Kentucky (19-7, 4-3 SEC) notched its fourth win of the season over a team ranked in the top five, including two last week against No. 1 South Carolina and one earlier this year against No. 1 Virginia.
To do so, the Wildcats had to beat an elite pitcher, Vandy All-American right-hander Tyler Beede.
Cody needed just nine pitches to dispatch of the Commodores, getting some help from Gold Glove centerfielder Austin Cousino with a great catch on a potential hit for the first out of the inning. Shortstop Matt Reida fielded two hard-hit balls at shortstop for the final two outs.
"As big as anything, we wanted the ball (defensively) in the ninth inning and that was very evident," UK head coach Gary Henderson said. "The two plays that Matt Reida made at shortstop were tremendous plays. (First baseman Thomas) Bernal made two plays in the eighth. Then the catch that Cousino made, that's a SportsCenter catch. A tremendous catch."
A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Reed (5-1) worked eight strong innings, allowing nine hits and two runs, walking one and striking out seven. It marked his sixth consecutive quality start of the season and the 15th of his career.
In three starts against top five teams this season (No. 1 Virginia, No. 1 South Carolina and No. 5 Vandy) Reed has a 3-0 record and a 2.57 ERA.
The Cats collected four runs on 11 hits against Vanderbilt, the NCAA leader in fewest hits allowed per nine innings. UK got a three-hit game from Cousino and two-hit performances from Reed, Reida and Max Kuhn. Bernal and JaVon Shelby each added singles.
Beede (4-3) worked five-plus innings, allowing five hits and three runs, walking three and striking out four. With two runners on and no outs in the sixth, Vanderbilt turned to freshman star Hayden Stone, who entered the appearance with just one earned run allowed in 19.2 innings. He worked four innings to finish the game, allowing six hits and one run, walking one and striking out six.
UK and Vanderbilt (21-7, 3-4 SEC) will resume the series on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET at Charles Hawkins Field.