NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt starter Patrick Raby matched the program record with his 29th career victory and the No. 5 Commodores scored five runs in the first three innings, capping a three-game sweep of No. 25 Auburn with a 9-5 win on Saturday at Hawkins Field.
Vandy equaled a season high with its seventh-consecutive victory and has won sixth-straight SEC games for the first time since April 26-May 4, 2014. The Commodores (34-9, 15-6 SEC) are 9-0 against Auburn, Belmont, Florida, Lipscomb and Middle Tennessee after going 1-9 against the opponents a season ago.
Raby (7-1), who matched Jeff Peeples (1970-73) for career wins, allowed just five hits and one run while striking out eight and walking four in 6.1 innings. The senior lowered his ERA to 2.77 and has allowed one or no runs in seven of his 11 starts.
JJ Bleday tied the national lead for home runs, belting his 21st of the season to provide the Commodores a 2-1 advantage. The junior, who has totaled 15 homers in his last 20 games, is one shy of matching Pedro Alvarez’s program record of 22 set in 2006.
The Commodores padded their lead with three runs in the seventh. Pat DeMarco registered an RBI-single before Ty Duvall and Isaiah Thomas connected on consecutive run-scoring doubles. Vanderbilt leadoff batters reached in six innings and the Commodores batted .364 (8-of-22) with runners aboard.
DeMarco (4-for-5) and Harrison Ray (3-for-4) set new career highs for hits. Vanderbilt’s three-through-seven batters each logged double-digit hits. The Commodores batted .402 in the series and scored 26 runs behind 41 hits, including 14 of the extra-base variety.
Auburn starter Brooks Fuller (2-2) lasted just 1.2 innings, permitting four hits and four runs (two earned) while walking a pair and striking out one. Rankin Woley connected on a three-run home run as the Tigers (27-17, 10-11 SEC) cut their deficit to three with four runs in the eighth.
The Commodores cap their four-game homestand on Tuesday, hosting Tennessee Tech at 6:30 p.m. The contest can be seen on the SEC Network Plus with Kevin Ingram and Andrew Harris on the call. The first 1,000 fans through the gate receive a Walker Buehler bobblehead.