The best offensive performance of the season was displayed by Vanderbilt on Wednesday night in their 17-11 win over Belmont, downtown inside First Tennessee Ballpark.
The Commodores came ready to hit but it took a few innings for things to get going. Belmont held a 3-1 lead headed into the 4th inning. That's where Vanderbilt began to explode at the plate. They would go on to match a season best seven runs in one inning, spearheaded by designated hitter Reed Hayes. He started the scoring by knocking in two runs of his two RBI single to left.
3rd baseman Will Toffey backed up Hayes with an inside the park home run that was blasted to right field and bounced off the wall after Bruins outfielder Brennan Washington crashed into it. He ended up being ok but Toffey's 3rd home run of the season opened the game up tremendously. Vanderbilt would tack on two more runs in the 4th and then proceed to put up five more runs in the 5th inning to push the score out to 12-4.
Things became interesting again in the 6th inning when Belmont pushed across seven runs of their own, with all runs coming on two outs. The Bruins were a pesky and gritty team on Wednesday that refused to give in and you admire that. Belmont may not be as deep as Vanderbilt but they have a talented ball club.
After the Bruins put the game to within one score, Vanderbilt bounced back and took control of the game. The Commodores scored five more runs over the next three innings led by a two run home run from Dores 1st baseman Julian Infante. It was his 3rd long ball of the season and on the evening, Infante went 4-5 with 3 RBI's.
Infante had a stellar night at the plate but the game ball had to go to Toffery. The junior had an all-star type of night going 4-5 at the plate with a career best six RBI's in one game Both Infante and Toffey have been the Commodores most consistent hitters this season and really seem to be swinging the bat quite well right now.
Sophomore Chandler Day picked up the win for Vanderbilt. He is now 3-0 on the season and has gotten better in each start.
Vanderbilt's offense put up a season best 17 hits on the night along with 17 runs with 12 walks and only 8 strikeouts. The Commodores had an aggressive approach at the plate and hopefully it remains that way as they head into their home SEC series this weekend against Texas A&M.
The three game set gets started Friday night with the first pitch set for 6:30 pm Central. Junior Kyle Wright will take the mound for Vanderbilt, looking for his first win of the season.