Trailing 7-1 headed into the bottom of the fifth inning, Vanderbilt put together a seven fun frame that pushed them ahead and held strong through the back stretch for 9-8 and series opening win over St. Mary's.
The Commodores loaded the bases in the 5th with two outs with J.J. Bleday coming to the plate. The freshman right fielder blasted a ball off the 1st baseman that founds it's way into open space and allowed two runners to score.
Cut to a four run lead, Vanderbilt inched closer after the Gaels went to the bullpen and proceeded to walk in two more runs. St. Mary's struggled with their bullpen and Vanderbilt took advantage. The Dores went ahead for good when sophomore 1st baseman Julian Infante launced a gap and bases clearing double off the wall and the push the score out to 8-7.
St. Mary's would bounce back the very next inning, thanks in help from the Commodores defense that created multiple errors. A double by the Gaels, then a bouncer over the pitcher's mound, made the game tied yet again.
Vanderbilt took the lead for good after Bleday delivered again in the 8th inning, bouncing a ball high in the infield to bring in Reed Hayes and give the Commodores a 9-8 lead.
The Dores would now call upon Matthew Ruppenthal to close things out but he did have some troubles in both the 8th and 9th innings. Ruppenthal walked the leadoff hitter in both innings but managed well by striking out a few hitters and keeping the Gaels from crossing home plate. A fly ball to right field in the 9th inning would do it for the Commodores as Ruppenthal added his 2nd save of the season while Vanderbilt its self added their 4th win in a row and 10th win of the season.
Junior pitcher Collin Snider picked up the win out of the bullpen, while only pitching one inning. He relieved Commodores starter Kyle Wright, who yet again struggled in his start and had to be taken out of the game earlier than usual.
Wright gave up five runs, through four innings of work while striking out seven hitters and allowing ten hits overall. His command was not on point and his fastball was very hittable. Wright has struggled so far this season but his talent is too strong to stay dormant. His teammates did a great job of picking up his slack and finding a way to win.
Both Bleday and Infante led the team with three RBI's a piece. Junior star Jeren Kendall went 1-3 on the night but produced two RBi's while walking twice.
Vanderbilt and St. Mary's go after Game two today with the first pitch set for 1 pm Central. Sophomore right hander Patrick Raby is set to take the mound for the Commodores.