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 sweep Missouri, win Saturday game 3-1

Carter Holton’s seven innings of one-run ball led the Commodores to a series sweep over the Tigers.
Josh Rehders
Carter Holton readies to deliver a putch during Vanderbilt’s game against Missouri, as photographed on March 30, 2024. (Hustler Multimedia/Josh Rehders)

After winning the first two games of the series against Missouri, Vanderbilt took care of business once again with a workmanlike 3-1 win. This contest was once again a pitching battle, as the two teams combined for merely ten hits. The Commodore offense was sluggish, as a three-run double by Davis Diaz accounted for all the runs that they could muster. However, the subpar offensive game was all Vanderbilt needed because of the pitching staff.

Holton was lights-out, as he went seven innings with very little trouble beyond the one run. He struck out eight and walked only one, giving the VandyBoys some much-needed length from their ace. The performance is even more impressive than the surface stats, as Holton didn’t even have his best stuff.

“My competitiveness was my best factor today,” Holton said after the game.“My stuff wasn’t there the whole game but I grinded through it and the defense worked behind me.”

The game started out with a bang, as after Holton stranded a leadoff walk, the Vanderbilt offense came out of the gates firing. The Commodores loaded the bases with two walks and a HBP before Davis Diaz ripped a bases-clearing double down the left field line, giving the VandyBoys an early 3-0 lead.

The second and third innings saw no scoring, as Holton continued his dominance by striking out five of the six batters he faced. Vanderbilt had traffic on the bases in both frames, but untimely pop outs ended both rallies.

Holton finally ran into trouble in the fourth, as a leadoff HBP and two singles led to Mizzou’s first run of the day. Holton recovered quickly, punching out Matt Garcia to end the frame and preserve Vanderbilt’s 3-1 lead. The VandyBoys offense was unable to add to that, as Calvin Hewett got stranded after a one-out double.

The fifth inning saw the pitching battle continue, as Holton was unhittable and Vanderbilt couldn’t get anything going against Missouri relief pitcher Bryce Mayer.

After another fantastic frame from Holton, Hewett gave the Hawk a jolt when he got hit by a pitch, stole second and stole third. However, despite the initial excitement, the VandyBoys were unable to convert, meaning that the lead remained at two heading into the seventh.

Mizzou rallied in the seventh, stringing two singles together to get runners on first and third with two outs. However, Holton buckled down to induce an inning-ending popout in what was his last pitch of the outing. He exited the field to a standing ovation, as the Commodore faithful applauded his seven innings of one-run ball. 

Vanderbilt got two men on base once again in the bottom of the seventh, but Braden Holcomb struck out with runners on second and third and two outs to put a halt to the rally. Holcomb had a rough day at the plate, going 0-3 with three strikeouts. 

Brennan Seiber relieved Holton in the eighth and immediately worked himself into a jam by hitting a batter and yielding a single. He then threw a wild pitch, meaning that Mizzou had second and third with only one out. Seiber responded with the pitch of the game so far, a perfectly painted slider on 3-2 that froze Missouri’s Kaden Peer. He then induced a weak grounder for the third out, firing up the crowd and maintaining the two-run cushion.

The Commodores were unable to add to the lead in the eighth, so it was up to the Vanderbilt bullpen to slam the door in the ninth. After a one-out walk by Seiber, Miller Green replaced him to face the lefty-heavy portion of the Tigers lineup. Green’s filthy slider was on full display, as he quickly retired both batters to seal the series sweep.

The Commodores next take on Western Kentucky on Tuesday, April 2nd at 6 p.m. CDT.

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About the Contributors
Adam Burns
Adam Burns, Staff Writer
Adam Burns (‘27) is from Scottsdale, Ariz., and studies human and organizational development, business and data science in Peabody College. When not writing for The Hustler, you can find him playing sports, spending time outdoors or exploring new places. He is also an extremely passionate Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Diamondbacks fan. You can reach him at [email protected].
Josh Rehders
Josh Rehders, Former Photography Director
Josh Rehders ('24) is from Houston and is studying computer science in the School of Engineering. When he is not shooting for The Hustler, Vanderbilt Athletics or freelancing, he enjoys finding new music and good food. He can be reached at [email protected].
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