Vanderbilt's struggles early on in the 2017 season continued on Friday as they dropped their third series opener this season with a 6-4 loss to Cal-State Northridge.
Junior 3rd baseman Will Toffey got things going for Vanderbilt in the bottom of the 1st nailing a fastball over the right field wall for his 1st home run of the season and his 1st home run in two years.
An early 2-0 lead would not last as the Matadors would even things up in the 3rd at 2-2 behind help from the Commodores defense. Errors have become an issue early this season and they remained a factor on Friday night.
Starting pitcher Kyle Wright pitched five innings of less than stellar pitching. He struck out eight batters but allowed three earned runs on six hits while walking two. The Matadors three run fifth inning chased Wright from the game and it was now up to the Dores bullpen and hitters to get back within striking distance.
Vanderbilt would continue to get runners on base but could only push across two more runs. The Commodores had a very hard time pushing runners across home plate with people in scoring position. The Matadors pitching staff, led by starter Andrew Weston (added his 2nd win of the year) along with their bullpen, did a solid job of managing the Vanderbilt hitters and not allowing them to score. Vanderbilt had eleven hits on the night but could not bring anyone in.
Sophomore Julian Infante remains hot as he went 3-5 on the night along with one RBI. The Florida native has swung a good stick so far this year and is giving the Dores a strong presence from the middle of their lineup.
The Commodores need more help at the plate as they return to the field today at 4 pm Central, in Game 2 of their home series against Cal-State Northridge.
Knoxville native Patrick Raby takes the mound in his 3rd start of the season. The sophomore right hander has been the top pitcher on staff for Vanderbilt so far this season as he sports a 2-0 record with an ERA of 0.00