Nashville, Tenn. — Top-ranked Vanderbilt scored 15 unanswered runs — including 12 in the first three innings — to pick up a 15-2 win over the Western Kentucky University baseball team Tuesday evening at Hawkins Field.
The Hilltoppers (8-10) drew first blood as a Scotty Colt RBI single and Jake Wells sacrifice fly plated two runs in the top of the first to put WKU in front.
After allowing two straight hits to start the bottom of the first, WKU starter Liam Shanahan appeared to be out of a jam when he got Pedro Alvarez to ground into a double play. However, five straight Commodores reached after that as four runs crossed the plate to put Vanderbilt in front 4-2.
Alvarez accounted for two more runs in the second has he hit a two-run home run to right-center. The Commodores (22-1) were able to blow things open in the third as they took advantage of three Hilltopper errors in the inning and sent 12 men to the plate and scored six unearned run to push the lead to 12-2.
The only other Hilltopper threat came in the second inning when VU starter Ty Davis walked the bases loaded. However, Mike Minor (3-0) came in to get a groundout that ended the threat. Minor would go on to throw 3.1 innings of scoreless relief, allowing two hits and striking out six to earn the victory.
The Commodores added single runs in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings to stretch their lead to the final margin of 13 runs.
WKU collected six hits in the ball game, while Dominic de la Osa and Ryan Davis paced Vanderbilt with three hits each.
Shanahan (0-4) suffered the loss as he allowed five earned runs on seven hits in 1.2 inning of work.
The Hilltoppers will be back on the road tomorrow (March 21) when they visit Kentucky for a 5:30 p.m. (CDT) game in Lexington.