NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The second-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores erupted offensively in the late innings, putting up crooked numbers on the scoreboard in three consecutive frames beginning in the sixth to race past Central Arkansas 10-2 on Tuesday night at Hawkins Field.
Isaiah Thomas began the home half of the sixth with an infield single to short and Parker Noland followed with a walk. After a pair of strikeouts, Cooper Davis and Tate Kolwyck delivered infield RBI-singles, respectively.
The Commodore outfielders showed off their wheels, specifically on Davis’ infield single back to the pitcher as the Mississauga, Ontario, native beat the throw to first and Thomas sprinted home from second.
The offense continued the attack in the seventh by bringing three more runs across home plate. Ty Duvall reached base for the third time after being hit by a pitch to lead off the frame. A ringing one-out double off the left field wall by Thomas set up a sacrifice fly from Noland to bring home Duvall.
Senior Harrison Ray kept the scoring going with a sharply hit RBI-single into left to put the Dores up 7-2.
Vanderbilt (11-3) capped the scoring with three more runs on four hits in the eighth. Carter Young and Davis led off the inning with back-to-back singles before Kolwyck set a new career high with two RBIs with a run-scoring double.
Duvall finished the offensive onslaught with a two-run single into left-center field.
The Lebanon, Ohio, native reached base four times in the game on two hits, a walk and a hit by pitch. The senior also collected his fourth multi-RBI game and sixth multi-hit game of the season.
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— Vanderbilt Baseball (@VandyBoys) March 4, 2020
Central Arkansas (5-7) was the first to strike, plating two runs in the second inning. Commodore starter Ethan Smith struggled early surrendering a pair of walks before the Bears struck with a two-out two-run double down the left field line and into the Vanderbilt bullpen.
The Commodores were quick to respond knotting things up at two in the bottom half of the frame. Duvall started the inning with a lead-off walk and advanced to third on a single from CJ Rodriguez. Thomas brought home Duvall by grounding into a double play.
After a set of two-out walks by Noland and Ray, respectively, Young tied the game with an RBI-single to left.
Freshman Michael Doolin (1-0) entered in the third to replace Smith on the mound. The right-hander dealt two scoreless innings while striking out five.
The Schererville, Indiana, product, who secured his first win, has recorded 17 punchouts in 9.1 innings across four appearances.
Meanwhile, the Commodore offense gave Vanderbilt its first lead in the third and the team didn’t look back. Austin Martin roped a lead-off double to left center before Rodriguez and Thomas were each hit by a pitch, respectively, with two out to load the bases.
Noland then worked the base loaded walk to score Martin and take the 3-2 lead.
Davis, Martin and Ray have reached base in every game this season, extending their on-base streaks to 14 consecutive.
Vanderbilt went back to the bullpen to finish off the Bears with an abundance of young right-handed relievers. Jack Leiter dealt a scoreless fifth followed by two scoreless innings from fellow-freshman Nick Maldonado.
Redshirt freshman Luke Murphy dealt an empty frame in the eighth before giving way to another freshman arm in Chris McElvain to close out the game in the ninth.
The Commodores now head west for three games in southern California beginning at 8 p.m. CT Friday at No. 6 UCLA. Vanderbilt will take on USC at 4 p.m. CT Saturday and No. 22 TCU at noon CT Sunday.