Offense Sputters

Commodores two-hit in 2-1 loss at Southern Cal

LOS ANGELES – The second-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores could not get into a rhythm offensively Saturday, producing just two hits – including a lead-off home run from Tate Kolwyck – in a 2-1 loss to Southern Cal at Dedeaux Field.

USC (9-4) capitalized on consecutive Jake Eder free passes in the seventh. Then, with the bases loaded, reliever Tyler Brown struck out one before Clay Owens lined a two-out single off the heel of Brown and into foul ground to put the Trojans ahead for good.

Kolwyck smacked the first pitch of the game over the wall in left center for his first career home run – but the Commodores put just four runners on after that against USC starter John Beller (3-0). The southpaw struck out seven in eight-plus frames before exiting in the ninth for closer Ben Wagner who secured his third save.

Trailing by one in the ninth, lead-off batter Carter Young reached on an error to chase Beller. Pinch-hitter Cooper Davis moved Young over to second on a sac bunt. The freshman took third on an Isaiah Thomas groundout before being stranded there on a game-ending strikeout.

Vanderbilt starter Jake Eder (1-1) worked around baserunners throughout the day, allowing seven hits and two runs alongside three walks while striking out eight across six innings. The junior permitted three consecutive singles to open third – including an RBI-double from Ben Ramirez – before striking out the next two batters and inducing an inning-ending groundout to keep the game deadlocked at 1-1.

The result marked the fourth one-run loss for the Commodores (11-5) who look to salvage the West Coast finale at noon CT Sunday against No. 22 TCU from Dedeaux Field. The matchup can be heard on WNSR 560 AM/95.9 FM and the TuneIn app.