Vanderbilt Baseball: Black Outlasts Gold

Sophomore catcher Maxwell Romero Jr. finished 3-for-3
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Sophomore Maxwell Romero Jr. launched two home runs to lead the Black Team to an 8-7 victory in Game 1 of the Black and Gold World Series on Friday evening at Hawkins Field.

Romero Jr. closed out the contest a perfect 3-for-3 with three RBI to lead the Black offense, while scoring a team-high three runs. Teammates Tate Kolwyck and Will Duff posted multi-RBI outings for the Black Team, each finishing with two apiece.

Gold struck first in Game 1, plating one run in the top of the second to grab an early 1-0 lead. Team captain Jayson Gonzalez led the inning off with a single to left center before advancing to second on a stolen base. One batter later, a walk to freshman Jack Bulger and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with only one out.

Black Team starter Kumar Rocker battled back, striking out the next batter to bring freshman outfielder Enrique Bradfield to the plate. Bradfield worked the count full before drawing the bases-loaded walk to bring across the first run of the contest.

Black answered back with a run of its own in the home half of the inning. Romero Jr. sent a ball to deep right center for a solo shot, evening the score at one apiece after two innings of action.

Black returned to the dish to put up a four spot in the third to take the lead. After a one-out walk to Cooper Davis, junior Tate Kolwyck left the yard for a two-run shot to put Black ahead, 3-1.

The inning continued as junior Dominic Keegan sent a two-out single up the middle to give Black a baserunner. In the next at-bat, Romero Jr. notched his second homer of the night with a two-run blast to right field to make it a 5-1 contest in favor of the Black team.

Gold exploded for a five-run frame in the top of the fourth, recording six hits to move in front. The inning was highlighted by RBI singles from sophomore CJ Rodriguez, freshman Gavin Casas and Bulger, while Gonzalez drew a bases-loaded walk.

Black responded with three runs across the bottom innings of fourth and the fifth, sandwiching one run from Gold in the top of the fifth.

Junior Ethan Smith came on to close things out for the Black Team in the top of the seventh. The right-hander worked a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts to preserve the lead and secure the win for the Black Team.

The two teams return to the diamond tomorrow afternoon for Game 2, which is scheduled for a 1 p.m. first pitch from Hawkins Field.