STARKVILLE, Miss.-- Despite a mind-boggling four errors, the Vanderbilt Commodores trounced the
Mississippi State Bulldogs 10-3 Friday in VU’s first SEC game of the season at Dudy Noble Field.
Lead off pitcher Jensen Lewis improved to 4-0 on the season,
holding the Bulldogs
to one earned run through the eighth inning.
“To get us to eighth inning, particularly in the situation we’re in with our
pitching right now, he did
very well,” VU head coach Tim Corbin said. “He limited their opportunities and
when there were any
guys in scoring position he was able to shut them down.”
Freshmen lefthander David Price relieved Lewis in the ninth inning, allowing
one run and three hits.
Despite the run, Price showed power in his two strikeouts of the inning and
will likely relieve
again in the series, according to Corbin.
“It was good to get his feet wet. It was his first SEC game and he did a
pretty good job,” Corbin
The four errors of the night for the Commodores were all committed by freshman shortstop
Dominic De La Osa.
“It was a flurry of tough plays on him and one just capitalized on another. The best thing you can do is try to cheer him and up and let him know it’s part of the game.”
De La Osa recovered offensively, batting in runners in the fifth and seventh innings.
“That was huge for us. It was nice to see him recover. It was just a tough
night for him
Third baseman Tony Mansolino provided an offensive punch for the Commodores, with two RBI's and one run. Mansolino’s three base hits extended his hitting streak to a record eight games.
All-American Warner Jones led VU with three runs, including one home run.
“We’re better than where we’ve been but we’re still not close to where we’re
going to be, and that’s
encouraging,” Corbin said. “I don’t think Warner, Baxter, Antoan, and Garza
have clicked yet. When you get all those guys hitting together I think we’ll get a chance to be a little bit better.”
After sitting out the start of the season with a broken hand, Freshmen Shea Robin got his first
chance to hit in his career with the Commodores, pinch hitting for Alex Feinberg in the ninth
inning. Robin struck out swinging.
Catcher Carter Hawkins, right fielder Bill Kleinschrodt, left fielder Ryan Davis, and short stop Rucker Taylor also stepped in to pinch hit before the game was over.
On the Bulldog side, starting pitcher Alan Johnson entered the game with a 4.24 ERA and allowed four earned runs in six innings.
Pinch hitter Joseph McCaskill crossed home for the first earned run of the night in the eighth inning and second basemen Jeffrey Rea led the Bulldogs with two runs.
Former starting pitcher Jamie Gant pitched the final inning and had two strikeouts, but the
defensive rally was too little too late for the Bulldogs.
“To get that first SEC road win under our belt is huge,” Corbin said.
VU will face the Bulldogs again Saturday in Starksville with Jeff Sues stepping up for his second start of the season.