Vanderbilt (30-20/13-12) starting pitcher Kyle Wright has been excellent over the past month and on Saturday, he continued his dominating stretch on the mound as he pitched seven scoreless innings, striking out eleven and picking up a victory in the Commodores 6-2 win over Arkansas.
Wright is already considered one of the best starting pitchers in the country and you could easily say he is pitching his best ball of his career at this current time. Against the Hogs, the 6'4 right hander dominated the Arkansas (36-14/15-10) batters and had them off balance the entire game. His control and command of his pitches were on mark and he continues to put together good performance after good performance, giving his team a chance to win every time he is on the mound.
Over the past four games, Wright has struck out 51 batters over 39.1 innings of work. The Commodores appear to have their ace back in the rotation but their offense hasn't been up to task when it comes to supporting Wright on the mound. Saturday was a different story as the Vanderbilt offense put up a total of 6 runs on 12 hits with two of those hits coming from the long ball.
The game remained scoreless until the 5th inning where lead-off hitter and 3rd baseman Will Toffey launched his 6th home run of the year, over the right field wall and put the Commodores on the scoreboard first.
Vanderbilt broke the game wide open in the 7th. Back to back singles from Ro Coleman and Jeren Kendall started things off and was proceeded by a three run home run off the bat of 1st baseman Julian Infante. The right-handed sophomore launched his 10th home run of the season over the left center field wall while also driving in three runs giving him 55 RBI's for the season. Holding a 4-0 lead, Vanderbilt felt comfortable enough to pull Wright, after seven outstanding innings and go with freshman Drake Fellows. It was now up to the bullpen to hold things together and pull away with the win.
Fellows pitched a scoreless 8th and did allow two earned runs in the 9th but overall, it was a solid outing from the freshman as he tries to bounce back from a mid-season slump that saw him go from the starting rotation and into the bullpen.
VandyBoys catcher Jason Delay added insurance runs in the top of the 9th with his two out, two run single. Six runs in total proved to be enough for Vanderbilt as they evened the series with Arkansas with both teams looking to game three for the series win.
Arkansas is set to throw Dominic Taccolini as the Commodores will go with sophomore right hander Chandler Day. The Ohio native has been good for the Commodores this season as he is tied with Patrick Raby for the team lead in wins at eight.