NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Vanderbilt baseball team held its first exhibition of the fall on Sunday afternoon, welcoming Samford to Hawkins Field.
The Commodores and Bulldogs faced off for 10 innings, playing a set of one four-inning game followed by a pair three-inning contests. Vanderbilt edged Samford in two of the three games, while outscoring the Bulldogs 10-7 on the afternoon.
Vandy used a total of six arms on the day, highlighted by the foursome of Ryan Ginther, Andrew Dutkanych IV, David Horn and JD Thompson.
Ginther worked 2.0 hitless innings, while striking out five of the seven batters he faced. Dutkanych yielded just one hit across his 2.0 innings of action, while fanning three. The duo of Horn and Thompson worked 1.0 inning apiece, combining for three strikeouts.
Offensively, three Commodores recorded multi-hit efforts with the trio of Enrique Bradfield Jr., Jack Bulger and T.J. McKenzie contributing two hits apiece. Bulger added a team-high tying two RBI, matching transfer RJ Schreck’s two-RBI effort.
Vanderbilt earned a 4-3 victory across the first four innings of action, scoring two runs each in the third and fourth frames to pick up the win.
Samford struck first with one run in the first before grabbing two in the third to take a 3-0 lead.
The Commodores got on the board with two runs in the third, as the inning began with a leadoff double from Matthew Polk before Schreck drew a four-pitch walk. After Bulger reached on a fielding error to load the bases, Parker Noland brought Vandy’s first run across with a fielder’s choice. The Dores added one more in the frame on a double-play ball to make it a 3-2 contest after three full.
Vanderbilt added two more in the fourth inning to move ahead. RJ Austin began things with a leadoff double to give the Commodores a runner in scoring position. One batter later, Bradfield laid down a bunt single, while Austin came across to score the tying run on a throwing error by the Samford first baseman.
After Bradfield stole both second and third, Schreck sent a sacrifice fly to center field to bring Bradfield across and give the Dores the 4-3 edge across the first four-inning game.
The two teams went scoreless across the next three frames before battling across the second three-inning game.
The Bulldogs put up a four-spot in the first frame before the Commodores responded with a four-run inning of their own to even the score at four apiece. Vandy produced its first run of the frame with back-to-back doubles from McKenzie and Calvin Hewett. After Matthew Polk worked a five-pitch walk to place runners on first and third, Schreck lined an RBI-single to right center to score the second run of the inning.
Bulger followed up with a two-run single to cap the inning’s scoring and make it a 4-4 game.
Vanderbilt returned to the dish to add two more in the next inning, as Davis Diaz began things with a leadoff double. One batter later, McKenzie picked up his second double of the afternoon with a hard-hit ball to right center, allowing Diaz to score and put the Dores in front. McKenzie then stole third before coming across to score on a wild pitch to seal the 6-4 victory for the Commodores in the final three-inning matchup.
Vanderbilt will resume its fall training on Tuesday afternoon, before traveling to Las Vegas next weekend to face Arizona State in a neutral-site exhibition at the College of Southern Nevada.
Full-squad training sessions will take place during the week and will be open to the public. The team will conclude the fall with the David Williams Fall Classic, formerly known as the Black and Gold Game, which is set for Nov. 13, at 1 p.m.