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.

Vanderbilt wins 16th consecutive game after defeating Missouri 7-4 on Sunday

The Commodores successfully sweep Missouri, thanks to a dominant seventh inning.
Vanderbilt Athletics
The Vanderbilt bench erupts after Carter Young gives the Commodores a lead in the seventh inning. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

On a sunny afternoon at Hawkins Field, the Vanderbilt Commodores (17-2) took down SEC rival Missouri (12-5) for the third consecutive day, sweeping the Tigers on the weekend series. The Commodores 7-4 finish sprung their winning streak to 16, the longest winning steak for Vanderbilt since the 2007 season.

“It doesn’t mean anything outside of just being able to stay consistent,” head coach Tim Corbin told the Hustler. “The pitching has been very consistent throughout the year. The defense has gotten better in the last two weeks…Offensively, we’ve had our moments, but we still have a lot of work to do.”

Sophomore pitcher Hunter Owen got the nod for the VandyBoys and improved his 2022 record to 3-0, after allowing three hits, four runs, tallying 41 strikes and five strikeouts on 65 pitches. Patrick Reilly entered the mound midway through the fourth inning and would allow four hits on 54 total pitches, before being replaced by Nelson Berkwich. Berkwich, Jack Anderson and Thomas Schultz pitched for a combined 78 total pitches and allowed only two hits and no runs. 

After Owen and Missouri’s Austin Marozas tallied 1-2-3 innings, the Tigers struck first. Mike Coletta provided the first run of the day in the second inning, when his single to right field drove Torin Montgomery home from second base. Missouri’s 1-0 lead was threatened an inning and a half later by Vanderbilt’s Spencer Jones.

Facing a 1-0 count, two outs and no runners on base, junior Spencer Jones tallied his third home run of the season, bringing the game to 1-1. Vanderbilt’s next batter, Dominic Keegan homered to center field and provided the Commodores with their first lead of the day. 

Vanderbilt’s lead quickly evaporated, after the Commodores surrendered three runs in the top of the fourth inning. The inning began with Owen allowing Missouri’s Ross Lovich to bring Luke Mann home and bring Montgomery to third base. Reilly took the mound soon after, but was unable to close the inning smoothly, allowing two hits on four batters faced. Missouri had a 4-2 lead entering the bottom of the fourth inning. 

Vanderbilt punched into Missouri’s 4-2 cushion when Tate Kolwyck’s single to left center brought Javier Vaz home. The Tigers’ Marozas was then replaced by left-handed pitcher Nathan Landy, who finished the inning with no runs or hits allowed. Marozas allowed six hits and three runs on the 17 batters he faced on the day. 

After scoreless showings in the fifth and sixth inning, the Commodores’ bats suddenly got going. Trailing by one run after the seventh inning stretch, Tate Kolwyck and Carter Young were able to ignite the fans at Hawkins Field with back-to-back solo home runs. Vanderbilt’s lead sprung to 6-4 when Enrique Bradfield Jr. stole home off of a failed pickoff attempt at first base.

Vanderbilt ended the seventh inning with a 7-4 cushion, thanks to tallying four runs and four hits in the seventh inning. The Commodores would need to nurse their three-run lead for just two more innings, and they did just that. Facing runners on all bases and two outs, Vanderbilt’s Schultz delivered a fast pitch to Missouri’s Carlos Peña, who flew out to Bradfield Jr. in center field.

“We have that feeling that we’re not going anywhere,” Kolwyck said when asked about the seventh-inning rally. “We’re going to keep going with the game, no matter what happens.”

Schultz was able to tarnish any doubts Vanderbilt fans had late in the game, and deliver a 1-2-3 inning to close out the weekend series. Schultz’s day featured zero hits allowed and three strikeouts.  

“You got to give Schultz a lot of credit,” Corbin said. “There was no margin of error for him whatsoever…He pitched tough. Credit Schultz, he’s coming along great.”

When the Commodores return to action, they will clash with the Belmont Bruins at First Horizon Park on March 20 at 6 p.m. CDT.

“Our main focus right now is getting rest,” Kolwyck said. “I’m really looking forward to play at First Horizon Park.”

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About the Contributor
Andrew Wilf
Andrew Wilf, Former Sports Editor
Andrew Wilf (’24) is Sports Editor for The Vanderbilt Hustler. He is from Livingston, N.J., and is majoring in history and minoring in business. He joined the sports staff his freshman year, previously serving as a Staff Writer, Assistant Sports Editor and Deputy Sports Editor. Beyond writing for The Hustler, he is also the host of Anchor Analysis, Commodore Clash and Live From West End. In his free time, Andrew enjoys watching the NFL and playing golf. He can be reached at [email protected].
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