NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt starter Drake Fellows struck out 11 Missouri batters as the No. 3 Commodores extended their win streak to 13 consecutive games with a 5-2 series-opening victory against the No. 21 Tigers on Friday night at Hawkins Field.
Vanderbilt (40-9, 19-6 SEC) becomes the second team nationally to reach 40 wins. The Commodores’ 13-straight victories are their most since 2013. With Michigan’s loss on Friday, the Commodores take over the longest active streak in the country. Vandy is 22-0 in night games and 13-0 in series openers.
Fellows (10-0) set an SEC career high in punchouts while notching his 20th career victory. The right-hander tossed seven innings, permitting four hits and one earned run. He limited the Tigers (33-17-1, 12-12-1 SEC) to 1-for-8 (.125) with two outs and 1-for-5 (.200) with runners in scoring position.
Fellows retired eight straight before leadoff batter Thomas Broyles worked a one-out walk in the sixth. The Tigers added consecutive singles including an RBI-knock from Kameron Misner to cut their deficit to three before Fellows fanned consecutive batters to leave the bases loaded.
The Commodores struck three times in the third as Harrison Ray lined a one-out double down just inside the line. The second baseman, who scored Ethan Paul (hit by pitch) and Philip Clarke (single), has driven in five runs this week and 14 runs in the last 15 contests.
Vanderbilt chased Missouri starter Jacob Cantleberry (4-4) with consecutive singles to open the fourth. The southpaw allowed seven hits and five runs while walking a pair and striking out five. The Commodores have scored five-plus runs in 26 of their 30 home games.
Hugh Fisher set Missouri down in order in the eighth and Tyler Brown locked up his 12th save with a perfect ninth. Fisher has tossed five consecutive scoreless outings while Brown has logged a save in six of the last seven outings and has not allowed a run in 18 of 21 appearances.
Austin Martin (3-for-5) raised his average to .436 while recording his team-best 26th multi-hit game and 10th three-hit performance. The third baseman, who is on the Golden Spikes watch list, has reached base in 17 consecutive games and posted 34 hits in his last 17 games.
The teams return to action on Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 11 a.m. Vanderbilt will send right-hander Kumar Rocker (6-4, 4.36 ERA) to the mound against lefty TJ Sikkema (6-3, 1.22 ERA). Fans can watch on the SEC Network Plus or listen in via WNSR 560 AM/95.9 FM and VUCommodores.com.