Vanderbilt pounds WKU, 15-1

NASHVILLE ­­--- Vanderbilt pounded four homers, two coming off of the bat of Pedro Alvarez, en route to a 15-1 win over Western Kentucky Tuesday night at Hawkins Field.

The Commodores avenged a 6-4 loss to the Hilltoppers two weeks ago to improve to 22-11 on the year, while WKU fell to 14-14.

Alvarez opened the floodgates in the first with a mammoth solo shot over the batters eye in centerfield. Ryan Flaherty added a RBI single in the frame to make it 2-0.

That would be all Tyler Rhoden would need as he went a career-long 6.2 innings in his first start of the season. He gave up one unearned run on five hits while striking out five to move to 1-0 on the year.

"I felt good out there today," said Rhoden. "I just wanted to go out there and throw strikes and obviously we hit the ball well today. Our job as a pitching staff is to go out there and get the job done and get back to the dugout as quickly as we can and that is what I tried to do."

Shea Robin's solo homer in the second sparked a three-run frame to push the lead to 5-0. Alvarez added a two-run homer in the fourth, his ninth of the season, and Dominic de la Osa hit a solo shot as well in the four-run inning to extend the lead to 9-0.

"It was good to get the bats going again tonight," said Alvarez. "We just need to hit like this tomorrow and carry it into the weekend."

Brian Hernandez and Flaherty added RBI singles in the fifth to make it 11-0 and the Commodores plated four more runs in the eighth to close out the scoring.

De La Osa led Vanderbilt with three hits on the night, while Brian Hernandez, Pedro Alvarez, Ryan Flaherty, Shea Robin and Rucker Taylor each chipped in with two hits each.

Vanderbilt set season highs in homers with four and walks with nine, while tying season highs in hits (18) and RBI (14).

"It was a clean pitching performance with no walks," said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin. "I thought Tyler Rhoden was pretty sharp and durable and it was good for him and for his confidence. Josh (Zeid) also did a nice job when he got in there."

The Commodores will take on Lipscomb tomorrow at 4 p.m. at Dugan Field. VU will then return to Hawkins Field as Georgia comes to town for a three-game series starting on Friday at 6 p.m.

Western Kentucky   010 000 000- 150
Vanderbilt         230 420 04x- 15(18)2
Paxton, Faircloth (2), Smith (4), Balcom (5), Stembridge (6), Teague (7), Muck (8) and Newton, Wamsley. Rhoden, Zeid (7) and Robin, Hawkins. W- Rhoden 1-0, L- Paxton 2-1. SV- None. HR- VU: Alvarez 2 (9), de la Osa (4), Robin (3).

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