Nationally #7th ranked Vanderbilt took the diamond today looking to gain back a win they let go to the Flames on Friday night and did just that defeating the Flames, 6-2.
The Commodores evened up the series at 1-1 behind another strong outing from sophomore pitcher Patrick Raby. The Knoxville native did what he does best and takes controlling the plate and throwing strikes. Raby went 6 innings, striking out 6, walking 2 while allowing 3 hits on 1 unearned run. He was solid yet again and provided the Dores a steady presence on the mound.
The other star of the day for the Commodores was true freshman J.J. Bleday. The Sunshine state native has had a great start to his Vanderbilt career and it continued today going 3-4 from the plate with 2 double's and 3 RBI's.
Bleday started the scoring off for the Dores in the 3rd inning with an RBI single up the middle. Moved up to the second spot in the lineup, Bleday proved worthy today giving the Dores a strong bat at the top and someone able to drive in runs.
Vanderbilt pushed the lead further in the 4th. A double down the right field line from Bleday, took the Commodores lead to 5-0 and that was a big enough cushion for Raby and the Commodores bullpen to handle.
The Flames would load the bases in the 8th inning with the eventual tying run headed to the plate but relief pitcher Reed Hayes shut things down, He would return in the 9th where he slammed the door having the Flames go down 1-2-3 to pick up his first career save.
Vanderbilt and UIC will close out the series tomorrow at Hawkins Field with the first pitch set to be throw at 1 pm Central. The Commodores will send freshman right hander Drake Fellows to the mound while the Flames will throw Reid Birlingmair.