After giving up seventeen runs in the 1st two games, Vanderbilt and starting pitcher Drake Fellows held the Wildcat hitters in check and received some offense to help defeat Kentucky, 6-4.
It was a close game throughout with Vanderbilt trailing going into the 6th inning. The Commodores would tie the game at 2-2 but still needed someone to step up and change the game with one swing of the bat.
They received just that in 7th inning. With the game tied at 2-2, 1st baseman Julian Infante led the inning off with a single and gave the Dores a lead-off runner. Junior Will Toffey capitalized on the very next at bat. The hot hitting 3rd baseman launched the ball over the center field wall for his 5th home run of the season and to put the Commodores ahead at 4-2.
Freshman Harrison Ray legged a would be double-play to score designated hitter Reed Hayes from 3rd base to bring the score now to 5-2. Kentucky would inch closer the very next inning when Riley Mahan hit his 2nd home run of the day. The Wildcats are a pesky, solid ball hitting club who never seemed to go away. They were able to chase starting pitcher Fellows out of the game in the 4th inning and worked the Commodores bullpen enough to bring the score to 5-4.
Well the game would be put away in the 9th when Infante launched his 5th home run of the season out to center field and push the score back up to 6-4. He would receive backup in the bottom of the inning from part time closer Matt Ruppenthal. The Michigan native closed down the 9th to pick up his 4th save of the season and give the Commodores a two run victory.
It was a must need win for Vanderbilt, after losing twice to Kentucky already and dipping the SEC record under the .500 mark. Sophomore Maddux Conger picked up the win out of the bullpen for the Dores.
Toffey matched his career high of four hits in one run while also driving in three runs. His hot hitting at the plate and the emergence of Jeren Kendall is big for Vanderbilt and could help the team improve as a whole.
Vanderbilt will back out on the diamond this Tuesday night, at home against UT Martin. The Skyhawks and Commodores will meet at Hawkins Field with the first pitch set for 6:30 pm Central. The game will be aired on the SEC Network Plus.