Late homer sinks Commodores

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt dropped the team’s third straight game on Tuesday night in a 3-2 loss to Belmont at Hawkins Field.

The Commodores (28-10) and Bruins (19-15) battled to a 2-2 tie through seven innings when Jordan Sheffield took over for the Dores as the team’s seventh pitcher of the night to start the eighth inning. Sheffield was greeted by a solo home run over the left field wall by Matt Beaty to put the Bruins on top for the first time in the game. The Vandy offense failed to get anything going over the final two innings against Belmont reliever Matthew Kinney as the Commodores dropped their third straight game. The Dores’ three-game losing streak is the team’s first in 216 games dating back to a five-game losing streak in mid-March of the 2012 season.

Vandy took an early lead in the third inning with a two-rally from Ro Coleman and Dansby Swanson. Coleman doubled down the right field line before Swanson smashed his team-best fifth triple into the right field corner for a 1-0 lead. After Belmont tied the game in the fourth with a two-out run of their own, Will Toffey delivered the lead with a sacrifice fly to right field in the home half of the inning.

Coleman extended his hitting streak to 11 games with two hits on Tuesday night. Swanson, Zander Wiel and Tyler Campbell all added two hits to the Dores’ 10-hit total. Beaty led Belmont with two hits, including his 10th home run of the season.

Vanderbilt used eight pitchers in the game with Sheffield taking his first loss of the season. John Kilichowski started for VU and allowed just two hits over two innings. The lefty loaded the bases with no outs in the first before working out of the jam without allowing any runs. Collin Snider, Tyler Ferguson and Kyle Wright all worked perfect innings out of the pen.

Belmont starter Patrick McGrath earned the win with seven solid innings. The lefty gave up two runs on 10 hits with six strikeouts.

Vanderbilt travels to South Carolina to begin a three-game series Thursday night on ESPNU at 6:30 p.m. CT. All three games of the series will be broadcast on national television with Friday night’s game at 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network and the series finale on Saturday at noon CT on ESPN2.