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Commodores take two of three against the Toreros

Top 10 nationally ranked Vanderbilt opened their 2017 season on Thursday with a loss to San Diego, 3-2. After having a to wait a few days to close out the series due to weather, Vanderbilt came back strong to win games two and three and take the series from the Toreros.

Vanderbilt and San Diego had to wait a day and half before getting back on the diamond but for the Commodores, the wait was well worth it. 

Head coach Tim Corbin and his Commodores had to finish off Game 2 after having it suspended due to weather. Vanderbilt had an 8-2 lead going into the Top of the 7th and that's all they needed as they quickly put down the Toreros to even up the series at one a piece. 

Game three featured freshman right handed pitcher Drake Fellows making his first career start in his college debut. The Illinois native didn't disappoint as he mowed down the San Diego lineup easily through the first two innings. He ran into a little trouble in the 3rd but showed his abilities by striking out the side and continuing his masterful debut on the mound.

Fellows was helped by the offense as the Commodores opened things up in the 2nd inning with a two run double from first baseman Julian Infante but things really got going in the 4th inning where Vanderbilt exploded and took the game over. 

Vanderbilt loaded the bases and had two runs score of a two RBI single to right field by designated hitter Ethan Paul. Doubling the score to 4-0, Vanderbilt continued to drive in runs,

Freshman outfielder J.J. Bleday roped a liner into left center to double in two more runs and push the lead out to 6-0. The game was completely in hand for Vanderbilt by the sixth when the Dores capped a four run inning to create a new score of 8-0.

The lead was helped by the stick of catcher Jason Delay. The senior hit his one of two double's in the sixth and started the rally that was capped off by All-American candidate Jeren Kendall with his second triple of the weekend. 

That was more than enough cushion for Fellows as he pitched six scoreless innings giving up only two hits with five strikeout's. It might be too early to call but Fellow's debut performance might have locked down the Commodores third man in the starting rotation. 

The freshman would give way to the bullpen did a solid job of closing things out while the offense chipped in another three runs to close out the game 11-1. After losing game one, Vanderbilt came back strong with good starting pitching and an offense that exploded for a grand total of 21 runs. 

Winning the series against a solid San Diego baseball team is a good start for the Dores. Their opportunity to play in a different surrounding out west as well as getting the chance to see some new players receive game time, is priceless. Also winning while doing it is even better. 

Vanderbilt returns back home this week beginning with a game at Hawkins Field on Wednesday, starting at 4 pm Central against the Evansville Aces. The Commodores remain at home for a three game series, beginning on Friday versus Illinois-Chicago. 

Quick Hits

Sophomore Julian Infante went 5-10 on the weekend with 1 home run, 1 double, 5 RBI's and no strikeouts

- Outfield Jeren Kendall had 5 hits and two triple's along with 2 RBI's but also had 5 strikeouts at the plate.

- Freshman J.J. Bleday had a solid debut going 3 for 9 with one double and 3 RBI's.

- Pitchers Patrick Raby and Drake Fellows pitched a combined 11 innings this weekend giving up no runs, walking four hitters and striking out a total of nine. 

- The pitching staff as a whole gave up five earned runs with a combined ERA of 1.73. 

- Besides Chandler Day giving up two earned runs in less than an inning pitched, the rest of the bullpen pitched a total of 10 innings giving no runs, walking one hitter and striking out 15 men. 


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