NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt baseball team kept its winning streak alive on Tuesday evening, using a ninth-inning rally to defeat Michigan, 5-4, in front of a sold-out crowd at Hawkins Field. With the win, the Commodores improve to 14-2 on the season and capture their 13th consecutive victory.
Tate Kolwyck tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with a two-out, two-run double and scored the game-winning run on a passed ball.
Vanderbilt’s ninth-inning rally started with a leadoff single from Dominic Keegan. Rob Gordon entered to pinch run for Keegan and then stole second with one out. After Jack Bulger drew a walk, Carter Young hit into a fielder’s choice to put runners on the corners with two down.
In the next at-bat, Kolwyck roped a line drive into left field past the diving Michigan left fielder. Young went first-to-home and beat the throw to the plate to tie the game at 4-4. The ball got away from the catcher allowing Kolwyck to take third on the play.
The next pitch tipped off the catcher’s glove and rolled to the backstop as Kolwyck slid into home to win the game and empty the home dugout into a celebration at the plate.
Thomas Schultz (1-1) earned the win with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, striking out the side in the final frame.
The Commodores used five arms in the midweek matchup, with freshman lefty Devin Futrell making the start. Futrell worked a season-long 5.0 innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits, while picking up seven strikeouts.
Sophomore righty Christian Little was the first arm out of the bullpen, covering 1.1 innings. Little allowed two earned runs on three hits, while striking out two. Fellow sophomore Nelson Berkwich worked 1.0 scoreless inning with a pair of strikeouts, while fifth-year senior Jack Anderson also struck out two batters in his 0.2 innings of work.
Enrique Bradfield Jr. showed off his power with a solo shot to right in the bottom of the third, putting Vandy in front 1-0 with his second career home run.
The Commodores threatened in the bottom of the fourth, loading the bases with one out, but Michigan escaped the jam, leaving the bases full.
Michigan took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth with three hits and a Vanderbilt error. Tito Flores knocked a leadoff double to left and scored on a single by Riley Bertram. Bertram stole second, advanced to third on an error, and came home on a Clark Elliott single through the right side.
Michigan tacked on two more runs in the top of the seventh to take a 4-1 lead. The Wolverines put runners on the corners with no outs and scored the first run on a sac bunt. The second came home on a single from Alex Fedje-Johnson.
Vandy pieced together a two-out rally in the home half of the seventh. Jones legged out an infield single to second base and Dominic Keegan worked a walk to set up an RBI double by Gavin Casas to cut Michigan’s lead to 4-2.
The Commodores loaded the bases after a Michigan pitching change but a strikeout ended the threat.
Vanderbilt led off seven of the nine innings with a hit. Spencer Jones went 3-for-5 at the plate with a pair of doubles and Bradfield, Gavin Casas and Kolwyck totaled two hits each.
Vanderbilt opens SEC play this weekend against Missouri. Game 1 of the series is at 6 p.m. on Friday at Hawkins Field with action airing live on SEC Network+.