Vanderbilt downs Blue Raider baseball at home
The Blue Raider baseball team struggled on both the mound and at the plate in an 8-4 loss to the Vanderbilt Commodores at home Wednesday night.
Ryan Ford led the Blue Raiders (24-19) with three hits on four trips to the plate, batting in two of the Raiders’ runs. Hank LaRue assisted Ford on offense, going three hits on three opportunities, scoring and batting in the Raiders’ other two runs.
Pitcher Nathan Foriest got the start but, like the following four Blue Raider pitchers, struggled on the mound.
Vanderbilt starter Sam Selman picked up the pitching win, giving up 2 runs on seven hits before exiting in the sixth inning.
“In the middle of the week, we have really been struggling with starting pitching,” said head coach Steve Peterson. “Our bullpen has done an adequate job of trying to keep us in a game, but we were behind Vanderbilt quickly and never got ourselves back into the game.”
The Commodores came out swinging early, scoring six runs on six hits in the first three innings, holding the Blue Raiders to only a walk and a run.
“We give up big innings, especially early in the game…we just aren’t executing at all on the mound,” Peterson said. “Selman pitched an outstanding game and Vanderbilt just outplayed us…[Selman] just ate our middle of the order up.”
The Blue Raiders statistically out-hit the Commodores 12 to 10, but couldn’t capitalize on scoring opportunities.
The Raiders left a total of six men on base over the course of three innings. Doubles and singles put the men on base, but the Vanderbilt pitching staff quickly ended the hopes of the runners as Selman struck out MTSU batters seven times and only walked one.
The Commodores had a better day at the plate, scoring eight runs on ten hits. Vanderbilt slammed two home runs in the top of a five-score third inning, and hit another homer in the top of the seventh.
Vanderbilt pulled a trick out of the bag in the bottom of the eighth. With the bases loaded, the Commodores successfully pulled off the “hidden ball trick” against the Blue Raiders. The short stop, Anthony Gomez, held on to the ball and waited until the man on second stepped off. Gomez tagged out the base runner, killing the Blue Raiders’ hopes of rallying to cut the Commodore lead to two.
The hidden ball trick put the final nail in MTSU’s coffin. The trick was followed by a single and two outs in the bottom of the eighth and three straight outs in the bottom of the ninth.
The next Blue Raider baseball game is game one of a three-game series at home againstArkansasStatethis Friday. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.