NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The No. 3 Vanderbilt Commodores used back-to-back doubles in the sixth inning and strong pitching to edge No. 8 Stanford in the opening game of a Top 10 showdown Friday night at Hawkins Field.
With the score tied 1-1 in the sixth inning Curt Casali and Anthony Gomez each delivered two-out doubles with Gomez’s double driving in Casali to give the Commodores the lead. The VU bullpen did the rest turning in three scoreless innings to seal the victory and send the Dores to 6-0 on the year. Jason Esposito put the Commodores on the board in the first inning with a RBI-single that knocked in Mike Yastrzemski. Gomez, Casali and Connor Harrell led Vanderbilt with two hits apiece. Jake Stewart paced the Cardinal offense with two hits.
Commodores’ starter Sonny Gray emerged with the win tossing six strong innings. The right-hander allowed one run when he walked in the tying run in the second inning but did not allow a hit over his final four frames. Gray scattered three hits, walked four and fanned six in his second win of the year. Navery Moore pitched around a single in the ninth to notch his first career save. Stanford ace Mark Appel was the tough-luck loser in the pitcher’s duel, giving up two runs on seven hits across six innings.
The two teams play the second game of the series tomorrow afternoon at Hawkins Field with first pitch slated for 2 p.m. Taylor Hill gets the nod for the home team against Cardinal right-hander Dean McArdle.