Vandy offense stays hot to clinch series vs. MS State
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Vanderbilt clinched the series at Mississippi State with an 18-5 win Saturday at Dude Noble Field.
The Commodores totaled 16 hits including four home runs and every starter in the lineup recorded at least one base knock.
Enrique Bradfield Jr. scored four times on a 3-for-4 day with a home run and three RBIs. Davis Diaz also homered and drove in a team-high four runs.
The Commodores used a nine-run ninth inning to pull away from the Bulldogs late.
Mississippi State hit a leadoff double to setup a run-scoring single to go in front 1-0 in the bottom of the second and end Hunter Owen's scoreless streak at 16.1 innings.
Parker Noland hit his third home run on the weekend to even the score at 1-1 in the top of the fourth. Noland pulled a ball 430 feet to right field for his 18th career home run.
Bradfield, who also homered Friday, gave Vanderbilt its first lead with a two-run shot to right in the top of the fifth.
Jonathan Vastine worked a walk to lead off the inning before Bradfield got ahold of one for his third home run on the season, giving the Dores a 3-1 advantage.
The slugfest continued in the sixth as RJ Austin beat out an infield single to bring Chris Maldonado to the plate. Maldonado drove a ball over the fence in left-center for the Commodores' third home run of the game, putting Vandy on top 5-1.
Noland kept the inning going with a double to the wall in left and Bradfield added to his RBI total with a single to score Noland.
The Dores weren't done yet in the sixth. Bradfield stole second base and Davis Diaz launched a two-run homer down the line in left to make it an 8-1 game.
The Bulldogs cut into Vandy's lead with a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh, but Vanderbilt added one back on an error in the top of the eighth to lead 9-4.
Mississippi State scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth to once again trim Vanderbilt's lead to four at 9-5 but the Dores put a nine-spot on the scoreboard in the top of the ninth to pull away.
The top of the ninth started with a leadoff double by Jack Bulger and a single by Austin. The Bulldogs intentionally walked Noland to load the bases and Calvin Hewitt was hit by a pitch to bring home Vanderbilt's 10th run of the game. Jonathan Vastine then singled to right to bring in two more runs and put runners on the corners with one out.
Diaz singled home two more runs and Schreck kept the inning going with an RBI single to center to make it 15-5. Bulger then recorded his second hit of the frame with a RBI single to center, scoring Diaz.
Austin and Maldonado worked back-to-back walks to bring home another run and Noland hit into a fielder's choice to put Vandy in front 18-5.
The Commodores have 36 hits, including nine home runs, and 44 runs on the weekend. Vanderbilt is outscoring its opponents 71-12 through the first five SEC contests this season.
Owen (W, 3-0) went seven innings en route to his third win on the season. Ryan Ginther, Nick Maldonado and Thomas Schultz worked the final two innings.
Vanderbilt (18-5, 4-0 SEC) and Mississippi State (14-10, 0-5 SEC) will meet at 1 p.m. Sunday for the series finale on SEC Network+.