Murfreesboro, Tenn. - Steven Faulkner threw a 10-inning complete game seven hitter, allowing three earned runs and no walks while striking out a season-high nine batters to lead Vanderbilt to a 4-3, 10-inning win over Middle Tennessee, Tuesday, May 14, at Reese Smith Field. The win improved the Commodores' record to 23-25 while the Blue Raiders fell to 26-25.
Vanderbilt scored an unearned run in the 10th frame off MTSU reliever Marshal Nisbett (0-4) to take the lead. Sean Luellwitz singled to left field to start the inning. Scott Shapiro followed with a single to right field that MTSU's Kris Smith misplayed, allowing Luellwitz to score all the way from first base.
The run was Vanderbilt's fourth in the game's final three innings as the Commodores mounted a late-inning rally to get back in the contest. The Commodores trailed 2-0 after seven innings before Luellwitz hit a one-out solo home run to left field in the eighth to trim the Middle Tennessee lead to 2-1.
Jonathan Douillard gave Vanderbilt the lead in the ninth. Tony Mansolino singled to begin the fame. One out later Worth Scott singled and later advanced to second base on a wild pitch. That brought up Douillard who hit a single through the middle of the infield to score both base runners. Douillard led all Commodore hitters, going 3-for-4 at the plate. Luellwitz and Karl Nonemaker recorded two hits apiece for Vanderbilt.
Faulkner was two outs away from ending the game in the ninth when Chad Cooper hit a solo home run to left-center field to tied the score at 3-3. It was his third long ball of the year.
Faulkner allowed only one hit through the first three innings before Middle Tennessee took a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Justin Sims doubled to right center field and scored when Nisbett singled one out later to center field.
The Blue Raiders looked to have added a key insurance run in the seventh. After Cooper took first base after being hit by an errant Faulkner pitch he scored on a double into the alley in right-center field by Derek Phillips. That gave MTSU a 2-0 lead.
Vanderbilt's Chris Broadus saw his 18-game hit streak come to end after he went 0-for-4 at the plate. The streak was tied for the second-longest current hit streak in the Southeastern Conference with Chad Sterbens of Ole Miss. It ranks as the fourth longest in the league this year.
Vanderbilt travels to Knoxville this weekend for a three-game SEC series with Tennessee. The series opener on Friday begins at 6 p.m. CT. Game two starts at 3 p.m. CT, while the series and Commodore season finale begins at 1 p.m. CT on Sunday.