NASHVILLE-– Vanderbilt extended its win streak to six with a 12-2 win over Arkansas State Saturday in the Music City Classic. Sophomore right-hander Jensen Lewis pitched seven scoreless innings giving up just three hits and striking out seven in his first victory of the season. The Commodores are now 6-0 on the season, while Arkansas State owns a 4-6 record.
"As the game went on I was able to spot my fastball and my slider evolved throughout the game," Lewis said. "I give coach a lot of credit for telling me to stick with it and keep the closer mentality I had last year."
The Commodores got on the board first scoring two runs in the first inning. Ryan Klosterman reached base after being hit by a pitch and then advanced to third on a single to right field by Antoan Richardson who then stole second base. Cesar Nicolas picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly to center field scoring Klosterman. Mike Baxter singled to center field scoring Richardson.
The Indians began the second inning with a single from Chris Rich off the left field wall. With one away, Chris Prothro hit a line drive to shallow right centerfield that was caught by Richardson who then completed a double play to Nicolas at first catching Rich midway to second base.
The Commodores added two runs in the third inning when Baxter’s triple scored Richardson who reached base after being hit by a pitch and then stole second and third. Tony Mansolino picked up an RBI when his single to left field scored Baxter.
Vanderbilt extended its lead to six in the fourth inning. Klosterman singled to the shortstop and advanced to second on an error. Richardson reached base on a sacrifice bunt advancing Klosterman to third. Warner Jones then doubled down the left field line scoring Klosterman and Richardson picking up two more RBI for a season total of 18 in six games.
The Commodores had a big seventh inning scoring six runs. Nicolas reached base when he was hit by a pitch and Baxter reached on a fielder’s choice. Mansolino then hit his first homerun of the season, seventh of his career, picking up his fourth RBI of the game. Worth Scott reached base on a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Matt Zeller reached base on a wild pitch after a strikeout with Scott moving to third. Kosterman then singled to center field scoring Scott. Stephen Shao pinch hit for Richardson and drew a base on balls. Zach Simpson pinch hit for Jones and singled to right center scoring Zeller. Klosterman scored his third run of the game when Nicolas hit a sacrifice fly to right field.
Jeff Sues pitched for the first time since March 5, 2003 after suffering an elbow injury to his throwing arm and gave up two runs (both earned) on two hits and one strikeout. With bases loaded, ASU's Adam Roberson hit a double down the third base line that scored two runners, ending Vanderbilt's consecutive scoreless innings at 36.
Greg Moviel closed out the contest in the ninth for the Commodores facing three batters and walking one.
Ryan Hamilton picked up the loss for the Indians going 3.1 innings. He faced 21 batters and gave up nine hits and six runs (six earned) while walking none and hitting three batters.
"We played pretty good. Not great, but good enough," Vanderbilt Head Coach Tim Corbin said.. "I thought Jensen (Lewis) pitched more aggressively than in his first outing. It's a win and the bottom line is that we need to continue to get better. We have a tough Purdue team coming in here tomorrow."
The Commodores host Purdue tomorrow (Sunday) at 1 pm at Hawkins Field with SEC Pitcher of the Week Ryan Mullins (6-6, 179, So., LHP, Nashville, Tenn.) getting the start. In his first outing of the season, Mullins recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts in a 15-0 win over Southern Illinois last Sunday. Tickets are $1 and can be purchased at the Hawkins Field ticket office.
Arkansas State 000 000 020 – 2 5 2
Vanderbilt 202 200 600 – 12 13 1
WP: Jensen Lewis (1-0)
LP: Ryan Hamilton (1-2)
Time of Game: 2:17