No. 1 Baseball Edges Illinois-Chicago, 2-1

NASHVILLE, Tenn. Junior lefthander David Price struck out 16 in a four-hit complete game effort to lead Vanderbilt to a 2-1 win over Illinois-Chicago Friday night at Hawkins Field.

Designated hitter Mike Kaffel staked UIC to a 1-0 lead in the second with a solo homer to right-center.

That was all the Flames would get as Price was on fire himself, retiring the next 12 batters, seven via strikeout. The string was broken in the sixth when he walked Chad Schroeder with one out in the inning. He then retired the next seven in order, five by strikeout.

The Commodores (16-0), who fell behind for the 10th time in 16 games, rallied right back in the bottom of the second. Shea Robin singled to left-center with one out and scored on a RBI double by Alex Feinberg.

Dominic de la Osa put the Dores on top in the third with a solo homer to left, his third of the season, to make it 2-1.

UIC (4-6) mounted one final comeback in the ninth as Nick Rainwater hit a bunt single in between third and the pitcher. Chad Schroeder then flied out to right on a fake bunt and swing play. Jake Carr then singled to third base, putting the go ahead run at first. The Flames attempted a double steal, but Robin gunned down Carr at second for the second out of the inning. Price then recorded his 16th strikeout against Larry Gemp, Jr. to end the game.

Price (4-0) walked one and now has 304 strikeouts in his career. It was his second straight complete game effort as he accomplished the feat against Xavier a week ago, and earned National Pitcher of the Week plaudits by Collegiate Baseball. The 16 strikeouts were one off his career mark of 17 set against Arkansas last year.

“The story of the game was David Price,” said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin. “It almost matched the performance he had against Arkansas last year. I thought the first inning was the best inning he had thrown all year and then he just repeated it. He just commanded the strike zone, he pitched well with his breaking ball, and when the game got down to the end you could feel he toughened as the offense struggled to score a bit.”

Vanderbilt recorded 12 hits on the day, with Alex Feinberg leading the way with a career-high four hits. Dominic de la Osa had three hits and Shea Robin added two to help lead the way.

UIC starter Zach Peterson (0-2) scattered 10 hits over seven innings in the losing effort. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter.

The Commodores and Flames will play the second game of the three game set tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. Sophomore Nick Christiani (3-0, 2.70 ERA) will take the mound for VU, while UIC will counter with righthander Ryan Zink (0-0, 7.36 ERA).

Illinois-Chicago 010 000 000 – 1 4 1
Vanderbilt 011 000 00x – 2 12 0

Peterson, Weldon (8), Skinner (8), Davis (8) and Schaeffer, Whinery. Price and Robin. W- Price 4-0. L- Peterson 0-2. Sv- None. HRs: UIC: Kaffel (1), VU: de la Osa (3).