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Amherst native Kevin Ziomek off to a strong start on the mound at Vanderbilt

It didn’t take too long for Kevin Ziomek to find his groove. Once he did, the Vanderbilt junior was untouchable.

Ziomek struck out seven, walked one and allowed four hits and one run over six innings to lead the No. 2-ranked Commodores in a 10-4 season-opening win over Long Beach State in Nashville, Tenn., on Feb. 15.

“It was a big win for us and it’s nice to get a little momentum going into the rest of the series,” Ziomek said.

Ziomek allowed the four hits and one run through the first three innings. The Amherst native soon settled down and retired 11 straight Dirtbags. He faced 23 batters and allowed six flyouts and five groundballs.

“Going in there we had a plan and we stuck to the plan and it worked out,” Ziomek said. “The bats picked us up and we moved forward.”

With game time temperatures in the upper 40s, the lefty felt right at home as the game progressed and the temperature dropped.

“The weather doesn’t bother me too much,” Ziomek said. “I think it helped us more than it hurt it. Long Beach probably had a tougher time adjusting.”

Long Beach tagged Ziomek, who was a preseason third-team All-American selection by Baseball America, for a run in the second. Vandy answered in the third with five runs and led 10-1 when Ziomek departed.

Ziomek will likely make he next start this weekend. Vanderbilt hosts Monmouth in a three-game series (Friday, 5 p.m.; Saturday, 3 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.).

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