OXFORD, Miss. — The Vanderbilt offense exploded for a season-high seven home runs en route to a 13-2 victory over No. 18 Ole Miss on Saturday afternoon at Swayze Field. With the win, the Commodores improve to 36-11 on the season, including a 17-8 mark in Southeastern Conference play.
Eight of nine Commodore starters registered at least one hit, as the team tallied the most home runs since registering nine in the 2018 NCAA Regional matchup against Clemson on June 3, 2018.
Making his first start in two weeks, Jack Leiter provided Vanderbilt with a strong outing on the mound. The right-hander worked 6.0 innings of one-run baseball, allowing just two hits and three walks.
Leiter picked up 13 strikeouts on the day, marking the seventh time this season that Leiter has recorded double-digit strikeouts.
Reliever Chris McElvain worked the final three frames to pick up his second save of the season and clinch the series-evening win for Vanderbilt.
The Commodores struck for their first run of the day in the second inning to grab an early 1-0 lead. Isaiah Thomas connected on his 10th homer of the season, including his second of the weekend, with a solo shot to left center to put Vanderbilt in front.
Vandy scored at least one run in the final six innings of the contest, beginning with four runs in the fourth. Carter Young drew a five-pitch walk to begin the frame before Dominic Keegan launched his 10th homer of the season with a two-run shot to left field.
The inning continued as Parker Noland worked a full count before reaching on a walk. One batter later, Spencer Jones registered the inning’s second home run with a two-run shot to right center to push the lead to 5-0.
LaNeve began the Commodore fifth with a leadoff homer to right center, marking his third of the campaign to widen the gap to 6-0.
Vanderbilt added one more in the sixth, as the inning began with a leadoff single from Thomas followed by a fielder’s choice to place runners on first and second. After a sacrifice bunt advanced both runners 90 feet, LaNeve brought one across with an RBI single to right field to increase the lead to 7-0.
Ole Miss broke into the scoring column in the sixth inning. The Rebels loaded the bases with a single and a pair of walks, before a strikeout wild pitch allowed one run to cross and set the score at 7-1.
The Commodores rallied for another four-run frame in the seventh to extend the margin to 11-1. Parker Noland connected on a three-run homer to left center, while LaNeve brought one across on an RBI single up the middle.
Young began the Vanderbilt eighth with a leadoff homer to left field to push the lead to 12-1, before Ole Miss responded with a run of its own in the home half to make it a 12-2 ballgame.
The Commodores scored one more in the ninth, as Thomas notched his second home run of the day with a solo shot to set the score at 13-2, the eventual final.
The two teams return to the diamond tomorrow afternoon for the series finale. First pitch is set for 2 p.m., with action airing live on SEC Network.