NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt pitchers Drake Fellows and Zach King held LSU scoreless through the final eight innings Friday night to pace the Commodores to a 4-2 win over the Tigers at Hawkins Field.
The Commodores improved to 16-6 overall and 4-0 in the SEC, while LSU dropped to 15-8 overall and 2-2 in league play.
The teams will meet in Game 2 of the series at 7:30 p.m. CT Saturday in a game that will be televised by ESPNU, and it can be heard on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network.
Fellows (4-0) earned the win Friday night after giving up two runs in the first inning, but blanking the Tigers over the next four frames. Fellows worked a total of five innings, allowing two runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
King picked up his second save of the year after pitching four scoreless innings, limiting LSU to three hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
LSU starter Zack Hess (3-3) was charged with the loss as he surrendered four runs on four hits in 3.1 innings with three walks and three strikeouts. Hess gave up a pair of two-run homers that turned an early 2-0 LSU lead into a 4-2 deficit by the third inning.
“It was a great ball game,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “Somebody had to lose, somebody won and we came up a little short. Zack didn’t have his best breaking ball tonight, and Vanderbilt had two big swings of the bat that were the difference in the game.”
Relievers John Kodros and Todd Peterson pitched brilliantly for the Tigers, combining to blank Vanderbilt over the final 4.2 innings. Kodros recorded two straight outs after inheriting a one-out, runners-on-the-corners situation in the fourth, and Peterson fired four shutout innings with three hits, one walk and a career-high seven strikeouts.
“Peterson was outstanding tonight,” Mainieri said. “He gave us a chance and kept us within striking distance.”
LSU opened the scoring in the top of first inning when centerfielder Zach Watson tripled and later scored on a single by rightfielder Antoine Duplantis. The Tigers increased the lead to 2-0 later in the frame on a run-scoring single by designated hitter Beau Jordan.
Vanderbilt tied the game in the second on a two-run homer by first baseman Julian Infante, and the Commodores grabbed a 4-2 in the third on a two-run dinger by centerfielder Pat DeMarco.