NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt baseball team held on for a 5-4 victory over in-state foe UT-Martin on Tuesday evening at Hawkins Field. With the win, the top-ranked Commodores improve to 24-3 on the season and move their winning streak to nine games.
The two teams traded runs all evening in a contest that featured five lead changes and three ties. Vanderbilt moved ahead with two runs in the seventh, and held on for its 23rd consecutive victory in the midweek – a streak that dates back to March 2019.
Reliever Chris McElvain picked up his first win of the season to improve to 1-0 on the campaign. The right-hander worked 2.0 hitless innings, while striking out four of the six batters he faced to stabilize the game.
Luke Murphy earned his sixth save of the season, striking out the side in the ninth to help the Commodores clinch the victory.
UT-Martin struck first in Tuesday’s matchup, plating one run in the top of the first. A one-out double followed by a walk placed runners on first and second, before an RBI double plated the game’s first run to give the Skyhawks a 1-0 lead.
Vanderbilt got on the board with two runs in the second to move ahead. Parker Noland reached on a fielding error to begin the frame before Jack Bulger laid down a bunt single to put runners on first and second. Two batters later, a fielding error by the UT-Martin left fielder allowed one to cross for Vandy.
Cooper Davis brought home the second run of the inning with a double down the left field line to place the Commodores in front, 2-1.
UT-Martin answered back with a two-run inning of its own in the third to regain its lead. A two-out double followed by a two-run homer gave the Skyhawks a 3-2 advantage heading into the home half of the third.
The Commodores tied things in their next at-bat, scoring one. With one down, Carter Young reached on a ground-rule double before advancing to third on a balk by the Skyhawk pitcher. One batter later, Young scored on an infield single from Dominic Keegan to knot things at three apiece after three full.
The two teams went scoreless across the next two innings before trading runs once again in the sixth. The Skyhawks used a pair of singles and one walk to load the bases with one down, before a sacrifice fly to center field scored one to make it a 4-3 contest, in UT-Martin’s favor.
Vanderbilt responded with two in the home half to grab the lead. The inning began with a hit-by-pitch followed by an infield single from Noland. Maxwell Romero Jr. loaded the bases with a five-pitch walk, while a hit-by-pitch to pinch-hitter CJ Rodriguez brought across the tying run.
The Commodores took the lead in the next at-bat, as Jayson Gonzalez drew a four-pitch walk with the bases loaded to plate one run and move Vandy in front, 5-4.
Vanderbilt will return to action on Thursday evening, hosting Georgia for its second home conference series of the season. The Commodores and Tigers are set for a 6 p.m. first pitch in the series opener, with the action airing live on SEC Network.