NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A six-run second inning was more than visiting LSU needed Thursday at Hawkins Field where the Tigers took the opener of a three-game series with a 13-2 triumph over Vanderbilt.
Vandy (35-17, 14-14 SEC) trailed 9-0 after 3 1/2 innings and could do little to mount a comeback from there.
The two teams are scheduled to resume the series at 6 p.m. Friday.
On Thursday, Vandy starter Devin Futrell (8-2) ran into serious trouble in the decisive second inning. Jordan Thompson put LSU on the board with a solo home run out to left and then Collier Cranford’s chopper into left field later in the inning made it 2-0.
Dylan Crews followed that with a three-run home run just over the wall in right field. One out later, Futrell’s night was over.
“They just hit the ball hard,” Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin said. “(Futrell) didn’t really manage the zone very well and they were just all over him from the time the game started.
“It was a (butt)-kicking. It happens and we just got rolled really, really good. They hit the ball extremely well the entire night.”
Patrick Reilly entered the fray after Futrell exited and allowed an RBI double before the inning ended. Futrell was charged with five earned runs on five hits and two walks.
Crews began the fourth with a double into the corner in right, scampered to third on a wild pitch and scored on a grounder to second making it 7-0. Later in the inning, Cade Doughty put a two-run home run into the bleachers in left making it 9-0.
The Commodores finally got something going in the fourth when Javier Vaz rolled a lead-off double down the line into right. Tate Kolwyck brought Vaz in later in the inning with a groundout to third.
With one out in the fifth, Jack Bulger reached second on an infield hit and an error. Spencer Jones brought him in with a single up the middle.
Tre Morgan got that run back for LSU with an RBI double in the sixth making it 10-2. Brayden Jobert added a solo shot in the seventh making it 11-2, Doughty homered again in the ninth and another RBI single from Crews that inning provided the final margin.
LSU starter Ma’Khail Hilliard (6-1) allowed two runs – one earned – in 5 1/3 innings and worked around eight hits. The Tigers improved to 35-18 and 15-13 in league play.
Reilly went 5 2/3 innings and was charged with six earned on eight hits. He struck out seven and threw 100 pitches.
- Vanderbilt now trails the all-time series with LSU 59-46.
- The Commodores are five wins away from winning 40 games for the third season in a row (not counting the shortened 2020 campaign) and 12th time in the Tim Corbin Era.
- Vandy is now 2-16 this season when trailing after eight innings, 9-14 when the opponent scores first and 1-10 when scoring three runs or less.
- Vandy is now and 0-8 against the SEC this season when Enrique Bradfield does not score a run.
- LSU’s five home runs was a season-high.
— Chad Bishop covers Vanderbilt for VUCommodores.com.
Follow him @MrChadBishop.