STORY BY CHRIS LEE | PHOTOS BY WHITNEY JARRELD
NASHVILLE, Tenn.— Williamson County had a heavy presence in Vanderbilt’s baseball game with Belmont at First Tennessee Park on Tuesday evening. But it was Sumner County’s Mason Hickman who won the night in VU’s 3-0 win over the Bruins.
Hickman, a graduate of Hendersonville’s Pope John Paul II High School, struck out a career-high 12, scattering three singles over six innings as the Commodores (16-5) snapped a two-game losing streak.
Left fielder Stephen Scott scored all three VU runs. Scott homered in the second for the game’s first run, and scored on a passed ball in the eighth for the last.
It avenged Belmont’s win over Vandy in First Tennessee Park last season.
The story of the night was strong pitching.
Vandy had its share, with Hickman, Hugh Fisher, Zach King and Tyler Brown combining to four-hit the Bruins. The four combined to fan 15 Belmont hitters.
Vanderbilt second baseman Harrison Ray helped preserve the shutout. With one out in the ninth, Ray came up with a spectacular diving catch one a fly ball from Franklin High’s Logan Jarvis for the second out of the ninth.
BU also did its own good work on the hill. Seven Bruin hurlers scattered eight hits on the night. That included local high school products Chandler Schultz (Ensworth), Korey Bell (Brentwood High) and Kyle Brennan (Centennial), who each threw a scoreless frame.
Ravenwood graduate Hagan Severance, who transferred to Belmont from Mississippi State, started in center for the Bruins. He went 0 for 4, but had a couple of nice catches in center in the spacious confines of First Tennessee Park. including a nice running grab that Ray nearly drove out of the park to cente rim the second.
Ensworth graduate Kiambu Fentress drew his first start of the season for VU, manning center for VU. Fentress was 0 for 2 with three putouts.
Fairview’s Kyle Klotz, a Creekwood High graduate, gave up a tough-luck run in the ninth on a Scott double that landed on the mound. Vanderbilt second baseman Ethan Paul drove in him with a single for the evening’s last run.
Christ Presbyterian Academy’s Philip Clarke, VU’s usual starting catcher, yielded way to Ty Duvall behind the plate. Clarke instead started at DH, where he went 0 for 4.
Vanderbilt hosts rival Florida at Hawkins Field in a Thursday-through-Saturday in VU’s first home Southeastern Conference series this year. The Bruins face Ohio Valley Conference rival SIUE on the road, starting Friday.