Espinal Leads Charge Past UAB

Alan Espinal homered twice in 13-1 win

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Alan Espinal homered twice Wednesday to help Vanderbilt to a 13-1 win over UAB at Hawkins Field.

The Commodores (3-2) used a three-run fourth, a five-run fifth and four-run sixth to run-rule the Blazers (1-3) in the seven innings.

Vanderbilt wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. Enrique Bradfield Jr. singled on a bunt to lead things off, stole second base and scored on a hit-and-run as RJ Austin singled through the left side to give Vanderbilt a 1-0 lead.

UAB scored on a fielder’s choice in the top of the third to pull even at 1-1.

Vandy moved back in front in the home half of the fourth with a three-run frame. Davis Diaz led off with a single and after Matthew Polk reached on a hit-by-pitch, Espinal launched his second home run on the season, a three-run line drive to left-center.

Espinal’s blast gave Vanderbilt a 4-1 advantage through four frames.

Vandy pushed five runs across on two hits and an error in the bottom of the fifth. RJ Schreck was hit by a pitch to lead things off and Calvin Hewett drew a walk. Diaz brought home Schreck on a sacrifice fly that was dropped by the UAB right fielder and Jonathan Vastine followed with an RBI double to left-center, scoring Hewett.

After a pitching change, Polk was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Espinal worked a walk for another RBI. Enrique Bradfield Jr. hit a sac fly to score Vastine and RJ Austin reached on an infield single to bring in Polk for the frames’ fifth run.

The Dores weren’t done yet. Hewett led off the bottom of the sixth with a hit-by-pitch and after stealing second base, Hewett scored on a single by Diaz. Polk then hit his second career home run, a two-run blast to left-center to make it 12-1.

Espinal followed with his second homer of the evening as the Dores went back-to-back for the first time since May 7, 2022 at Georgia.

The junior catcher finished the game 2-for-2 with five RBI, two runs scored and a pair of walks. All three of Espinal’s hits in 2023 have left the yard. Polk, Davis and Austin each drove in a pair of runs as well.

Freshman David Horn picked up his first collegiate win after coming on in relief for starter Greysen Carter. Horn didn’t allow a hit over two innings and struck out one. Carter threw the first three frames for the Commodores and allowed one run on two hits with four strikeouts.

Ryan Ginther threw two scoreless innings to close things out.

Wednesday’s victory marked career win No. 950 for head coach Tim Corbin.

Vanderbilt hosts No. 17 UCLA for a three-game series this weekend at Hawkins Field. Game 1 vs. the Bruins is set for a 4:30 p.m. CT start on Friday with action airing on SEC Network+.