NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Evansville jumped out to earn early lead with six runs in the first two innings and held off No. 4 Vanderbilt to top the Commodores 8-3 Wednesday night at Hawkins Field.
The Purple Aces (4-3) wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, putting three runs on the board in the first inning off Vanderbilt (7-2) starter T.J. Pecoraro. The right-hander hit the leadoff batter, walked the second batter and allowed a single to Kyle Pollock to load the bases for Kevin Kaczmarski. The Aces' center fielder then laced a triple into the right-center field gap to clear the bases and give Evansville a lead they would not relinquish. The Aces added to the lead in the second with back-to-back hits before Josh Jyawook lined a two-run single up the middle. After a walk put runners on first and second, freshman John Kilichowski entered from the VU bullpen and issued two more walks to force in the third run of the inning. But the freshman lefty bounced back, getting a groundout and two strikeouts to end the threat.
Kilichowski kept the Commodores in the game during the next five innings as the lefty kept the Aces off balance and off the scoreboard. Kilichowski retired 11 in a row until a walk in the fifth snapped the streak but he responded with his sixth strikeout of the game to end the inning. For the night he allowed only one hit with three walks and seven strikeouts over 5.2 innings.
Vanderbilt's offensive struggles continued Wednesday night as the Commodores left eight men in scoring position in the loss. The Dores climbed back into the game in the third on a two-run double off the bat of freshman Nolan Rogers. But the Commodores could not come up with the big hit the rest of the night leaving a runner on third in the fourth and fifth innings, followed by leaving runners on second and third in the sixth and finally the bases loaded in the seventh.
Freshman Bryan Reynolds led the way for the Dores with a pair of hits, including his fourth double of the season. Dansby Swanson extended his hitting streak to all nine games of 2014 with a solid single through the left side in the third inning before coming around to score. Jake Mahon led Evansville with two hits and three runs scored.
Pecoraro took the loss for Vandy allowing six runs on six hits during 1.1 innings. Aces' starter Matt Rodgers picked up the win with two innings of perfect work and was the first of eight Evansville pitchers in the game.