Friday Night Shutout

Carter Holton and Bryce Cunningham blank the Bruins

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Carter Holton and Bryce Cunningham combined for a shutout Friday night as No. 10 Vanderbilt blanked No. 17 UCLA 6-0 in the series opener at Hawkins Field.

Holton (1-0) struck out seven over 5.2 innings and allowed just one base hit to the Bruins who boasted a top-five scoring offense entering the weekend. Cunningham (S, 2) struck out four as he kept UCLA off the board through the final 3.1 innings for his second save on the season.

Vanderbilt scored five runs, all with two outs, in the bottom of the fourth to provide all the run support Holton needed.

The Dores loaded the bases on singles by RJ Schreck and RJ Austin and a hit-by-pitch by Parker Noland, bringing Davis Diaz to the plate. Diaz flared an opposite field knock to score Schreck from third and Austin from second.

Vandy loaded the bases again as the two-out rally continued. After Alan Espinal worked a walk, Enrique Bradfield Jr. singled through the left side bringing home two more runs to increase the Commodore lead to 4-0.

The Dores tacked on a fifth run thanks to a throwing error by the UCLA second baseman to lead 5-0 through four frames.

The score remained 5-0 until the bottom of the eighth when Diaz drove in his third run of the evening. RJ Austin and Parker Noland led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Austin took third on Noland’s base hit and scored on a fielder’s choice by Diaz.

Austin finished the evening 2-for-3, marking his fourth multi-hit performance in his first six collegiate games. He also scored twice.

Vanderbilt (4-2) and UCLA (4-1) continue the three-game series Saturday at 1 p.m. CT on SEC Network+.