Coach Tim Corbin secured his 800th career victory Sunday in our 9-1 victory over Illinois State in the first game of a doubleheader. We were defeated in the second game, 7-3, breaking a 7 game winning streak, but went 4-1 for the week with some impressive hitting and pitching and solid defense once again.
Corbs has now won 694 games at Vanderbilt and won 106 games at Presbyterian. What a coach.
The team had a very impressive week with a 24-2 win over Davidson, a 12-4 victory over East Tennessee State, and took 2 of 3 from Illinois State, 10-4 on Friday Night, 9-1 in the first game Sunday, as Saturday was washed out, before falling 7-3 in the nightcap. We are now 13-3 and D1 Baseball.com, Baseball America, and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) all have us ranked No.1. Collegiate Baseball News has us at No.4 with Florida State at No.1.
Right fielder J.J. Bleday is hitting a sizzling .415 with 6 homers and 20 Ribeyes, both team leading stats. Shortstop Ethan Paul had a super week last week hitting .388, 7 for 18, and is now hitting .413 with 2 homers and 19 Ribbies and playing terrific at short. Left fielder Cooper Davis is hitting .379 and is 3 for 4 in the stolen base department. Stephen Scott is hitting .345 with a homer and 17 Ribbies. Harrison Ray and Jayson Gonzalez are now starting at 2nd and 3rd respectively as 2nd baseman Austin Martin has been suspended indefinitely for an internal team discipline matter. They are taking advantage of their opportunities. Jayson is hitting .333 with a homer and 6 RBIs, while Harrison, who had taken over 3rd base, but was moved to 2nd when Martin was suspended this past Sunday, has hit .294 and is 5 for 5 in stolen bases. Harrison’s also been excellent in the field. Jayson played well with the glove on Sunday. He’s had his issues at times, but he’s got the ability to be a strong 3rd baseman.
Patrick Raby is still on fire. After going 6 innings, giving up 4 hits, with one earned run, a walk and 5 K’s, Rabes moved to 3-0 on the season with an 0.87 ERA. Rabes has walked 9 and K’d 20. He’s been superb. Drake Fellows is also 3-0 but has a 5,32 ERA. He’s walked 10 and K’d 36. Drake needs to get that ERA down, but he and Rabes are serious strike throwers and that’s where effective pitching starts. Like where we’re at on Friday and Saturday with Drake and Rabes respectively. Sunday, we’re still working to figure out. Zach King strikes out a lot of people, but he can’t seem to get through the 3rd inning without being hit. So we’ll need to find a solution there. I’d give Kumar Rocker another shot or even Tyler Brown. Both are hard throwing and accurate. Like either one of those guys as options.
The defense has been very good recently. We have committed only 7 errors in 16 games and we’re fielding at a .988 clip, while our opponents are fielding at .958. Would like to see us turn the double play a little better, but overall solid stuff on defense.
We play 12-3 Samford today at 6:30 PM CT on SEC Network+ which can be streamed on the ESPN app or Watch ESPN on the computer. Samford has won 10 in a row so they will be a formidable opponent. Right hander Chance Huff takes the hill for us. Chance is 2-0 with a 5.87 ERA. He will face right hander Gene Hurst for the Bulldogs who is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA.
This weekend we head to College Station to open the SEC season facing the 19th ranked Aggies of Texas A&M. Friday’s first pitch is at 6:30 PM CT, Saturday’s middle game is set for 2 PM CT, and Sunday’s game is scheduled for a 1 PM CT first pitch. All 3 games will be streamed on SEC Network+.
McDonald earns 500th Career victory at Vanderbilt
The awesome Geoff McDonald secured his 500th career victory at Vanderbilt with 4-0 victory over Alabama Sunday in Tuscaloosa. Geoff has been an incredible ambassador for the university in his 25 years at the helm of VU women’s tennis, and the tennis victories just keep piling up with the superb McDonald in charge. Fernanda Contreras, Georgia Drummy, and Amanda Meyer were all victorious in singles Sunday and we also took the doubles point. We had defeated Auburn last Friday at Auburn, 4-1. We are ranked No.5 in the country and Fernanda is ranked 3rd nationally in singles. The new ITA rankings come out today, so will update if there is any change in our’s and Fernanda’s ranking. Geoff just keeps on cookin. We’ve got an awesome team that just keeps getting better and better. Next up we play at No.21 Texas A&M this Friday at 5 PM CT, and then we’re @ No.15 LSU on Sunday at Noon CT. They can be streamed if you go to the VU Women’s Tennis twitter handle and go to the link to the matches. Or you can probably find it on vucommodores.com. The Vanderbilt Women’s Tennis twitter handle is that if you type it in the search bar on Twitter. I’ll have a report Monday.
We’re very fortunate to have Corbs, Geoff, Scott Limbaugh, Bryce Drew, Derek Mason and all of our stellar coaches.
Astra claims singles and doubles titles in Mexico
The phenomenal Astra Sharma won both the singles and doubles titles at the International Tennis Federation tournament in Irapuato, Mexico. Astra defeated former world No.73 Veronica Cepede Royg, 6-7, 6-3, 6-3 to capture the singles championship. Astra improved her singles record to 9-3 this year. She and her doubles partner Paige Hourigan defeated Cepede Royg and Renata Voracova to capture the doubles title.
Astra sits at No.160 in the world and is projected to move up to No.143 as she keeps cookin in her attempt to play in the second major of the year, the French Open, May 26th through June 9th and then the Championships at Wimbledon in late June, early July. Astra wants to capture more titles. Her journey has been extraordinary so far with her qualifying to play in the Australian Open by winning 3 matches, winning a singles match at the Australian Open and making it to the finals at Melbourne in the mixed doubles.
Awesome stuff from Astra.
Men’s Golf in a loaded tournament starting this Sunday
Scott Limbaugh takes his No.3 ranked Men’s Golf Team (Golfstat rankings) down to Palm City, Florida to compete in the Valspar Collegiate Championship. Coach Limbaugh and assistant Gator Todd will have their team squaring off against No.1 Oklahoma State, No.2 Duke, No.6 Wake Forest, No.8 Texas, No.9 Georgia Tech, No.12 LSU, No.15 Auburn, and No.23 Texas A&M among others. Wow. Hoping for a great result from our team though. We know we’ll get a good performance from the nation’s No.6 ranked player, Will Gordon, and probably from studs Patrick Martin and John Augenstein. We just need some of the younger guys to step up like Harrison Ott, Mason Greenberg and Reid Davenport among others. Good test for the team.
The tournament starts this Sunday, 3-17, and runs through next Tuesday, 3-19. Will keep you posted on the men’s progress.
Men’s Basketball vs Texas A&M
Our team takes the floor tomorrow (Wed) at 8 to 8:30 PM CT versus Texas A&M in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. The game will be televised by the SEC Network. It’s been a tough season, but the future looks bright and we’ve got a new season starting tomorrow night. Excited to see the guys compete. Will give a report Thursday if we’re successful.