Commodores Defeat Central Michigan
19-2 and Jacksonville 5-2 (11 Innings) Wednesday; Will
Face Michigan State Thursday at 5 p.m. ET
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Cesar Nicolas’ leadoff
home run to left field and
Rucker Taylor’s bases-loaded two-RBI single down
the third-base line sparked
a three-run 11th inning as Vanderbilt (8-5) topped Jacksonville,
5-2 Wednesday, March 5, at Brest Stadium. The win was
the Commodores’ second of the day coming after
Vanderbilt’s 19-2 pounding of Central Michigan
earlier in the afternoon at Harmon Stadium at the University
In the late game, the Commodores rallied from a 2-0
deficit in the top of
the fourth inning to tie the score. Tony Mansolino’s
two-RBI double to
left-center field scored Ryan Klosterman and Nicolas.
Vanderbilt starter Ryan Mullins took control from
there, retiring 10
consecutive batters from the third through sixth innings
while allowing only
one JU runner into scoring position in his final five
innings of work.
Mullins did not factor into the decision, but struck
out seven Dolphin
batters and walked none while scattering seven hits
in eight innings of
Matt Buschmann (1-1) was the pitcher of record. He
pitched 2.1 innings
before running into trouble in the bottom of the 11th
inning. H was relieved
by Jensen Lewis, who pitched out of a bases-loaded one-out
pinch hitter Joe Steward to strike out and Larry Best-Berfet
to hit into
game-ending fielder’s choice putout at second
Josh Deel (1-2) took the loss for Jacksonville, who
falls to 5-7 on the
Earlier in the day, Jeff Sues struck out a career-high
12 batters over
eight innings and Matt McGraner and Ryan Klosterman
had four hits apiece as
Vanderbilt pounded out a season high 19 runs and 22
hits in defeating
Central Michigan, 19-2.
In the longest outing of his career, Sues (3-0) scattered
seven hits and
walked two in eight innings of work. The two earned
runs he surrendered came
on a two-run home run by Chase Welker in the bottom
of the third inning.
Sues then settled down and did not allow another CMU
batter as far as second
base the rest of game. Blake Owen came on in relief
in the ninth and walked
one and struck out one.
Eight Commodores registered at least two hits, led
by McGraner’s and
Klosterman’s four-hit performances. McGraner led
all VU hitters with five
RBI. Worth Scott went 2-for-4 with a triple, three RBI
and four runs scored.
Warner Jones hit his first collegiate home run, a two-run
blast over the
left-field wall that scored McGraner in the seventh.
Vanderbilt jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second
inning off CMU starter
J.T. Johnson (0-2). The biggest hit came from Matt Zeller,
who knocked a
two-RBI single to center field to plate McGraner and
Rucker Taylor. The Commodores built an 8-2 lead after
six innings only to score 11 more
runs in the final three innings. VU scored four runs
in the seventh on a RBI
triple by Scott, a RBI single by McGraner and a two-run
homer by Jones. After a RBI single by McGraner in the
eighth, VU added six more runs in the
ninth off CMU reliever Jeff Opalewski. Cesar Nicolas
hit a two-RBI single to
center field and later scored on a bases-load walk forced
by Scott. McGraner
followed with a bases-loaded RBI single to left field.
Gil Kim came to the
plate next and was hit by a pitch to plate Zach Simpson.
John Kaye then
singled to right field to score Scott.
Vanderbilt also announced a change in its schedule
later this week. Due to
the forecast for inclement weather on Friday, the Vanderbilt-Michigan
game has been moved to Thursday, March 6, at 5 p.m.
at Harmon Stadium at the University of North Florida.