Nashville, Tenn. (VUAD)– Vanderbilt used another big first inning and a dominant outing from Kyle Wright to cruise by Alabama 13-1 on Friday night at Hawkins Field.
For the second night in a row, the Commodores (33-21, 15-13) used a big first inning to roll by the Crimson Tide (19-34, 5-24). The Dores scored five runs in the first on Thursday night but topped the effort with an eight-run first on Friday. The first five batters all reached for Vandy with Jeren Kendall’s two-run triple scoring all the runs the home team would need in the game just three batters in. Jason Delay added a two-run single before Will Toffey’s second single of the first plated two more runs. Kendall’s RBI-single gave him two hits and three RBIs in the first and set a new season-high for the squad with eight hits in an inning.
Alabama battled back in the second against Wright to score the Tide’s lone run of the game but threatened again in the fourth inning. The right-hander issued his lone walk of the night to lead off the inning and gave up a double to Chandler Taylor to put two runners in scoring position. Wright turned up the heat from there, punching out the next two batters and snagging a line drive to end the inning and the threat. The junior finished his night by retiring the final 13 he faced, striking out the final six to run his total to 11 in the win. He gave up one run on five hits across 7.1 innings to finish off his sixth straight start of at least seven innings. During the six-game stretch, Wright has allowed just six runs on 17 hits with 62 strikeouts over 46.2 innings.
Kendall paced the offense with three hits, finishing a double shy of the cycle while driving in a career-best five runs. He blasted his 15th homer of the season in the seventh – a two-run shot – that gave him the most by a Commodore since 2015 when Dansby Swanson, Rhett Wiseman and Zander Wiel all hit 15 homers. Toffey matched career-bests in the win with four hits and four runs scored.
Alabama starter Jake Walters took the loss after allowing 11 runs, five earned, on 11 hits over four-plus innings. Chandler Taylor and Chandler Avant had two hits each.
The two teams wrap up the regular season tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. on SEC Network+ at Hawkins Field. Drake Fellows gets the ball for the home team against Garret Suchey for Alabama.