Walk-Off in Extras

Vandy beats Tennessee Tech in 11th inning

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt’s RJ Austin was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th to bring home the winning run in an 8-7 victory over Tennessee Tech on Tuesday night at Hawkins Field.

In a back-and-forth battle, the Golden Eagles built a five-run lead before the Commodores battled back to take a one-run lead in the seventh inning. Tennessee Tech tied the game in the ninth before Vandy’s walk-off win in the 11th.

The Golden Eagles tallied a pair of hits in the top of the first to take a 1-0 lead. A three-run homer in the top of the fifth by Austin Turner made it 4-0.

The Dores threatened in the bottom of the fifth with a double by Jonathan Vastine, his 15th on the season, to put runners on second and third with two outs. Vandy got on the board on a throwing error that allowed Braden Holcomb to score from third.

The Golden Eagles answered with two more runs on a bases-loaded double in the top of the sixth to go up 6-1.

Holcomb reached third on a three-base error on a fly ball to right field to leadoff the bottom of the seventh and came home to score on a single by Jack Bulger. Bulger moved up to second on a sac bunt by Vastine and Diaz worked a walk to put two on with one out.

RJ Austin then smashed a three-run home run to center field that initially was ruled a double, but after review pulled Vandy to within a run at 6-5.

The inning continued with Vanderbilt loading the bases on a walk, single and hit-by-pitch. Pinch hitter Colin Barczi hit a grounder to the shortstop who touched second for one out but overthrew first base as Alan Espinal scored from third to tie the game and Troy LaNeve scored from second to give Vanderbilt its first lead of the game at 7-6.

The Golden Eagles pulled even with a solo homer in the top of the ninth and Vanderbilt went to extra innings for the first time this season.

In the bottom of the 11th, Bulger worked a leadoff walk. Vastine single and Diaz laid down a perfect bunt to load the bases with no outs. Austin was then hit by a pitch to score Bulger and end the game.

With the 8-7 win, Vanderbilt improves to 32-13 this season. The Dores return to SEC play this weekend with three games at Georgia beginning Friday.