Lights Out Little

Vanderbilt downs Belmont, 4-1, on Tuesday night

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — On the heels of a big series win at Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt welcomed Belmont for a midweek matchup Tuesday at Hawkins Field. The second-ranked Dores (13-2) defeated their cross-town foes 4-1 to earn their 19th consecutive midweek win.

Vanderbilt starter Christian Little retired 11 of the 14 Bruins he faced as he picked up his second win of the season. The freshman right-hander fanned seven, walked two, surrendered just one hit and never faced more than four Belmont batters in four frames. In his final inning of work he struck out the side.

The Commodore offense clicked early as five different Dores reached base in the first inning to provide early support to Little.

After the second out of the home half was made, four Commodores reached base safely. Jack Bulger started it with a double, but was the only one to cross home plate. Following the barrage of offense, Jalen Borders – Belmont’s starter – only lasted the opening inning and was charged with the loss.

To start off the second, Enrique Bradfield Jr. registered his conference-leading 13th stolen base of the season after reaching on an error by the Belmont third baseman. The Commodore centerfielder then advanced to third on a wild pitch before coming across to score on a fielder’s choice to first base.

Three innings later, the Bruins plated one on an infield single to first that resulted in all Belmont baserunners being safe.

Jayson Gonzalez added some insurance runs of his own to the cause – scoring in the sixth during a double play and hitting a home run in the eighth – to provide some cushion for the Commodores.

With Belmont threatening with two on and no outs in the top of the ninth, Parker Noland turned an unassisted double play which shattered any hope of a Belmont comeback before Nick Maldonado finished the off Bruins with a strikeout.

The Commodores will open conference play this weekend by welcoming South Carolina to Hawkins Field. Friday’s series opener is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch and will be shown on SEC Network+.