NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Carson Fulmer allowed one run and four hits in seven innings and defending national champion Vanderbilt beat Lipscomb 9-1 on Friday night in their NCAA regional opener.
Fulmer (12-2), the Southeastern Conference pitcher of the year, struck out 11 with his fastball consistently reaching 94 mph on the scoreboard radar.
The loss ended Lipscomb’s road-neutral winning streak at 15 as Vanderbilt avenged an April 7 loss.
Top-seeded Vanderbilt (43-19) will face third-seeded Indiana on Saturday. Fourth-seeded Lipscomb (39-19) will play Radford in an elimination game. Indiana beat Radford 7-1.
Vanderbilt freshman Jeren Kendall went 2 for 3 with 3 RBIs, giving him seven RBIs in the last four games. Leadoff hitter Ro Coleman went 3 for 3, reaching base in all five at-bats by also drawing a walk and getting hit by a pitch. Bryan Reynolds went 3 for 5.
Lipscomb knuckleballer Ian Martinez-McGraw, who leads the nation with 17 starts, fell to 7-4 after allowing three runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings.
Kendall blasted a 1-1 pitch into the stands in right field for a two-run homer to start the scoring in the second inning.
Adam Lee’s RBI single to center field narrowed the Commodores’ lead to 2-1 in the third.
Kendall’s RBI double off the wall in right field wall off reliever Nick Andros increased Vanderbilt’s lead to 3-1 in the fifth.
The Commodores scored five runs in the sixth, batting around to make it 8-1. Will Toffey’s two-run single, Reynolds’ RBI double, Karl Ellison’s one-run single and Tyler Campbell’s sacrifice fly accounted for the scoring. Rhett Wiseman’s RBI single pushed Vanderbilt’s lead to 9-1 in the seventh.