Road Warriors

Commodores sweep doubleheader over Oklahoma State to claim weekend series

Game 1 Box Score | Game 2 Box Score 
The Vanderbilt baseball team used stellar pitching combined with solid offense to claim to a pair of victories over 13th-ranked Oklahoma State in Saturday’s doubleheader at O’Brate Stadium. With the wins, the Commodores improve to 12-1 on the season, and claim the weekend series.

Vanderbilt claimed a 5-0 win in the first matchup of the day, before defeating the Cowboys, 18-4, in the second contest. The series win marks the Commodores’ first series win on the road against a ranked opponent since March 16-18, 2018, when Vanderbilt took the series from then-No. 19 Mississippi State.

“It’s a good step forward, but we’ve got a lot of improving to do,” said head coach Tim Corbin. “It’s just two games. We came into a situation where we had good starting pitching, and we played good ground ball defense. We hit the ball in spots. The 18-4 score is a little bit deceiving. We had a couple big swings with guys on base, but they put a lot of guys on base too. We’ve just got to continue to get better.”

The Commodores combined for 23 runs across the day, outscoring the Cowboys 23-4 over both games. Parker Noland highlighted the offensive effort, finishing 4-for-7 on the afternoon, while Tate Kolwyck drove in a team-high five runs in the twinbill.

The two teams return to the diamond tomorrow afternoon for the series finale. Sunday’s matchup is set for a 1 p.m. first pitch, with the action airing live on ESPN+.

Game 1
The middle innings proved to be the difference in Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader, as Vanderbilt tallied four runs across the third, fourth and fifth innings.

The Commodores jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, using a two-out rally to plate one run in the third. With a runner on first, Carter Young lined a single to left field to place runners on the corners. After Jack Bulger walked to load the bases, Parker Noland drew another walk with nowhere to put them, placing Vanderbilt in scoring column.

Vanderbilt manufactured another run in the fourth to increase its lead. Isaiah Thomas began things with a leadoff single through the left side, before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt. One batter later, Tate Kolwyck sent a RBI double to left center to score Thomas and make it a 2-0 contest.

The Commodore fifth began with a leadoff double from Young, before he advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. One batter later, Noland collected his second RBI of the day with a single to center. Enrique Bradfield Jr. brought across the inning’s second run with another single to center, pushing the lead to 4-0.

Vanderbilt added insurance in the eighth with one more run. Jayson Gonzalez lined a leadoff single through the left side, before advancing all the way to third on a failed pickoff attempt. Two batters later, Jack Bulger sent a sacrifice fly to center field to plate one and set the score at 5-0, the eventual final.

Commodore starter Kumar Rocker (4-0) turned in a spectacular outing, as Vanderbilt picked up its third shutout of the season. Rocker worked a season-high 8.0 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and one walk, while striking out nine batters to earn his fourth win of the season.

Reliever Nick Maldonado worked the final inning, striking out two of the three batters he faced on just 10 total pitches to close out the game.

Game 2
Pitching dominated the early parts of the second matchup, before Vanderbilt struck for four in the top of the fourth to grab the lead.

Parker Noland began things with a leadoff single to center before Isaiah Thomas and Maxwell Romero Jr. drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Tate Kolwyck sent the first pitch of the next at-bat to deep left for his first career grand slam, placing the Commodores in front, 4-0.

Vanderbilt returned to the dish to eight runs across the sixth and seventh innings, highlighted by six runs in the sixth. Carter Young brought the inning’s first run across on a sacrifice fly before Jack Bulger scored two with an RBI single to right center. Thomas capped the frame’s scoring with a three-run shot to left center, marking his second homer of the season.

The Commodores capitalized on a pair of Oklahoma State fielding errors in the seventh, as Enrique Bradfield Jr. and Cooper Davis both came across to score in the frame, pushing Vanderbilt’s lead to 12-0 heading to the stretch.

Oklahoma State used a two-run home run in the seventh inning to break into the scoring column, to make it a 12-2 contest after seven full.

Vanderbilt rallied for another six-run inning in the eighth, extending the margin to 18-2. The freshman duo of Jack O’Dowd and Calvin Hewett each recorded RBI doubles, while sophomore Troy LaNeve connected on his first career home run with a three-run shot to left field.

Starter Jack Leiter (4-0) turned in a solid outing, picking up his fourth win of the season. Leiter worked 5.0 scoreless frames, allowing two hits and three walks, while striking out seven batters.

The trio of Sam Hliboki, Hunter Owen and Donye Evans combined to work the final 4.0 innings, as Evans made his collegiate debut.