No. 12 Vandy upsets No. 2 Arkansas in comeback fashion
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt scored eight runs in the eighth inning to overcome a six-run deficit Friday night as the 12th-ranked Commodores evened the series against No. 2 Arkansas with a 10-8 win at Hawkins Field.
Troy LaNeve highlighted his Senior Day with a three-run blast in the bottom of the eighth to give Vanderbilt the 10-8 advantage after the Commodores had trailed all night long.
Vanderbilt trailed 8-2 entering the eighth inning before pushing across eight runs on five hits, two walks and a hit-by-pitch. The six-run comeback is the largest for Vandy since an eight-run rally against Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament in 2019.
Vanderbilt fell behind early as the Razorbacks plated three runs in the top of the first.
The Commodores entered the scoring column in the bottom of the third as another senior, T.J. McKenzie, hit his first home run on the season, a solo shot to left field. Enrique Bradfield Jr. followed with an opposite field home run himself as the Commodores went back-to-back for the fifth time this season.
Arkansas went on top 4-2 with a run in the fourth and used a three-run homer in the top of the sixth to lead 8-2.
The Commodores started off the eight-run eighth with an infield single by RJ Austin. Jonathan Vastine followed with a walk and McKenzie reached on a bunt single to load the bases with nobody out.
A sac fly by Bradfield scored Austin and Diaz loaded the bases again with a single to right. RJ Schreck was hit by a pitch to bring home Vastine and cut Arkansas' lead to four. Parker Noland then worked a walk to bring in another run and keep the bases full.
Jack Bulger made it a one-run ballgame with a rope to left field that scored Diaz and Schreck and brought LaNeve to the plate with a pair on and one out. LaNeve, making his first start on the season, sent the first pitch he saw 415 feet to left-center to complete the comeback and put the Dores in front 10-8.
It was LaNeve's first home run since April 9, 2022.
Senior Nick Maldonado (S, 7), who also was honored for Senior Day on Friday, took the mound in the ninth and slammed the door with the assistance of a home run robbery in center field by Bradfield.
Bryce Cunningham was credited with the win to improve to 2-2 on the season. Cunningham allowed one run on one hit over two frames. Vandy starting pitcher Devin Futrell struck out eight batters over six innings of work and walked just one.
Vanderbilt (36-17, 18-11 SEC) goes for the series win against Arkansas (39-14, 20-9 SEC) at 2 p.m. Saturday on SECN+.