NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A four-run seventh inning led the Gold Team to a 6-3 victory in Game 2 of Vanderbilt baseball’s annual Black and Gold Series on Sunday afternoon at Hawkins Field. With the win, the Gold Team evens the series at one apiece.
With the score tied at 2-2 entering the final frame, Gold rallied for four runs in the seventh to take a commanding 6-2 lead. The Black Team responded with one run in the home half, but would get no closer as Gold held on for the win to even the series.
Gold used a trio of pitchers in the seven-inning matchup, beginning with sophomore starter Hunter Owen. Owen lasted 3.2 innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits, while striking out five before turning it over to the bullpen.
Freshman Devin Futrell earned the win on the mound with a strong relief effort. Futrell tossed 2.1 shutout innings as the first arm out of the bullpen, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out three batters. Grayson Moore worked the final frame in the seventh as Gold recorded the series-evening victory.
Gold struck first on Sunday, plating one run in the top of the second to grab an early lead. Troy LaNeve connected on a solo home run to cross the game’s first run and put Gold in front, 1-0.
Black responded the very next frame, answering with a run of its own to even the score. The inning began with back-to-back singles from Dominic Keegan and Spencer Jones before Christian Smith sent an RBI single through the right side to knot things at 1-1.
The Black Team returned to the dish to add one more in the third and take the lead. With one down, Calvin Hewett reached on an infield single before advancing into scoring position on a stolen base. After Parker Noland followed with a single to place runners on the corner, Keegan sent a sacrifice fly to center field to score one and put Black ahead, 2-1.
Gold scratched one run across in the fifth to tie the score at two apiece. With one down in the frame, freshman Sam Hunt lined a single to right center before JD Rogers reached on a fielding error to place runners on the corners. In the next at-bat, Enrique Bradfield Jr. laid down a sacrifice bunt to plate the tying run.
A four-run inning from Gold broke things open in the seventh. Rogers reached on an error before Bradfield singled through the right side to place runners on first and third. After Bradfield moved into scoring position on a stolen base, Davis Diaz lined a two-run single to right field to put Gold ahead, 4-2.
TJ McKenzie continued the inning with a two-run home run to left field to push Gold’s lead to 6-2 heading to bottom half of the seventh.
Black rallied for one run in the seventh to set the score at 6-3, the eventual final.
Christian Little made the start for the Black Team. Little worked 4.0 innings, allowing one earned run on two hits, while picking up five strikeouts. Freshman Bryce Cunningham covered 2.0 innings, allowing one unearned run on two hits, while junior Thomas Schultz worked 1.0 frame, allowing four runs – one earned – on three hits to suffer the loss.
The two teams return to the diamond on Tuesday evening for a decisive Game 3. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at Hawkins Field.