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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.

Baseball: Vanderbilt loses to Coastal Carolina, 13-3, in Game 1 of NCAA Regional

The Commodores’ pitching and hitting struggled to find any momentum in its loss to the Chanticleers.
Barrie Barto
JD Thompson stands on the pitchers mound, as photographed on May 31, 2024. (Hustler Multimedia/Barrie Barto)

No. 2 seed Vanderbilt (38-22) fell to No. 3 seed Coastal Carolina (35-23), 13-3, in Game 1 of its NCAA Regional, hosted by the Clemson Tigers. After falling to No. 1 Tennessee in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament, the Commodores struggled both on the mound and at the plate to put themselves in the loser’s bracket after one game. 

“Just got to put this behind us really quick and get ready for tomorrow,” head coach Tim Corbin said after the game.

JD Thompson drew the start for the Commodores on the mound, giving up six hits and eight earned runs in just under four innings pithced. He also struck out five. He faced trouble in the first, surrendering a hit with no outs. However, the Commodores emerged from the inning unscathed after catcher Alan Espinal caught the runner stealing. 

The bats didn’t come alive for Corbin’s squad in the bottom of the first, as Coastal Carolina’s Riley Eikhoff pitched a 1-2-3 inning. 

To start the second, Thompson hit two consecutive batters. A sacrifice bunt and single put the Chanticleers up 2-0. Thompson loaded the bases and gave up another two-out single to give Coastal Carolina a 4-0 lead. Another single put the Chanticleers up 5-0 before Thompson struck out a batter to end the inning. 

After Vanderbilt went three up, three down in the bottom of the second, Thompson pitched a quality third inning, getting a flyout and two strikeouts. The Commodores got runners on second and third in the bottom of the inning but failed to get any runners across after RJ Austin grounded out. 

Thompson once again put runners in scoring position in the fourth and gave up a single to get another run across for the Chanticleers. Tim Corbin opted to replace Thompson with junior Greysen Carter, although he surrendered a two-run single to begin his relief stint. The Commodores trailed 8-0. Carter was replaced by Alex Kranzler after facing just one batter. 

A Matthew Polk single started the bottom of the fourth, but Vanderbilt failed to get runners across the plate. Corbin’s offense appeared stagnant as Vanderbilt headed to the fifth inning with just three hits. 

Both Kranzler and Eikhoff pitched clean frames in the fifth. Kranzler hit a batter to start the top of the sixth but got out of the jam with two strikeouts. In the bottom of the inning, Espinal launched a solo home run to right center field to put the Commodores on the board. However, that was all the hits Vanderbilt could muster as it remained down, 8-1, heading to the seventh. 

Kranzler kept up his dominant pitching performance in the seventh, throwing another clean frame. After walking the first batter, the freshman righty responded with a strikeout and two flyouts to end the threat. 

The Vanderbilt offense’s struggles continued in the bottom of the seventh as it went down in order. In the top of the eighth, Kranzler hit his second batter of the day, putting a runner on first. A two-run home run by Coastal Carolina’s Sam Antonacci put the Chanticleers up 10-1. Corbin opted to replace Kranzler with right-hander Sam Hliboki. Hliboki immediately walked a batter and threw two wild pitches to get a runner to third. An RBI groundout pushed another run across for Coastal Carolina. Several more hits and walks had the Commodores down 13-1.  

Coastal Carolina struck out two consecutive batters to start the bottom of the eighth; however, a single by Austin ignited the Vanderbilt offense. An RBI double and an RBI single by Espinal and Polk, respectively, pushed two runs across for the Commodores. However, the team’s efforts were too little, too late, as Vanderbilt was still down by 10 runs with only one inning left. 

Both the Chanticleers and the Commodores were kept off the board in the ninth inning, as Vanderbilt fell, 13-3, failing to secure a Game 1 win in Clemson, S.C.

The VandyBoys now enter the loser’s bracket. They will be back in action at 11 a.m. CDT on Saturday to face the loser of the Clemson and High Point matchup.

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About the Contributors
Henry Oelhafen
Henry Oelhafen, Deputy Sports Editor
Henry Oelhafen (‘26) is a student in Peabody College majoring in human and organizational development and minoring in business. Henry grew up as a Vanderbilt sports fan and loves to talk about both professional and amateur golf. In addition to writing, he loves to play golf with friends, hike and try new restaurants. He can be reached at [email protected].
Barrie Barto
Barrie Barto, Editor-in-Chief
Barrie Barto ('25) is majoring in medicine, health & society with neuroscience and communication of science & technology minors in the College of Arts and Science. She previously served as Photography Director. When she's not strolling around campus with her camera, you can find Barrie cheering on the St. Louis Blues or tracking down the best gluten-free food in Nashville. She can be reached at [email protected].
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