Series Finale Goes to Gonzaga

Vanderbilt hosts Indiana State on Tuesday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt and Gonzaga traded big innings Sunday in the series finale with the Bulldogs coming out in front, 9-8, to avoid the sweep.

Gonzaga scored the game’s first run on a groundout in the first inning but Vanderbilt responded in a big way in the bottom of the second.

The Commodores put six runs on the board in the second off five hits, including four doubles.

Troy LaNeve led off the frame with a double to right-center and Davis Diaz followed with a shallow double down the line in right field, putting runners on second and third with no outs. Braden Holcomb worked a walk to load the bases and Vandy got on the board as Jonathan Vastine drew a second walk to bring home LaNeve from third.

Jack Bulger then lined a double to the wall in left-center, scoring Holcomb and Diaz. RJ Austin knocked in the fourth run in the inning on a sac fly and Camden Kozeal grounded out, allowing Calvin Hewett, who came in to pinch run for Bulger, to touch home and make it 5-1, Vanderbilt.

After Alan Espinal singled with two outs, the Dores added another run on another double, this time off the bat of Jayden Davis. Espinal came all the way around to score from first to put Vandy in front 6-1 after two innings. Five of Davis’ first nine hits as a Commodore have been doubles.

Vanderbilt tacked on a run in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single from LaNeve that scored Espinal who had reached base on a walk.

Gonzaga took advantage of a pair of defensive miscues by the Commodores in the top of the seventh. The Bulldogs scored eight runs on five hits, including a grand slam, to take a 9-7 lead. Five of Gonzaga’s runs in the inning were unearned.

Vanderbilt pulled within one in the bottom of the ninth but was unable to tally a second consecutive walk-off.

Espinal went 2-for-3 with two walks and scored three times. LaNeve and Bulger each drove in a pair of runs.

Devin Futrell turned in a strong performance on the mound for the Dores, limiting the Bulldogs to one run on three hits over five innings.

Miller Green held Gonzaga scoreless over the final 2.2 innings. The freshman struck out three and didn’t give up a walk or hit.

The Commodores fall to 5-3 on the season and will host Indiana State on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. followed by Evansville on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at Hawkins Field.