Homers in Hoover

Dores use four home runs to topple Tennessee

HOOVER, Ala. – Vanderbilt hit four home runs Wednesday night in the second round of the 2024 SEC Tournament to defeat top-seeded Tennessee, 13-4.

Alan Espinal homered twice to drive in five runs, Jonathan Vastine hit a three-run homer and Colin Barczi hit his first collegiate long ball to lead the Dores past the Volunteers.

Vandy collected 15 hits and held the high-powered Tennessee offense to four runs on seven hits.

The Commodores used three pitchers in the win with Devin Futrell getting the start. Futrell allowed four runs on four hits and totaled four strikeouts over four innings. Luke Guth threw one scoreless inning and Miller Green earned the win with four shutout innings to close out the game. Green allowed just three hits and recorded four strikeouts.

Tennessee worked a leadoff walk in the bottom of the second and scored the game’s first run on a double to lead 1-0 after two innings.

Vandy quickly responded in the top of the third. Troy LaNeve walked with one out and Calvin Hewett’s bat stayed hot as the senior doubled to right-center to put runners on second and third. LaNeve then came home on a wild pitch to tie the game at 1-1.

Davis Diaz gave the Dores a 2-1 lead on an RBI single to bring home Hewett with two outs.

The two-out scoring in the third continued after RJ Austin singled to bring Espinal to the plate with two on base. Espinal cleared the bases with a 408-foot blast to center field to put Vandy up 5-2.

Holcomb lined a single to left field with one out in the top of the fourth. Holcomb took second on a wild pitch and, with two outs, Hewett delivered once again with an RBI single up the middle to score Holcomb and give the Commodores a 6-1 advantage.

Tennessee cut Vandy’s lead down to two with a three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth.

Diaz singled to lead off the top of the fifth and reached third on a ground-rule double by Austin. Barczi picked up an RBI on a groundout as Diaz came home to make it 7-4, Vanderbilt.

The Dores pulled away in the seventh and eighth innings. After a single by Austin with one out in the seventh, Espinal hit his second home run of the game to extend the lead to 9-4.

Holcomb led off the top of the eighth with a double to right. Jack Bulger worked a walk and Vastine blew the game open with a three-run blast to make it a 12-4 ballgame.

Barczi left the yard in the top of the ninth for his first collegiate home run, giving Vanderbilt a 13-4 lead.

Austin and Holcomb tallied three hits each. Diaz, Austin, Espinal, Barczi, Holcomb and Hewett each had multi-hit performances.

Wednesday was head coach Tim Corbin’s 46th win at the SEC Tournament, moving him into a tie for first place all-time with Ron Polk who won 46 tourney games with Georgia and Mississippi State.

With the win, Vanderbilt will face the winner of the Texas A&M vs. Mississippi State game in the final game of the day on Thursday.