Season Comes to a Close

Vanderbilt falls 10-9

CLEMSON, S.C. – Vanderbilt rallied from a four-run deficit in the eighth inning Saturday against High Point, but the Panthers hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth to win 10-9 and eliminate the Commodores from the NCAA Tournament.

The Commodores jumped out to a 5-0 lead before High Point scored nine unanswered runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Vandy rallied in the eighth to tie but the Panthers plated the winning run in the ninth.

RJ Austin went 5-for-5 with three RBI to pace the Vandy offense. Colin Barczi homered as part of a 2-for-4 game and Jayden Davis collected two hits as well.

Austin singled to lead off the game and moved to second on a one-out walk to Alan Espinal. A double steal put the pair in scoring position and Austin came home on an error for the game’s first run.

The Dores added on in the top of the fourth. Davis reached on a leadoff single and Barczi followed with his second career home run, a 426-foot blast to left-center to give Vanderbilt a 3-0 lead.

The inning continued with Calvin Hewett knocking a two-out single. Hewett stole second and scored on a single by Austin to put the Dores up by four.

Braden Holcomb doubled with one out in the top of the fifth. Davis brought Holcomb around to score on a single through the right side as Vandy took a 5-0 lead.

High Point broke through in the bottom of the sixth and tied the game with a five-run inning, capped by a three-run home run.

Vandy starting pitcher Bryce Cunningham had cruised through the first five innings, holding High Point scoreless with just two hits until the sixth inning.

The Panthers went in front with a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh. Another two-run single gave High Point a 9-5 advantage. Ryan Ginther got back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning with the bases loaded.

Vanderbilt roared back with a four-run frame in the top of the eighth to pull even at 9-9.

Davis worked a leadoff walk before Barczi and Troy LaNeve hit back-to-back singles to load the bases. Davis came home on a fielder’s choice by Davis Diaz who picked up the RBI. Austin collected his fifth hit of the game on a single to plate two more runs and bring the Dores to within a run.

Vandy pulled even with an RBI single by Jack Bulger as Diaz touched home. Vandy pushed four runs across on four hits in the inning.

Carter Holton took over on the mound to start the bottom of the eighth. High Point put runners on second and third with one out, but Holton kept the game tied with back-to-back strikeouts.

High Point again got a runner in scoring position in the ninth and this time capitalized, scoring the game-winning run on a single to end the Dores’ season.

Vanderbilt finishes the 2024 campaign with a 38-23 record after reaching its 18th consecutive NCAA Tournament, the longest active streak in Division I.