NASHVILLE – Louisville capitalized on early walks and pushed across five runs in the first two innings to defeat No. 23 Vanderbilt, 8-4 to capture its third-straight Battle of the Barrel on Tuesday night at Hawkins Field.
The Cardinals (30-14) scored four times in the second while chasing Vanderbilt starter Jake Eder from the game. UL loaded the bases, going ahead 3-0 on a sacrifice fly before cleanup hitter Logan Wyatt punched a two-out, two-run double down the right-field line.
Vandy (25-19) trimmed the deficit to four in the fifth inning on a two-out double by Ethan Paul to plate Alonzo Jones who reached on a fielder’s choice. The Commodores left a pair in scoring position, however, as Louisville starter Reid Detmers induced a fly out to right.
UL added a single run in the fifth and did so again in the seventh as a two-out roper off the bat of Danny Oriente slipped between a converging Jones and Pat DeMarco in right center before rolling to the wall for an RBI-triple.
The two teams exchanged runs in the eighth as the Cardinals scored one on an infield single from Jake Snider. The Dores put the first two aboard in the home half as Paul walked and Clarke sent a single through the right side to set up a fielder’s choice groundout from DeMarco.
Eder (1-4) lasted just 1.1 innings, allowing a season-high five walks alongside two hits while striking out one in the loss. The freshman retired just four of 11 batters he faced while throwing 47 pitches including 20 for strikes.
Commodore reliever Justin Willis limited UL to one run despite four hits in 3.2 innings. The right-hander was the first of five relievers out of the pen for Vanderbilt. Reid Schaller, Aaron Brown, Paxton Stover and Maddux Conger all worked an inning.
Stephen Scott entered as a pinch-hitter in the ninth and tagged a two-run home run to right field for his ninth career long ball, cutting the deficit to 8-4. The homer scored pinch-hitter Walker Grisanti who reached on a four-pitch walk to begin the inning.
Making his fourth start, Detmers (3-1) scattered four hits in 5.1 innings while permitting one run and three walks alongside five punch outs for the win.
Six different Commodores recorded one hit including Scott who went 1-for-1 with a two-run homer. Paul finished 1-for-2 with an RBI, run and pair of walks. DeMarco reached base twice and went 0-for-3 while Jones was 1-for-3 with a run.
The Cardinals totaled 11 hits including a pair from Oriente who finished 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs. The top-six in the Louisville order finished 7-for-19 and accounted for all six RBIs. Leadoff batter Tyler Fitzgerald reached base three times and scored as many runs.
The Commodores will play six of their next seven on the road beginning Friday with the series opener at Auburn. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday’s middle game is scheduled for 2 p.m. and Sunday’s finale will get underway at 1 p.m.
— vucommodores.com —