NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Vanderbilt baseball team fell, 12-4, to No. 21 Texas A&M on Saturday afternoon at Hawkins Field.
The Aggies scored five in the second and three in the eighth to earn the series-clinching win in the finale. Ryan Targac and Troy Claunch went a combined 7-for-10 and drove in 10 RBIs for Texas A&M.
Vanderbilt fell to 29-13 and 10-11 in league play. The Commodores are scheduled to host Louisville (30-12) at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
“Not considering anything right now,” Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin said after the game about giving consideration to making some changes to the lineup. “I got some sorting out to do and we’ll just figure out what’s best for our team.”
Dylan Rock drew a one-out walk in the first inning as a sign of things to come Saturday. After Rock stole second and after a strikeout, Austin Bost reached on an infield single to put runners at the corners with two outs.
A walk to Brett Minnich to load the bases brought up Claunch who drove a 2-2 pitch into right-center giving the Aggies a 2-0 lead.
Vandy responded in the bottom half with a two-out RBI single into left off the bat of Dominic Keegan. Calvin Hewett stepped into the box and planted the first pitch he saw into the seats in left making it 3-2.
That lead didn’t last long as Jack Moss ripped a two-out RBI single to center in the second tying the game at 3-all. Bost drove an RBI single to left right after to give A&M the lead back at 4-3.
Claunch drove home two more with a single to center. That made it 6-3 and chased Vandy starter Bryce Cunningham from the game with two outs in the second.
Nick Maldonado came on in relief and gave up an RBI single to Targac making it 7-3.
Targac came up with one on and none out in the fifth and crushed a two-run shot out to right-center making it 9-3.
The Commodores were quiet offensively until the sixth when Tate Kolwyck plated a run with a chopper to shortstop making it 9-4 – but then the Dores left the bases loaded to end that inning.
Targac tacked on some insurance in the eighth with a mammoth, three-run shot over the batter’s eye in center making it 12-4 and providing the final margin.
Cunningham (2-1) allowed seven earned runs in 1 2/3 innings. He allowed six hits, walked four and threw 56 pitches – 30 for strikes.
“A lot of traffic, getting behind,” Corbin said. “All their runs were scored with two outs. So we couldn’t stop them.”
Maldonado lasted 3 1/3 innings and allowed two earned runs and three hits. He struck out five.
Texas A&M reliever Joseph Menefee (2-2) went 5 1/3 innings and allowed just one earned run on two hits and three walks. He struck out nine.
The Aggies, who are now 13-9 all-time against Vanderbilt, improved to 27-15 overall and 12-9 in league play.
- The Commodores are now 2-5 in SEC series finales, 7-9 when the opponent scores first, 22-6 when hitting a home run and 1-11 when trailing after eight innings.
- The 12 runs scored by Texas A&M on Saturday was the second-most the Aggies had ever scored against Vanderbilt (13; May 27, 2016).
- Vanderbilt is one win shy of 18 straight 30-win seasons (not including the shortened 2020 campaign).
- The Commodores (10-11 in league play) last had a losing record in SEC play in 2009.
- Vandy is now 9-4 in league play when Bradfield scores at least one run.
- Bradfield is 28-for-28 in stolen base attempts this season and has 75 career stolen bases.
- Vanderbilt right fielder Spencer Jones has a 14-game hitting streak.
— Chad Bishop covers Vanderbilt for VUCommodores.com.
Follow him @MrChadBishop.