Vanderbilt got a dominating pitching performance from sophomore Sonny Gray to take down Kentucky with a 7-0 series-opening victory Friday night in Nashville.
Gray (4-2) pitched seven shutout innings, allowing only four hits and three walks while striking out six to pick up his first SEC win of the season.
UK starter Logan Darnell (3-2), a native of nearby Joelton, Tenn., went 51⁄3 innings, allowing nine hits and seven runs — five earned — walking four and striking out three. UK freshman Jordan Cooper, a native of Shelbyville, Tenn., came on in relief and went the final 22⁄3 innings, allowing two hits and one walk.
Vanderbilt jumped out to an early lead with a single run in the first, two runs in the third and another run in the fourth. The Commodores took complete control with three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
UK had just five hits in the game. Pre-season All-American Chris Bisson, Keenan Wiley, Taylor Black, Andy Burns and Gunner Glad each singled. Marcus Nidiffer and Braden Kapteyn each drew walks to lead off innings. The Cats left a total of 10 runners on base, getting leadoff runners on base in four innings.
Vandy was led offensively by multi-hit games from Bryan Johns, Jason Esposito, Connor Harrell and Anthony Gomez. Johns and Loftus each drew two walks, and Harris' double was the only extra-base hit for either team in the game.