Vanderbilt caps Stellar week with Sweep of Illinois-Chicago

Greg Arias

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The fourth-ranked Commodores completed the series sweep of Illinois-Chicago with a 5-2 victory Sunday afternoon behind the firepower of young arms on the mound at Hawkins Field.

Vanderbilt starter Jake Eder (1-0) cruised through five innings before the Flames got on the board in the sixth. The right-hander allowed just two runs on three hits while collecting 11 strikeouts.

Starting pitchers for the Commodores recorded double-digit punchouts in four of the past five games.

Vanderbilt (6-2) got out to an early lead by plating one run in the first on a groundout by Austin Martin and another in the second off a towering solo home run by Isaiah Thomas. The long ball was the fourth of the sophomore’s career and his first since April 30 against Tennessee Tech.

The outfielder has picked up at least one hit in each of the first eight games this season.

The Dores offense added two runs in the fifth to push the lead to 4-0. A pair of walks and sacrifice bunt by Carter Young set the stage for freshman Will Duff to deliver an RBI-double to left field to score Harrison Ray. Martin added his third RBI of the season on a sacrifice fly to right field.

Illinois-Chicago (0-7) cut the lead in half in the sixth after catcher Joshua Figueroa followed up a lead-off infield single by launching a two-run home run over the left-field wall. Eder responded with a groundout and a strikeout before permitting just his second walk of the day.

The Commodores called upon Thomas Schultz out of the pen to shut down the threat with a groundout to second base. The freshman right-hander preserved the lead with 1.1 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit.

Young provided the Commodores some insurance with his bat in the eighth, driving in Thomas on a single into right field.

Tyler Brown closed the door on the win for the Commodores. The righty dealt two scoreless innings allowing just one hit thanks to a leaping grab by Thomas at the right-field wall.

Brown picked up a pair of strikeouts en route to his first save of the season.

The Commodores are back in action Tuesday against Evansville. Tickets are available by calling (615) 322-GOLD or by visiting VUCommodores.com.

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