Vanderbilt came out quickly on Tuesday night establishing themselves as the superior team against MTSU as they pounded away on the Blue Raiders pitching staff and continued to do so on their way to a 17-7 win.
The Commodores defeated MTSU earlier this season in Murfreesboro 21-2 and it must be something about hitting against the Blue Raiders pitching staff because on Tuesday night, Vanderbilt felt comfortable from the moment they stepped into the batter's box.
3rd baseman Will Toffey began the offensive onslaught on the very 1st pitch he saw in the bottom of the 1st inning. The junior left handed hitter belted his 7th home run of the season over the right field wall to give Vanderbilt a 1-0 lead. The game busted wide open in the 4th inning when the Commodores put a five spot on the board.
Things were spearheaded by All-American candidate Jeren Kendall who blasted his team leading 14th home run of the year and push the Commodores score out to 3-1. Ethan Paul and catcher Jason Delay both had doubles in the 4th that pushed across runs, giving Vanderbilt a 6-1 lead headed into the 5th.
The offensive onslaught continued from there. Four runs were pushed across in the 6th, behind Connor Kaiser's RBI double. Vanderbilt would continue to chip away at the Blue Raiders pitching staff, eventually putting up 17 runs on 17 hits. Nine total Commodore hitters produced a hit on Tuesday night with Toffey, Kendall, Kaiser, Delay, J.J. Bleday and Ro Coleman all having two hits a piece.
Besides having a stellar night at the plate, Vanderbilt also received a good starting performance from Matt Ruppenthal. The junior right hander showed poise on Tuesday night and basically keeping things simple on the mound while his offense exploded with runs. Ruppenthal went six innings on the night picking up his 2nd win of the season. He did allow one earned run but only on five hits while striking out six and walking two. It was a solid performance for Ruppenthal and hopefully one that helps give him confidence going forward.
MTSU did chip away with runs throughout the game but their pitching couldn't slow down the Vanderbilt hitting attack. The Commodores have scored a grand total of 37 runs this season in the two meetings with the Blue Raiders and both performances easily could be seen as two of the best hitting displays this year by VandyBoys.
Vanderbilt remains at home this week, finishing off the regular season against incoming SEC foe Alabama. The Crimson Tide comes to Nashville as the last place team in the SEC, so they will be looking to play spoiler. Game one is set for Thursday evening with the first pitch being thrown at 6:30 pm Central and will be aired on the SEC Network Plus.