NASHVILLE, (AP) Conrad Gregor and Connor Harrell each drove in two runs and Kevin Ziomek pitched seven strong innings, leading No. 1-seeded Vanderbilt to a 9-1 victory against East Tennessee State in the NCAA Nashville Regional opener on Friday.
The Commodores (52-9) strung together six singles, including five in a row, in the first inning off starter Jimmy Nesselt to take a five-run lead. Gregor’s two-run single up the middle sparked the inning.
Nesselt retired 15 consecutive batters before giving up three unearned runs in the seventh after a throwing error. His night ended when Harrell hit his team-leading 12th home run, a two-run shot. Nesselt (2-3) started in place of Kerry Doane (13-1), who was a late scratch.
Ziomek (11-2) allowed just one run on three hits, struck out five and threw 101 pitches.
The Buccaneers (36-23), Atlantic Sun tournament champions, are playing in their first regional since 1981.
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