Baseball: Vanderbilt 1, Arkansas 0

Nashville, Tenn. (VUAD)– For the second time in three games, No. 5 Vanderbilt walked off with a winning hit against Arkansas claiming a 1-0 victory on Sunday at Hawkins Field to complete the series sweep.

Vanderbilt (16-4, 3-0) and Arkansas (9-8, 0-3) battled to a scoreless tie going into the bottom of the ninth when the Commodores’ offense used a spark from a Jason Delay leadoff double. A sacrifice bunt from Jeren Kendall moved Delay over to third and sent the Razorbacks to the bullpen for Lance Phillips. The right-hander issued a pair of intentional walks to load the bases and set up a potential double play for the Hogs. Dansby Swanson instead played the hero for the home team, delivering a walk-off single up the middle on a 2-2 pitch to give the Dores their second walk-off win of the weekend and fifth of the season.

The Commodores survived Arkansas starter Trey Killian, who tossed seven perfect innings before departing due to a pitch count. The right-hander is coming back from elbow soreness. Vandy finally broke up the perfect game in the eighth when Bryan Reynolds legged out an infield single.

While Killian was dealing so was VU starter Jordan Sheffield, making his first career weekend start. Sheffield pitched around trouble in the first inning, ending the frame with a strikeout to start a string of five straight retired and nine of the next 10. The redshirt freshman dodged a final blow in his final inning in the seventh when he got a double play to end the inning to get out of a two on, one out jam. Philip Pfeifer finished off the Dores’ fifth shutout of the season but not without drama. The first batter the lefty faced reached on an error and after a walk and an infield single the Razorbacks had the bases loaded with one out. Rhett Wiseman came up huge, making a catch in right field then gunning down the go-ahead run at the plate. Pfiefer worked a clean ninth and picked up his second win out of the VU bullpen after Swanson’s heroics in the bottom of the inning.

The two teams combined for six hits in the pitchers’ duel with each team collecting three apiece. Rhett Wiseman’s 13-game hitting streak came to an end with a 0-for-3 performance but the junior hit .526 in the Dores’ five games during the week.

Josh Alberius took the loss for Arkansas allowing the winning run to reach base before Phillips allowed Swanson’s walk-off single.

Vanderbilt returns to action Tuesday night against Tennessee Tech at 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network+.



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