Baseball: Sellout crowd sees Vanderbilt win opener

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Sophomore right fielder Bill Kleinschrodt hit a shot up the middle scoring junior catcher Brian Hernandez for the game-winning run in the eighth inning, leading Vanderbilt to a 4-3 come-from-behind win over VMI in the Commodore season opener in front of an opening-day record sellout crowd at Hawkins Field.

The Commodores scored runs in the third, fourth, fifth and eighth innings after allowing three VMI runs in the second inning. Hernandez reached base on a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior third baseman Tony Mansolino. Sophomore left fielder Aaron Garza grounded out to third base with Hernandez taking third. Kleinschrodt, who entered the game in the sixth inning, hit a shot up the middle on an 0-1 pitch to score the game winner.

Senior right-hander Jeff Sues earned the win going 4.0 innings allowing only three hits and striking out six, including the final batter of the game. Junior left-hander Ryan Mullins started the game and went 5.0 innings giving up three runs on three hits while striking out nine and walking one.

VMI scored all of its runs in the second inning when Stephen Parsons hit a three-run home run. Robert Crumpler reached on a single to right center and Klint Reed doubled down the left field line before before Parsons took a 3-2 pitch from Mullins over the left center field fence.

Down 3-0, junior shortstop Rucker Taylor reached base after being hit by a pitch and moved to second on an Antoan Richardson single (senior centerfielder). Taylor and Richardson both stole bases and Taylor scored on a Warner Jones (junior second baseman) ground out.

Mansolino hit a home run over the left-field wall to narrow VMI's lead to 3-2 in the fourth inning. The Commodores tied the game in the fifth inning on a bases loaded RBI by Hernandez when he reached on a fielder's choice. With one away, Richardson walked and advanced to second on a balk (Acors). Prior to the balk, Richardson was in a run down between first and second bases, but beat the tag sliding safely back to first. He moved to third base after Jones reached on an error by VMI shortstop Matt Smith. Jones moved to second on a wild pitch and Mike Baxter drew a walk to load the bases for Hernandez who hit a shot to the shortstop.

Josh Owens picked up the loss going 3.0 innings giving up one run on three hits and striking out two. Duke Acors started the contest and went 5.0 innings giving up three runs (two earned) on three hits while striking out two and walking four. He also hit two batters.

VMI totaled nine hits in the contest led by Crumpler, Reed and Parsons with two each.

Game Two of the series is Saturday (Feb. 19) at 2 pm CT at Hawkins Field. All tickets in February are $1.

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
VMI................. 030 000 000 -  3  9  2
Vanderbilt.......... 001 110 01X -  4  6  0

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