NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Southeastern Louisiana struck first, but No. 10-ranked Vanderbilt struck more often on its way to a 4-2 victory in Wednesday’s series finale at Hawkins Field against the Lions.
For the fifth-consecutive road game, the Lions (4-4) scored first.
First baseman Derrick Mount, a senior from Saucier, Mississippi, cranked a solo home run to left-center field with one out in the second inning. Left fielder Ryan Byers, a senior from Ponchatoula, Louisiana, followed with a solo homer of his own to left-center one out later.
Those were the only two hits Southeastern would pick up in a game dominated early by the long ball.
Vanderbilt (6-3) responded with its first batter in the bottom of the inning.
First baseman Julian Infante cranked a solo home run to left-center leading off the inning. It was his second of the season.
In the third, the Commodores tied the game on an unearned run.
Catcher Jason Delay reached on an error by shortstop Brennan Breaud to lead off the inning and he advanced to second base on a wild pitch from Lion starting pitcher Carlisle Koestler (0-1). Delay moved to third base on an infield single by left fielder Ro Coleman. After a walk to second baseman Ethan Paul loaded the bases, Delay scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of third baseman Will Toffey.
Vanderbilt took the lead in the fourth on another solo home run, this one coming off the bat of right fielder JJ Bleday leading off the inning.
The Commodores padded their lead in the fourth with an unearned run.
Coleman reached on a fielding error by second baseman Carson Crites and later advanced to second on a passed ball by catcher Evan Pace. Coleman moved to third on a ground out and then scored on a wild pitch.
Southeastern threatened late, but stranded runners in scoring position in both the eighth and ninth.
Paxton Stover (1-0), the second of four Vanderbilt pitchers, earned the win. He worked a pair of scoreless innings in relief of starter Chandler Day, walking two and fanning two batters.
Reed Hayes earned his third save of the season, and second in as many nights, by working out of a two-on, no-out jam in the ninth.
Koestler, a redshirt sophomore from Vicksburg, Mississippi, suffered the loss. He allowed four runs, two earned, on three hits and a pair of walks. The right-hander fanned three in his five innings of work.
Drew Avans, a junior from Alabaster, Alabama, worked three scoreless innings in relief for the Lions to close out the game.
Southeastern wraps up its eight-game road trip this coming weekend in Pensacola, Florida, at the Cox Diamond Invitational.
COX DIAMOND INVITATIONAL
The Lions face South Alabama, Seton Hall and Troy in the round-robin Cox Diamond Invitational Friday-Sunday in Pensacola, Florida. The tournament will be played at Blue Wahoos Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Reds’ Double-A affiliate.
Ticket sales for the Cox Diamond Invitational are being handled through the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, but links to purchase tickets online are available on the baseball schedule page at www.LionSports.net.
Vanderbilt 4, Southeastern 2 (Mar 01, 2017 at Nashville, Tenn.)
Southeastern…….. 020 000 000 – 2 2 2 (4-4)
Vanderbilt……….. 011 110 00X – 4 6 1 (6-3)
Pitchers: Southeastern – Koestler, Carlisle; Avans, Drew (6) and Pace, Evan. Vanderbilt – Chandler Day; Paxton Stover (4); Matt McGarry (6); Reed Hayes (9) and Jason Delay.
Win-Paxton Stover (1-0) Save-Reed Hayes (3) Loss-Koestler, Carlisle (0-1) T-2:42 A-2493
HR SLU – Mount, Derrick (1); Byers, Ryan (1).
HR VU – Julian Infante (2); JJ Bleday (1).
Weather: 68, partly cloudy
McGarry faced 2 batters in the 9th.