Baseball: Vanderbilt 15 Ball State 3

NASHVILLE-- No. 1 Vanderbilt pounded out 16 hits and starter Nick Christiani struck out a career high nine batters in six innings to lead the Commodores to a 15-3 win over Ball State Saturday afternoon at Hawkins Field.

The Commodores improved to 9-0 with the win, while the Cardinals fell to 1-5.

VU dominated the game throughout, carrying a shutout into the ninth before Ball State plated three runs to end the game scoring.

"We scored in every inning except two, and that is how you apply pressure sometimes," said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin. "It is just by continuing to put guys on base. A lot of it was from walks, but there were some hits. It was kind of a sloppy game, but we'll take it."

Christiani allowed four hits in six innings with nine strikeouts and four walks to improve to 2-0 on the year. He has not allowed an earned run over his last two starts, a span of 14 innings.

Vanderbilt jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first courtesy of a two-run single by Ryan Flaherty. They added two more in the third to make it 4-0.

The Commodores then blew the game open in the fourth with a five-run inning. Catcher Andrew Giobbi, making his first collegiate start, delivered a two-run single and Alex Feinberg later added one of his own to make it 9-0.

Vandy added another run in the fifth and a Flaherty RBI single in the sixth made it 11-0. The squad closed out its scoring with four more runs in the eighth. Pedro Alvarez and Ryan Davis had RBI singles and Parker Hanks added a RBI double to key the scoring.

Reliever Cody Crowell came on in the seventh and pitched two scoreless innings with four strikeouts.

Ball State finally got on the board in the ninth scoring three runs off of reliever Josh Zeid. Justin Rogers had a two-run single and Kory Benbow walked with the bases loaded to account for the runs.

Designated hitter Kurt Lipton led the Commodore attack with three hits on the day, while David Macias, Pedro Alvarez, Ryan Flaherty and Parker Hanks each chipped in with two.

The Commodores will close out the Music City Classic against Boston College tomorrow at noon. Please note, the start time has been moved up an hour from the originally scheduled time. All single-game tickets available through the month of February can be purchased for only $1. Fans can call (615) 322-GOLD for more info.

Ball State   000 000 003 - 384
Vanderbilt   202 511 04x - 15(16)1
DeGeeter, Broughton (4), Quinn (6), Loveys (8) and Schmid. Christiani, Crowell (7), Zeid (9) and Giobbi, Hawkins, Moreland. W- Christiani 2-0. L- DeGeeter 0-2. Sv- None. HRs: None.

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