VandyBoys cruise past Lipscomb 11-1 in eight innings, profits from game donated to Covenant School

The No. 4 Vanderbilt Commodores handily beat Lipscomb behind 10 walks and an Alan Espinal home run.


Vanderbilt Athletics

RJ Austin tagging out a runner at second base on March 28, 2023 (Vanderbilt Athletics).

Frankie Sheehy, Deputy Sports Editor

The No. 4 Vanderbilt Commodores (20-5, 6-0 SEC) beat the Lipscomb Bisons (9-15, 4-2 ASUN) Tuesday night 11-1 behind a fourth-inning home run by Alan Espinal. The game was added to the schedule to make up last Tuesday’s rainout at First Horizon Park, but was played at Hawkins Field.

Before the game, a moment of silence was held to honor the victims of Monday’s mass shooting at The Covenant School. In addition, Vanderbilt is donating proceeds from ticket sales to the game to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, benefitting the school and those affected by the tragedy.

“It’s just a very minor contribution, but little means something,” head coach Tim Corbin said after the game. “It’s more about standing by a community situation in a time of need. Money’s money. But more than anything, I think it’s just the support and being able to help others when they need it.”

Bryce Cunningham was used as an opener for his first start of the season despite pitching in Sunday’s win over Mississippi State. Cunningham pitched just one inning, throwing 13 pitches and striking out two without allowing a baserunner.

The Commodores took the lead in the bottom of the first. After Enrique Bradfield Jr. singled to lead off the inning and reached second on a hit by pitch. After a bunt single by RJ Schreck, Jack Bulger drove in the run on a ground ball fielder’s choice.

Enrique Bradfield Jr. hitting on March 28, 2023 against Lipscomb (Vanderbilt Athletics).
Enrique Bradfield Jr. hitting on March 28, 2023 against Lipscomb (Vanderbilt Athletics). (Vanderbilt Athletics)

Vanderbilt added two more in the bottom of the fourth when Espinal hit a deep homer well over the left-field monster, clocking in at 107 miles per hour off the bat to score him and Jonathan Vastine. The Commodores added a fourth run on a bit of Bradfield Jr. magic. After drawing a walk, the junior stole second, took third on a throwing error and scored on a Davis Diaz groundout.

Greysen Carter pitched in the bulk role after Cunningham and did very well. Carter threw five innings, allowing just one run with five strikeouts while taking the combined no-hitter into the sixth inning. With one out in the sixth, Carter allowed a double that came around to put Lipscomb on the board and make it 4-1.

“That young man’s improved a lot in the past twelve months,” Corbin said of Carter. “A lot of strikes, a lot of strikes with an offspeed pitch too. The differential of that breaking ball and fastball is going to help him I think, and [pitching coach Scott] Brown is making him use it.”

Vanderbilt added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth thanks to sloppy pitching by the Bisons. The two Lipscomb pitchers walked three hitters and threw a hit-by-pitch in the inning. The Commodores capitalized with runs scored by Espinal and Bradfield Jr., with Diaz and RJ Austin getting the RBIs, giving Vanderbilt a 6-1 lead.

Ryan Ginther and Patrick Reilly both took innings out of the bullpen. Ginther sent down the Lipscomb hitters in order in the seventh, and Reilly allowed just one hit in the eighth.

The VandyBoys rallied again in the bottom of the eighth. Bradfield Jr. walked to lead off the frame and eventually scored on an RJ Schreck groundout. After another walk and a hit-by-pitch, Diaz scored on a passed ball to make it 8-1. With the bases loaded again, Vastine doubled into right-center to drive in two more runs. Pinch hitter JD Rogers batted for Bradfield Jr. with two outs and drove a single into right field to win the game by the ten-run rule, 11-1.

In total, the Commodore hitters drew ten walks against the ten different Lipscomb pitchers.

“It’s just getting to first base, that’s the main objective,” Corbin said. “However you can get there, whether it’s by a walk or a hit-by-pitch, I think it’s just the ability to get down there so we can try to put some offense together.”

The Commodores will return to action on Friday, March 31 against Georgia at 6 p.m. CDT at Hawkins Field for the first of a three-game set against the Bulldogs.