baserunner in his debut.

Davis and Espinal finished with two RBI each. Hewett went 2-for-3 with three stolen bases and three runs scored.

For the series, Vastine led the Commodore offense with six RBI. The lefty went 5-for-11 on the weekend with a homer, triple, two doubles and four runs scored.

Vanderbilt (2-1) welcomes Dayton to town Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. followed by Eastern Kentucky at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.