The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

No. 5 Vanderbilt takes down Army West Point 10-7 in Game 2 behind offense and Carter Holton

Powered by a strong outing from Carter Holton and big hits from Dominic Keegan and Carter Young, the VandyBoys beat the Black Knights on Saturday afternoon.
Miguel Beristain
Dominic Keegan rounds the bases after hitting a home run during Game 2 against Army on Feb. 26. (Hustler Multimedia/Miguel Beristain)

Following a 7-2 victory on Friday, the No. 5 VandyBoys (4-2) snatched their second consecutive victory against Army West Point (1-4), winning 10-7 to take a 2-0 series lead on a chilly Saturday afternoon. 

Seven different players had RBIs and seven different players scored for the Commodores in a strong offensive showing. Meanwhile, true freshman Carter Holton got the start for the Commodores, throwing six innings for the longest start of any Vanderbilt pitcher this season. Holton gave up just two runs on two hits, and also tallied six strikeouts and no walks.

“I thought we showed more personality inside that game than any other game we played,” head coach Tim Corbin said of the team’s performance. “I thought we swung the bat better as a whole, made good contact to both sides of the field. Bunted a little bit. I thought we showed more personality.”

Vanderbilt came out of the gates hot with an aggressive offensive display in the first inning. After bunting for a single, Enrique Bradfield Jr. turned the basepath into a track meet by stealing second and third on consecutive pitches. 

Army third baseman Sam Ruta then fumbled a ground ball from Jack Bulger, allowing Bradfield Jr. to score. One batter later, Dominic Keegan launched a two-run home run to deep center field, driving in Bulger and making it a 3-0 game. 

After keeping Army scoreless through two innings, the VandyBoys kept their bats hot in the bottom of the second. Following a line drive single from Tate Kolwyck and an 11-pitch walk for Troy LaNeve, Bradfield Jr. took the plate with runners on first and second. He then knocked a hard line drive down the middle of the field to extend Vanderbilt’s lead to 4-0. 

Army responded in the top of the third by breaking their scoreless streak that had lasted since the fifth inning on Friday. Cam Cerruto ripped a double into left field for Army’s first hit of the day. Two batters later, Hunter Meade drove him in with an RBI groundout. 

The VandyBoys stifled Army’s comeback momentum with another run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Following a Carter Young walk and Davis Diaz single, Kolwyck sacrifice bunted to advance the runners into scoring position. Young was able to score off of a sacrifice fly from LaNeve, but Vanderbilt failed to fully capitalize on a promising offensive opportunity. 

Holton continued his dominant outing with another scoreless inning in the fifth. Vanderbilt built off its defensive energy for their highest scoring inning of the day. 

A pitching change for Army sent reliever Robbie Buecker to the mound, allowing the VandyBoys to catch the new pitcher off-guard. Bulger started the offensive onslaught with a single to left field. After a walk for Keegan and a single from Javier Vaz, the bases were loaded with one out. 

Young stepped to the plate and smacked a triple down the right field line, driving in all three runners and extending Vanderbilt’s lead to 8-1. Diaz was able to drive Young home with a groundout, and the VandyBoys ended the inning with a 9-1 lead.

Unwilling to concede defeat so easily, Army responded with a run in the sixth. Andre Walden sent a Holton fastball flying into deep center field for Army’s first home run of the game, cutting Vanderbilt’s lead to 9-2. The inning proved to be the last of the day for Holton, capping off a strong performance for the stalwart freshman. 

“I was just trying to throw as many strikes as I can,” Holton said with respect to his approach on the mound. “Because I know when it’s cold it’s hard for batters to put the ball in play, and when they did, the defense was ready to make plays.”   

Sophomore Christian Little replaced Holton to begin the seventh inning and held Army to a scoreless inning. The Vanderbilt offense opened up the bottom half with three pinch hitters all reaching first. After Calvin Hewitt was hit by a pitch and Gavin Casas reached on a single, Matthew Polk drove in a run with a hard-hit single to right field for his first career hit and RBI. Vanderbilt was unable to score for the rest of the inning and ended the seventh with a 10-2 lead. 

In the top of the eighth, Army kept things competitive with an additional run to cut Vanderbilt’s lead to 10-3. After a walk and an error left runners on first and second, Carter Marcias drove in a runner with a powerful single to right field. 

Vanderbilt sent Gage Bradley to the mound at the top of the ninth inning to close out the game. Bradley walked the first two batters he faced and hit the third, leaving the bases loaded with no outs. 

After a single from Meade narrowed Vanderbilt’s lead to 10-4, Bradley was replaced by Jack Anderson on the mound. With the bases still loaded, Anderson gave up a triple to Kevin Dubrule, which cut Vanderbilt’s lead to just 10-7. After that brief scare from Army, Vanderbilt was able to lock in defensively and retire the next three batters to close out the game.

The VandyBoys will be back in action Sunday for Game 3 at 1 p.m. CST.

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About the Contributors
Brandon Karp
Brandon Karp, Senior Staff Writer
Brandon Karp ('25) is from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and is studying human and organizational development and political science in Peabody College. You can reach him at [email protected].
Miguel Beristain
Miguel Beristain, Senior Staff Photographer
Miguel Beristain (’24) is a philosophy and cellular and molecular biology double major in the College of Arts and Science from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. When not shooting for The Hustler, he can usually be found playing Magic the Gathering, exploring new restaurants or practicing guitar. He can be reached at .
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