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Espinal Leads Vandy Version of SEC Home Run Derby In Win Over Vols

Alan Espinal launches one of his two home runs against Tennessee

By Doug Kyle

The Vanderbilt Commodores Wednesday afternoon kept up the theme that's been prevalent in Hoover, AL the first few days of the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament: the lower seeded team wins five of seven games so far. No, wait. Yeah, okay that too. But the trend has been to hit the ball a long way, AKA long ball.

That was true again, as Vandy hit four dingers on the way to a 13-4 win over in-state rival, and SEC co-champion, Tennessee. The Vols likely have hosting and a Top 8 seed locked up, so their approach could afford to be a bit more casual than their rival, who has some work to do and improvement to make on their NCAA resume after tailing off the latter part of the season.

Half of the homer quartet was collected by Alan Espinal, who also had five RBI. He was joined in the homer room by Jonathan Vastine and Colin Barczi with one each. Four other batters had multiple hits: Davis Diaz (2), RJ Austin (3), Braden Holcomb (3), and Calvin Hewitt (2).

Blake Burke was the only Volunteer with multiple hits (2).

Vanderbilt advances in the double elimination round to face the winner of the Mississippi State-Texas A&M game in the late game Thursday night, about 30 minutes after the 4:30 pm game concludes. Tennessee meets the loser of that same game in the second game on Thursday, also about 30 minutes after the 9:30 am game concludes.


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