Sophomore second baseman Ethan Paul blasted two homers yesterday, one to right central in the 2nd, and the other over the left field wall in the 4th, and Jeren Kendall added a 3-run double in a 7 run fifth as the Commodores salvaged a game in their 3 game set with Cal State Northridge, with an 11-3 victory.
The team moved to 7-5 on the season. We've struggled some out of the gates, but the talent on this team is undoubtable. Just gotta get clickin. Yesterday was a good jumpstart.
Freshman Drake Fellows moved to 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA after going 6 yesterday, giving up 8 hits, 1 earned, with 1 walk and 5 K's. Drake continues to pitch well on Sundays for us. We dropped the first two games of the series, but the bats came alive yesterday with 9 hits and 11 runs.
First baseman Julian Infante is leading the team in hitting at .333. Julian has 2 homers and 9 Ribeyes. Catcher Jason Delay is hitting .317. Jeren is hitting .275, but has been productive with 4 homers and 11 Ribbies. Jeren will certainly get that average up.
We've been struggling a little bit with the bats and in the field. We're hitting .269 as a team and have committed 14 errors in 12 games, but we settled down yesterday, and didn't commit an error and fielded very well. Junior college transfer Paxton Stover and freshman Michael Sandborn, both leftys, and redshirt junior Penn Murfee closed the game for Drake. Paxton gave up two runs in an inning, but struck out 2. Sandborn pitched a perfect 8th with a K, and Penn finished it off in the 9th without allowing a run.
Cal State Northridge is a good baseball team. They had beaten UCLA earlier last week. We are now ranked 25th in the country by D-1 Baseball.
This week, we host Central Arkansas at the Hawk tomorrow (Tues) @ 4 PM CT, and Wednesday at 4 PM CT. We'll host Saint Mary's out of California over the weekend with Friday's game at 4 PM CT, Saturday's game at 2 PM CT, and Sunday's game at 1 PM CT. All of these games will be on SEC Network+ on the Watch ESPN online site.
Our next game will be at home vs. Western Kentucky on Tuesday, 3-14, @ 6:30 PM CT. That will also be carried by SEC Network+. Then we open conference season @ Ole Miss with a Friday Night game @ 6:30 CT, Saturday @1:30 PM CT, and Sunday @ 3 PM CT. Friday and Saturday will be on SEC Network+, and Sunday's game will be on the SEC Network.
So a lot of exciting stuff coming up for our team. Thought yesterday was a real good step in the right direction for our young, developing baseball team. Still like this group a lot. I still believe the players are struggling with Donny Everett's passing last year, that's impossible to get over, but they are resilient and they're playing for No. 41 this season.
Luke Kornet was named SEC player of the week for his play last week against Kentucky and Florida. In those two games, Lukas averaged 22.5 ppg, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.
In the Florida victory, Luke scored a career high 24 points, and against Kentucky, Luke poured in 23. Congratulations to the man. Luke is now the NCAA leader in 3's by a 7 footer with 148, and he is 1 block shy of the Commodores all time blocks record of 204 held by former Commodore great Festus Ezeli. Fes now plays for the Portland Trailblazers. He is out with an injury this season, but should be good to go for the Blazers in 2017-18.
Great stuff from Luke. Will talk to Bryce tomorrow on the upcoming SEC tournament. We open with Texas A&M Thursday at 6 PM @ Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. The SEC Network will televise.
Vann Webb Memorial Pig Roast
Van Webb, one of the great ones to ever come through the Phi Delta Theta house at Vanderbilt, passed away several years ago from ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. Vann's father, Billy, and his uncle, Jimmy, are former Phi's and two of the best guys I know. Van's grandfather, the late James A. Webb Jr., was a standout football and basketball player at Vanderbilt in the 1940's after serving in the Navy during WW2, and was also a Phi Delta Theta member and the finest man you'd ever want to meet. James Webb, Vann's grandfather, was a highly successful businessman in Nashville. Billy and Jimmy, both very successful businessmen, reside in Nashville with their families.
There is an ability to donate to the ALS Association in Vann's name. Here is the address you can mail your donation to:
The ALS Association Tennessee Chapter
P.O. Box 40244
Nashville, Tennessee 37204
It's an amazing organization that is battling this tough disease, so it would be super if you could send a donation if you are a Phi Delta Theta, or if you're interested in helping to give to this highly worthy organization for one of the finest families you'll ever want to meet. I know the family would appreciate it. I plan on doing it this afternoon. Thanks a lot.
Will have more later today with my interview with Coach Scott Limbaugh of VU men's golf, tomorrow with Coach Geoff McDonald of VU women's tennis, and Wednesday with Coach Andy Ludwig, VU football offensive coordinator. Scott and Geoff are always in the mix for the national championship and this year is no different. Andy had some very interesting things to say about the team as we matriculate through spring practice. Spring went well on day 1 Saturday as Oren Burks, Josh Smith, and Jonathan Wynn had big days on defense, and Oren and Zaire Jones each picked off a pass. The team is off this week for spring break
Also, plenty of basketball including my talk with Bryce, which I'll post Wednesday or Thursday, and plenty of VU baseball coverage coming up also.