COLUMBIA, S.C. – Starting pitcher Patrick Raby became Vanderbilt’s all-time career wins leader and right fielder JJ Bleday reset the program’s single-season home run mark as the No. 4 Commodores capped a three-game sweep of South Carolina with a 6-2 seven-inning victory Sunday at Founders Park.
Raby (8-1) retired the first 12 batters he faced and did not allow a base hit until the fifth while moving out of a tie with Jeff Peeples (1970-73) with his program-best 30th career victory. The right-hander tossed 5.2 innings, allowing five hits and two runs (none earned) while fanning four and walking one.
Bleday launched his 23rd homer of the season, moving into sole possession of first in program history. The junior entered the day tied with Pedro Alvarez, who swatted 22 in 2006. One batter later, Ethan Paul deposited a 3-2 pitch over the right-field fence.
The victory was Vanderbilt’s (38-9, 18-6 SEC) 11th consecutive and marked the Commodores first three-game sweep at South Carolina (24-23, 5-19 SEC) in program history. Vandy has swept three league series for the first time in a season since 2016.
Pat DeMarco highlighted a four-run second inning, lining a two-run homer run off the railing in left field. The Commodores chased starter Cam Tringali (2-3), putting four consecutive aboard with two outs including a two-run single into right center by Paul.
The Gamecocks scratched two across in the fifth, taking advantage of a Commodore error while recording four hits. Andrew Eyster added an RBI-single and Wes Clarke beat out an infield grounder to score another before Raby induced a pop out to leave the bases loaded.
The Commodores look for their 10th consecutive midweek victory on Tuesday when they visit No. 7 Louisville. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT on ESPNU. Fans can also tune in to WNSR 560 AM/95.9 FM and VUCommodores.com.