AUBURN, Ala. – Early offense proved to be the difference on Sunday afternoon, as the Vanderbilt baseball team fell, 8-2, to Auburn at Plainsman Park. With the loss, the Commodores move to 22-9 on the season, including a 5-7 mark in SEC play.
Auburn scored in each of the first three innings of the contest to gain the early advantage. The Commodores put up single tallies in the second and third, but were unable to come back from the early deficit as the Tigers held on for the win to claim the series.
Vanderbilt starter Patrick Reilly (2-2) suffered the loss, marking his second on the season. The sophomore right-hander lasted 2.0 innings, allowing six earned runs on six hits, while walking three and striking out one.
Hunter Owen was the first arm of the Vandy bullpen. The sophomore southpaw worked 4.0 innings, yielding two runs on four hits while recording three punchouts. The sophomore duo of Donye Evans and Christian Little worked 1.0 scoreless inning each to cover the final two frames of the ballgame.
Auburn struck first for the third consecutive game, plating two runs in the first. With one down in the inning, a hit-by-pitch followed by an RBI double to left center gave the Tigers their first run on the day. The frame continued with back-to-back singles, resulting in another run scored for Auburn to put them ahead, 2-0, after one inning of action.
Vanderbilt responded with one run in the next frame to cut the deficit in half. With one out, Jack Bulger reached on a three-base error by the Tiger center fielder before Javier Vaz put Vandy in the scoring column with a sacrifice fly to left field, making it a 2-1 contest.
Auburn used a three-run homer in the second to push its lead to 5-1, but the Commodores got one run back in the third. Davis Diaz reached on a two-out single to shallow right field before Spencer Jones picked up his 13th double on the year with a rope down the right field line to score Diaz and bring the score to 5-2.
The Tigers plated two in the third to make it a 7-2 ballgame. The inning began with a walk followed by a single to left field to place runners on first and second with nobody out. One batter later, an errant throw by the Vandy third baseman allowed one run to cross. Auburn scored its second run of the inning on an RBI double down the right field line to increase its lead to five.
Auburn added insurance with one run in the sixth, as the Tigers used a solo home run to set the score at 8-2, the eventual final.
Vanderbilt will return to action on Tuesday, welcoming Western Kentucky to Hawkins Field. The two teams are set for a 6 p.m. first pitch, with action airing live on SEC Network+.