Vanderbilt Baseball falls to Louisiana-Lafayette


Betsy Goodfriend, Senior Writer

Vanderbilt lost to Louisiana-Lafayette 3-0 in the second game of the Shriners College Classic in Houston.

Vanderbilt was shut out on the road for the first time since losing 6-0 to Clemson in the 2017 NCAA Regionals.

Head coach Tim Corbin said, “We played really good defense and pitched well enough at least to keep it close.”

In the first game of the classic, Vanderbilt lost to Sam Houston State 7-6 in 10 innings. The Bearkats hit a two-run walkoff homerun in the 10th to win.

One thing to note is that Vanderbilt was the visitor in both games. The visitor’s dugout at Minute Maid Park still has the Dodgers’ logo from the World Series on it. I’m not saying it’s cursed, but how else would anyone explain the embarrassment of the past two games.

In one of the few highlights of the game, Walker Grisanti, making his second start of the season, had a spectacular catch at the 362-feet marker in left center field in the second inning.

Kennon Fontenot hit a two-run home run to left-center field in the third inning to put the Ragin’ Cajuns ahead 2-0.

Patrick Raby had control issues all afternoon. He issued three walks in 3.2 innings and threw many pitches down in the dirt. He also hit a batter. After issuing back-to-back walks to load the bases for the Ragin’ Cajuns, Raby was replaced by Zach King.

Raby earned the loss in the contest.

King struck out Gavin Bourgeois looking to end the bottom of the fourth and escape the jam.

King pitched well until the bottom of the seventh. Before recording an out, he allowed a double, single, and a walk. With the bases loaded, he hit Hunter Kasuls to put Louisiana-Lafayette up 3-0.

Zach King struck out Daniel Lahare before Coach Corbin replaced him with freshman right-hander Justin Willis.

Willis struck out the next two batters to end the inning.

“I was proud of him,” said Corbin of Willis. “I’m glad he [got experience in a jam], and I’m more glad he was able to be productive.”

Connor Kaiser walked to lead off the eighth inning. Next up was Ethan Paul, who grounded out. Pat DeMarco advanced Kaiser to third with another groundout. Philip Clarke ended the inning with yet another groundout.

That was as close as Vanderbilt got to scoring a run.

Hugh Fisher started the bottom of the eighth for the Commodores. He hit the first batter he faced, which was the third batter that Vanderbilt’s pitchers hit.

Fisher was promptly replaced with Justin Wilson.

Wilson forced a double play before striking out Kole McKinnon to finish off a perfect frame.

In the top of the ninth, Jayson Gonzalez struck out, and JJ Bleday grounded out to first. Stephen Scott pinch hit for Julian Infante and worked his way to a walk. Grisanti hit a couple of towering foul balls before he struck out to end the game.

Vanderbilt faces the 24th-ranked Houston Cougars in the weekend finale Sunday at 6 PM.