TALKING STICK, Ariz. - Vanderbilt pounded out runs in its first four innings including plating eight in the fourth to race past Virginia, 15-9 in the season opener on Friday night at the MLB4 Collegiate Baseball Tournament from Salt River Fields.
The scoring output was Vanderbilt's (1-0) most on opening day since plating 19 runs in 1973 against Austin Peay. Vandy collected 17 hits from eight different players while 10 Commodores reached base in the rematch of the 2014 and 2015 College World Series Finals.
The two squads exchanged two runs a piece across the first two innings until the top-ranked Commodores plated the next nine. Vanderbilt shortstop Ethan Paul (3-for-4) finished a triple shy of the cycle and second baseman Austin Martin (3-for-3) scored four runs while finishing a home run shy of the cycle.
Paul clubbed his 20th collegiate home run, putting Vanderbilt ahead 5-4 in the third. An inning later, the Commodores sent 11 batters to the plate while totaling seven hits. Martin began the onslaught with a triple and added an RBI-double for the inning's seventh run.
Philip Clarke (2-for-6) produced three RBIs in the first two innings, providing cushion for starter Drake Fellows (1-0) who permitted five runs and as many hits while striking out five and walking three. Virginia (0-1) starter Griff McGarry (0-1) lasted just three innings, allowing five runs and six hits.
The Cavaliers used a two-out, three-run double from leadoff batter Zack Gelof to trim their deficit to five runs in the fifth. The freshman finished 4-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs.
Vanderbilt reliever Zach King picked up his first save of the season, permitting four hits and one run while striking out three and walking another in four innings.