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.

VandyBoys beat Georgia State 11-5 on fourth-inning rally

A six-run fourth inning propelled the VandyBoys to an 11-5 midweek victory over Georgia State.
Vanderbilt Athletics
Chris Maldonado rounding the bases after his home run on May 2, 2023 (Vanderbilt Athletics).

The No. 5 Vanderbilt Commodores (33-11, 16-5 SEC) defeated the Georgia State Panthers (24-22, 11-10 Sun Belt) Tuesday night, 11-5. Six of the Commodores’ runs came in the bottom of the fourth inning, in which they recorded three home runs and six extra-base hits.

Right-hander Greysen Carter got the start on the mound for Vanderbilt against the Panthers’ righty Quin McManmon. The Commodores batted an identical lineup to the one that beat Kentucky 3-2 on Sunday, with Alan Espinal catching and batting ninth.

Georgia State got on the scoreboard first in the top of the second inning. Shortstop Matt Ruiz took an outside fastball from Carter to the opposite field for a solo homer, making it 1-0.

The Panthers threatened again in the third with runners on second and third with two outs. Carter got a chopper ground ball between him and Parker Noland at first base. He fielded the ball and ran to get the force out himself, beating the runner by a half-step to end the inning with no damage.

On the other hand, Vanderbilt’s offense was much slower out of the gate. The Commodores reached base just once in the first three innings on an RJ Schreck hit-by-pitch.

“No, it wasn’t a very good third inning,” head coach Tim Corbin said in his postgame presser. “That’s not going to get it done. There was better engagement [in the fourth].”

The VandyBoys’ offense came alive in the bottom of the fourth, starting with a Schreck solo home run. Two batters later, Chris Maldonado hit another homer for Vanderbilt, a fly ball to left-center to put the Commodores up 2-1. Both long balls caught the wind that was blowing out to center field. Maldonado’s homer knocked McManmon out of the game after 3.2 innings.

Immediately after the pitching change, Parker Noland joined the party with a 414-foot bomb to right field that left Hawkins Field and landed in the parking lot on the fly. The two-out rally continued when Matthew Polk singled, stole second and scored on a Jonathan Vastine double. Espinal then doubled to score Vastine on Vanderbilt’s fifth straight hit, putting the Commodores up 5-1 and knocking another pitcher out. Enrique Bradfield Jr. then notched a third straight double to add another run. In total, the VandyBoys scored six runs on seven hits in the fourth inning.

“Any time you can take a big lead, it’s always hugely important to the confidence,” Schreck said after the game. “We were able to settle down and just realize, ‘It’s time to get going.’ I’m just glad we could put it together.”

Georgia State got a run back in the top of the fifth when a leadoff walk came in to score on a single by Cameron Jones. It ended the day for Carter, who pitched four full innings. Carter struck out five, allowing three hits, three walks and three earned runs. His third run came in absentia when Georgia State scored a run on a fielder’s choice to cut the lead to 6-3.

Davis Diaz led off the bottom of the fifth with a homer deep to left field to put Vanderbilt back up by four. The Commodores added two more on a Noland single with two runners on and an error that allowed both to score, putting them up 9-3.

Vanderbilt plated another small-ball run in the sixth. After Espinal reached on a single up the middle, he took second on a Bradfield Jr. sacrifice bunt and third on an error. The catcher came home to score on a Diaz sacrifice fly to put the Commodores up 10-3.

Jack Anderson recorded six outs for Vanderbilt while facing the whole lineup once. He struck out four hitters, allowing two outs and no runs. He was replaced by David Horn, who allowed a homer over the left-field wall on the first pitch he threw. Ruiz then hit a two-out triple to right field and scored on a wild pitch, cutting the lead back down to 10-5.

The Commodores added one more for the road in the bottom of the eighth on some Bradfield Jr. magic. The junior reached first on a single, stole second and took third on a passed ball before scoring on a Diaz sacrifice fly: Diaz’s second sacrifice fly and third RBI of the game.

Sam Hliboki came on in the ninth and retired three Panther hitters to close out the 11-5 victory.

The VandyBoys next play against Alabama on Thursday, May 4 at 7 p.m. CDT in Tuscaloosa.

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About the Contributor
Frankie Sheehy
Frankie Sheehy, Former Deputy Sports Editor
Frankie Sheehy ('24) wrote for The Hustler Sports section and graduated from the College of Arts and Science with majors in economics and law, history and society. He was also the president of the Vanderbilt Chess Club and a superfan of the Chicago White Sox. You can reach him at [email protected].
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