Vanderbilt starting pitcher Taylor Hill fired a complete game, holding the Tigers scoreless through the first eight innings to lead the 18th-ranked Commodores to a 6-2 victory over No.15 LSU Saturday night in Alex Box Stadium.
The Tigers (34-13, 12-11) committed four errors in the game, resulting in four unearned runs for Vanderbilt (33-14, 11-10). The series finale between LSU and Vanderbilt will be Sunday at 1 p.m. in Alex Box Stadium. The game will be televised by Cox Sports Television (Cox channel 37).
Junior right-hander Austin Ross will start on the mound for the Tigers Sunday while Vanderbilt will counter with sophomore right-hander Jack Armstrong.
Hill (5-3) threw nine innings Saturday, allowing only two runs on seven hits with one walk and eight strikeouts. LSU starter Jordan Rittiner (4-3) was charged with loss despite allowing only one earned run in 6.1 innings of work. The freshman lefty allowed eight hits with a walk and six strikeouts.
“We got ourselves in an early hole, and it’s tough to come back against a pitcher like that with the wind blowing in,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “You have to give credit to (Hill); he threw a great game and we really never generated anything against him.”
Vanderbilt scored first as the Commodores took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when first baseman Aaron Westlake singled home Brian Harris, who was hit by a pitch to lead off the game. Jason Esposito advanced to second on Westlake’s single and scored after a Gibbs throw-down to third got passed Grant Dozar, allowing Esposito to score and give Vanderbilt a 2-0 lead. Dozar was charged with an error on the play.
The Commodores plated another run in the third to make the score 3-0 when Harris reached first on an error at third by Dozar, allowing Joe Loftus to score.
Westlake extended Vanderbilt’s lead in the fifth with an RBI single to make the score 4-0. With the bases loaded later in the inning, catcher Andrew Giobbi hit into a fielder’s choice, but allowed the run to score from third to increase the lead to 5-0.
Vanderbilt added another run in the ninth inning when Giobbi drove in a run with a single through the right side to make the score 6-0 in favor of the Commodores.
The Tigers finally got on the board with two outs in the ninth when third baseman Wet Delatte singled up the middle to score Alex Edward and Leon Landry to make the score 6-2.
Shortstop Austin Nola extended his hitting streak to 12 straight games with a single in the eighth, and Micah Gibbs collected two hits Saturday to lead the LSU offense.