Flames surprise Vanderbilt with win in extra innings

The VandyBoys had their struggles yet again with an opposing team's Friday night starter as their bats started slow and remained that way throughout the game. Vanderbilt was able to tie the game late and take things into extra innings but the bullpen allowed runs at critical moments and the Dores would eventually drop Game 1 to the Flames, 5-3.

Vanderbilt took an early lead in the bottom of the 1st inning after a home run from All-American candidate outfielder Jeren Kendall but the Flames would bounce right back with a home run of their own to tie the game at 1-1. 

A pitcher's duel would then take over as both the Commodores and Flames starting pitchers would settle down after giving up early home runs. Vanderbilt Friday night starter Kyle Wright had a pretty solid outing. The Junior right hander would throw 6 innings giving up the lone earned run while striking out 7 and walking nobody. 

He was replaced by fellow junior pitcher Collin Snider in the 6th and the game would remain tied until the Flames busted the game open in the 8th inning where they pushed across two runs to take a 3-1 lead. 

Vanderbilt didn't let that lead stay for long as they came back in the bottom of the 8th inning to bring the game to being tied. A blast down the right field line, into the corner by freshman outfielder J.J. Bleday, tied the game at 3-3 with confidence sitting on the side of the Commodores. 

Two innings went by with no runs and the game would go into extra innings. It didn't take long for the Flames to get over on Snider once again. The Murfreesboro native struggled on Friday night in general but especially in the 10th inning. 

He walked the lead off batter and a bad throw to 1st base after a bunt would put runners on the corners for UIC and they would cash in on the very next batter. 

Senior outfielder Brandon Gibis nailed a Snider fastball off the green monster in left that would clear the bases and give the Flames a 5-3 lead headed into the bottom of the 10th inning. 

Vanderbilt's bats stayed dormant as the Flames put down the Dores with ease and would come away with a road win in the series opener. The Vanderbilt batters struggled on Friday and striking out has already began to become a small issue. 

The Commodore hitters had more strikeouts at 10 then they did in overall hits with 8. Several players had multiple strikeouts last night and have shown so far this year that plate discipline is lacking. 

Vanderbilt and Illinois-Chicago continue their series today with the first pitch expected to take place at Noon Central. Sophomore starting pitcher Patrick Raby is expected to take the mound today for the Commodores. 

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