BATON ROUGE, La. – The Vanderbilt baseball team used early offense to cruise to an 11-2 victory over LSU on Friday night at Alex Box Stadium.
With the win, the top-ranked Commodores claimed the series and moved to 22-3 on the season including a 7-1 mark in Southeastern Conference play.
The Commodores jumped out to an early lead to gain the momentum which would carry them to their 14th consecutive conference road win. Eight of nine starters reached base safely for Vanderbilt as the team scored more than 10 runs for the third consecutive contest.
Starter Jack Leiter was impressive once again, picking up his seventh win of the season to improve to 7-0. Leiter worked six innings allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits while issuing three walks and striking out 12 batters.
The right-hander did not allow a hit through four innings before LSU broke into the hit column with a lead-off single in the fifth to end Leiter’s hit streak at 20.2 innings.
Reliever Nick Maldonado notched his second save of the season with a three-inning effort. Maldonado held the Tigers to just one hit across his three frames while walking one and striking out four.
Vanderbilt struck first in Friday’s matchup by plating five runs in the second. With one down in the frame, Spencer Jones lined a single to center before Cooper Davis reached on a fielding error by the LSU first baseman. After Jayson Gonzalez drew a five-pitch walk, Enrique Bradfield Jr. scored two with a double to center to put the Commodores in the scoring column.
In the next at-bat, Carter Young registered his sixth home run of the season with a no-doubt three-run shot to left field to put Vanderbilt ahead 5-0.
The Commodores added two more in the fifth to extend their lead. CJ Rodriguez began the sequence by reaching on a one-out single. Two batters later, Jack Bulger connected on his second home run of the campaign with a two-run shot to left center to push the margin to 7-0.
LSU broke into the scoring column in the bottom of the fifth. The Tigers used a pair of singles combined with a Commodore fielding error to place runners on second and third with one down. A RBI groundout in the next at-bat brought one run across for the Tigers resulting in a 7-1 score after six full.
The two teams also traded runs in the sixth with one run apiece in each half. Young plated a run in the top half with a RBI triple down the right field line while the Tigers used a solo home run in the home half to make it an 8-2 contest.
Vanderbilt added cushion with three runs in the seventh. Parker Noland lined a double to left center before Bulger reached on a five-pitch walk to place runners on first and second. In the next at-bat, Jones collected his third hit of the night with a RBI single up the middle to score one.
Gonzalez brought across the final two runs of the frame with a RBI triple to set the score at 11-2, the eventual final.
Jones led the offensive effort for Vandy finishing with a career-high four hits and two runs scored. The trio of Bradfield Jr., Young, and Noland each contributed multi-hit outings while Young registered a team-high four RBIs.
The two teams return to the diamond Saturday afternoon for the series finale. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. with action airing live on SEC Network+.