NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt and Evansville battled for 17 innings Wednesday night at Hawkins Field with Parker Noland providing a walk-off single to win it for the Commodores.
Vanderbilt set a program single-game record with 24 strikeouts as six pitchers combined to hold the Aces to six hits and one run on the night.
Freshman JD Thompson made his collegiate debut in the 15th and held Evansville hitless over the final three innings to earn his first career win. Thompson struck out five.
Ryan Ginther worked a career-high 4.0 innings and allowed just two hits while striking out a career-high seven batters. Before Ginther’s impressive outing Nick Maldonado threw 1.2 hitless frames.
Thomas Schultz gave up just two hits over 3.1 innings and recorded four strikeouts, including No. 100 for his career.
Patrick Reilly replaced Wednesday’s starting pitcher Andrew Dutkanych IV just two batters into the game after the freshman had to come off the mound due to an injury. Reilly worked 4.2 innings and allowed one run on two hits with seven strikeouts.
The Aces struck first in the top of the second. Evansville right fielder Eric Robert singled to lead off the inning and stole second before scoring on an RBI single by Brent Widder.
Evansville took its 1-0 lead into the fifth before the Dores got on the board. Jack Bulger was hit by a pitch and Matthew Polk followed with a double off the wall in left to put runners on second and third. Enrique Bradfield Jr. delivered a sac fly to deep right, bringing home Bulger from third to tie the game at 1-1.
Vanderbilt and Evansville combined to put runners in scoring position 11 times in extra innings with neither team able to plate a run.
The marathon came to an end four hours and forty-four minutes after it started with a single to right field by Noland. RJ Schreck led off the bottom of the 17th with a double that came just feet away from being a walk-off homer. Davis Diaz laid down a bunt to advance Schreck to third, reaching first safely with no attempt from Evansville for the out.
After back-to-back strikeouts, Noland came through with the game-winning hit, scoring Schreck and extending Vanderbilt’s win streak to four games.
Wednesday’s game matched the program record for the longest game in Vanderbilt history. The Commodores also went 17 innings in 2010 vs. Louisville.
Vanderbilt (10-4) continues the homestand with a three-game series against Loyola Marymount beginning Friday at 4:30 p.m. All three games will air on SEC Network+.