HAMMOND, La. – No. 10-ranked Vanderbilt powered past Southeastern Louisiana, 9-6, Tuesday at Hawkins Field on the strength of three home runs.
Southeastern (4-3) jumped out in front early, scoring in the first inning for the third-straight game.
Center fielder Jacob Seward, a senior from New Orleans, Louisiana, led off the game with a double to right field off Vanderbilt (5-3) starting pitcher Maddux Conger. After advancing to third base on fly out to center field, Seward scored on Carson Crites’ one-out double off the wall in left-center field.
Third baseman Taylor Schwaner, a junior from New Orleans, Louisiana, added to the Lions’ lead in the third with a solo home run over the bleachers in left-center. The blast was Schwaner’s first of the season.
With Southeastern leading, 2-0, in the fourth, third baseman Will Toffey and first baseman Julian Infante drew walks from Lion starting pitcher Payton Robinson to open up the inning. Center fielder Jeren Kendall then knocked the first of his two home runs in the game, giving Vanderbilt a 3-2 lead.
The Lions immediately responded, sending eight men to the plate in the fifth to regain the lead.
Seward drew a leadoff walk from Conger. Left fielder Drew Avans, a junior from Alabaster, Alabama, followed by pulling a hit-and-run single through the right side. Schwaner dumped an RBI single into right-center field, chasing Conger in favor of reliever Collin Snider (1-1).
Southeastern continued to pound away at Commodore pitching.
Crites smacked an RBI single to score Avans. Designated hitter Derrick Mount, a senior from Saucier, Mississippi, doubled to right-center to plate Schwaner. Crites scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of first baseman Scottie Sanders, putting the Lions up, 6-3.
Vanderbilt pulled within a run, scoring a pair off Lion reliever Bryce Tassin in the fifth.
Kendall led off the sixth with his second home run of the game, tying the score, 6-6.
Right fielder JJ Bleday reached on a fielding error by Sanders following Kendall’s shot and designated hitter Harrison Ray followed the error with a two-run home run to left-center, giving the Commodores an 8-6 lead.
Vanderbilt added a run its final run in the eighth.
Crites and Mount kept the game alive with a pair of two-out singles in the ninth, bringing the potential tying run to the plate as the game ended.
Snider, the second of four Commodore pitchers, earned the win. The right-hander allowed one run in 3.2 innings of work. He surrendered three hits, walking a pair and fanning four batters.
Reed Hayes earned his second save of the season, stranding a pair in a scoreless ninth.
Tassin (1-1), the second of four pitchers used by Southeastern, suffered the loss. He allowed five runs, four earned, on four hits in two innings of work. The sophomore right-hander from Walker, Louisiana, fanned two and did not walk a batter.
Crites and Mount led the Lions at the plate, each going 3-for-5. Crites drove in a pair. Schwaner finished the night 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs.
Southeastern wraps up the midweek series against the Commodores at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Fans can watch the game, carried by the SEC Network+, online at www.WatchESPN.com or via the WatchESPN app. In addition to mobile devices, the app is also available on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Sling TV, Chromecast and Roku.
The game can also be heard in the Hammond area on KSLU 90.9 FM, online and through the TuneIn Radio app (search for KSLU). Fans can also keep up with the series finale through live statistics or by following SLUathletics on Twitter. Links for audio, video and stats are available on the baseball schedule page at www.LionSports.net.
Vanderbilt 9, Southeastern 6 (Feb 28, 2017 at Nashville, Tenn.)
Southeastern…….. 101 040 000 – 6 12 1 (4-3)
Vanderbilt………… 000 323 01X – 9 9 0 (5-3)
Pitchers: Southeastern – Robinson, Payton; Tassin, Bryce (4); Hurst, Cliff (6); Green, Josh (8) and Pace, Evan; Wasinger, Daniel. Vanderbilt – Maddux Conger; Collin Snider (5); Zach King (8); Reed Hayes (9) and Jason Delay.
Win-Collin Snider (1-1) Save-Reed Hayes (2) Loss-Tassin, Bryce (1-1) T-3:13 A-2489
HR SLU – Schwaner, Taylor (1).
HR VU – Jeren Kendall 2 (3); Harrison Ray (1).
Weather: 67, overcast
Robinson, P. faced 3 batters in the 4th.
Conger faced 3 batters in the 5th.
Tassin, B. faced 3 batters in the 6th.
Hurst, C. faced 1 batter in the 8th.