Owen Helps Dores Even Series

Hunter Owen throws seven strong in 4-1 win

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Vanderbilt evened the series at Alabama on Friday night with a 4-1 win at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Hunter Owen (W, 4-0) carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning and held Alabama to just one run on two hits with nine strikeouts and zero walks through seven frames.

Friday night’s outing was Owen’s third quality start this season and his third time turning in seven or more innings of work.

Like Game 1 on Thursday, Vanderbilt took an early 1-0 lead in Game 2 on Friday thanks to a solo homer. This time it was Parker Noland who hit his eighth home run on the season with a line drive down the line in right that curled just inside the foul pole in the top of the second inning.

The Commodores pushed a second run across in the third. Alan Espinal worked a leadoff walk and Enrique Bradfield Jr. singled to put runners on first and second. Davis Diaz then lined a RBI double down the third base line to score Espinal and make it 2-0.

Vanderbilt doubled its lead to 4-0 with a pair of sac flies in the top of the fifth. Espinal singled to get things going and Bradfield doubled to center to put runners on second and third with nobody out. A Diaz sac fly scored Espinal and allowed Bradfield to move up to third. RJ Schreck then collected his team-leading 52nd RBI with a sac fly to score Bradfield.

Alabama ended Owen’s shutout bid with a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the sixth, cutting Vandy’s lead to 4-1.

Ryan Ginther relieved Owen in the eighth and tossed a scoreless frame. Nick Maldonado (S, 6) closed the door in the ninth with a 1-2-3 inning to earn his 15th career save.

Vanderbilt (34-12, 17-6 SEC) and Alabama (31-16, 10-13 SEC) will meet in the series finale at 2 p.m. Saturday on SECN+.