CLEMSON, S.C. - Drake Fellows was superb and the offense provided just enough as No. 2 seed Vanderbilt defeated No. 3 St. John's, 2-0, in the NCAA Clemson Regional opener on Friday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The win was the Commodores' (32-25) eighth in the last nine NCAA Tournament openers. Vandy will face the winner of No. 1 seed Clemson and No. 4 seed Morehead State on Saturday at 6 p.m. CT.
For a second-straight outing, Fellows (7-4) permitted just three hits, this time doing so as part of seven scoreless innings. The right-hander fanned five of the final six batters he faced before Reid Schaller and Chandler Day tossed the final two frames.
Vanderbilt jumped ahead 1-0 in the first inning as Philip Clarke (2-for-3) lofted a two-out double into shallow left field to plate Austin Martin (1-for-4), who reached on a leadoff single.
Jayson Gonzalez (2-for-3) belted a two-out, solo home run into right field, extending the lead to 2-0. The homer was his fifth of the season and first since April 3 at Middle Tennessee.
Fellows stranded two St. John's runners in the fourth and did so again in the sixth. The right-hander struck out the side in the seventh after the Red Storm put men aboard in three-straight innings.
St. John's (39-16) threatened again in the eighth, putting two in scoring position against Schaller before the flame-thrower, who touched 98 miles-per-hour, left the tying run at second.
The Commodores totaled eight hits, including five off Red Storm starter Sean Mooney (11-3) who permitted three walks and two earned runs while striking out four in 5.2 innings.
Day secured his third save, allowing just one hit in the ninth, while locking up Vandy's 13th victory in 17 NCAA Tournament first-round games all-time. St. John's Josh Shaw led the way for the Red Storm, accounting for two of the squad's five hits.