VU hit barrage buries Samford, 8-0

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt scored six runs in the first two innings and five pitchers combined for a three-hit shutout as the Commodores defeated Samford, 8-0, in rainy conditions at Charles Hawkins Field Wednesday night. Vanderbilt improved to 34-14 overall and 24-5 at home, while Samford moved to 18-29.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt scored six runs in the first two innings and five pitchers combined for a three-hit shutout, as the Commodores defeated Samford, 8-0, in rainy conditions at Charles Hawkins Field Wednesday night.

Vanderbilt improved to 34-14 overall and 24-5 at home, while Samford moved to 18-29.

Sophomore Jeff Sues (4-0) earned the win after he struck out two and didn't allow a hit in the first two innings. Freshmen Michael Wagner, Tyler Rhoden and Stephen Shao worked two innings apiece and combined for eight strikeouts and no walks before giving way to junior Ryan Rote, who struck out two in the ninth.

As a staff, Vanderbilt struck out 12 Bulldogs and walked just one.

Commodore right fielder Bill Kleinschrodt made his ninth start of the season and went 4-for-5 with two RBI and a triple. Second baseman Warner Jones and first baseman Cesar Nicolas combined for four hits and two home runs.

Vanderbilt finished with a season-high 16 hits as they held the Bulldogs scoreless for the first time in 27 games. The shutout was the seventh of the season for the Commodores – their most since recording seven in 1985.

"What I liked about the performance was we were aggressive with the bats early and our pitchers threw a lot of strikes which forced them to put the ball in play," head coach Tim Corbin said. "With Sues, then Wagner, Rhoden and Shao-– those are three pretty good freshmen with good outings-– and then Rote finished it up nicely. The game looks simple sometimes when you throw a lot of strikes."

The Commodores opened their half of the first inning with four runs. Ryan Klosterman led off with a walk and advanced to third on a hit-and-run single from Mike Baxter. Jones then hit an 0-2 pitch over the left field wall giving Vanderbilt a 3-0 lead. After Nicolas struck out, Kleinschrodt hit a single up the middle. He then stole second and moved to third on an error by catcher Eric Hollis. Kleinschrodt scored when Tony Mansolino hit a single to right center field. Matt Zeller hit a single. Mike Neimkin came in relief of Parker Gargis for the Bulldogs and retired the next two batters to end the inning.

VU added two runs in the second inning. Baxter reached on a single and moved to second on a hit by Jones. Kleinschrodt collected his second RBI on the season when his hit to right field scored Baxter. Jones then scored when Mansolino hit a single over the shortstop.

Nicolas hit his 11th home run of the season when his solo shot with one away went over the left field wall. Kleinschrodt then hit his third single of the game to the gap in left center field and moved to third on a single by Zeller. Lee Brady came in relief of Mike Neimkin and forced Matt McGraner to fly out to right field.

With one away in the eighth inning, Jones reached base on a single and then scored when Kleinschrodt hit his first career triple.

"I am just so happy for him (Kleinschrodt)," Corbin said. "He hasn't had many opportunities thus far. He has a chance to be a really good player and hopefully this will provide him some confidence. He swung the bat early, made some things happen and when he gets the ball in play you can see he has some pretty good wheels."

Parker Gargis (0-7) suffered his seventh loss of the season as he failed to retire the side in the first. He allowed four runs on five hits.

Vanderbilt returns to action this weekend when it travels to Baton Rouge, La., for a three-game SEC series at No. 5 LSU. Friday's game will begin at 6:30 p.m., Saturday's at 2 p.m. and Sunday's at 1 p.m.


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