The No.2 ranked Vanderbilt Commodores are now SEC regular season champions by virtue of our 12-4 victory over Kentucky last night coupled with an Arkansas loss to Texas A&M.
With the win, we moved to 44-10 on the season and 22-7 in the SEC with one more game left. We will be the No.1 seed in the double elimination SEC Tournament at the Hoover (AL) Met. Our first game will be at 4:30 PM CT Wednesday and will be televised by the SEC Network. Our opponent is to be determined today. Will be either Alabama, South Carolina or Kentucky depending on the outcomes of today’s games.
JJ Bleday cranked his nation’s leading 24th home run. JJ now has 63 Ribeyes as well. Julian Infante hit a bases clearing double. Good to see our big man getting in the act. Stephen Scott hit his 4th homer in 3 days and his 3rd of the series. Stephen now has 10 homers and 44 RBIs on the year. Ethan Paul hit an oppo homer to left field, a 3 run shot in the 8th. We posted 12 hits on the night. Austin Martin was 1 for 4 and is now hitting .438. Not sure what the New Mexico State kid did, but will keep you posted on if Austin wins the batting average crown nationally. Austin also stole 2 bases and has 13 on the season. Harrison Ray was 1 for 5 but stole his 15th base in 18 attempts this season and had another terrific night at 2nd. JJ was 2 for 4 with 4 RBis, Ethan Paul was 2 for 3 with 4 ribbies. Ethan is now hitting .326 with 7 homers and 63 Ribeyes, tied for the team RBI lead with JJ. Philip Clarke was 2 for 4 and both were for extra bases. Philip had 2 doubles and an RBI. Philip is now hitting .319 with 13 doubles, 3 triples 6 homers and 59 RBI’s. We are a run driving in machine. Ethan and Stephen lead the team with 18 doubles and Austin leads the team with 4 triples.
Kumar had a solid night going 7, giving up 8 hits, 4 earned, with 0 walks and 6 K’s. Great stuff from one of our studs on the mound. Kumar just keeps getting better and better and the ceiling looks unlimited. He’ll be huge in the postseason. Kumar moved to 7-5 with a 4.32 ERA with 15 walks and 68 strikeouts. Kumar is a strike throwing machine with incredible stuff. Jake Eder came in and pitched superbly in the 8th and 9th, giving up 0 hits, 0 runs with 0 walks and 3 K’s. Kumar hit 95 a couple of times, and was in the 92-93 range throughout the game, while Eder was hitting 95-96 throughout his 2 innings of work.
One more hurdle to climb in the regular season as we face the Wildcats today in game 3. Patrick Raby (9-1, 2.42) will be on the hill for us, and Rabes will face Kentucky lefty Zack Thompson (6-1, 2.14) First pitch is at 1 PM CT with SEC Network+ broadcasting. Would be excellent to get one more victory and keep the momentum going into the tournament.
Dansby Swanson hit his 7th home run of the season, a 3 run shot in the bottom of the 6th to help lead the Braves to a 12-8 victory over a very good Milwaukee Brewers team. Dans now has 29 RBIs on the season as well. Dans has been in a little but of a slump lately, so it was really good to see him break out. He is now hitting .244. Would like to see that average keep climbing going forward. He’s too good a hitter to hit .244. Hitting can come and go in pro baseball, but I know Dans is working hard on it and has the potential to be a .285-.290 hitter, even .300 in the future. Just needs to get in a rhythm at the plate. Dans playing pretty solid short as well. The Braves are now 24-21 and have been on a tear lately. They are presently 1 1/2 games back of the Phillies, who lead the NL East at 25-19.
Bryan Reynolds was 2 for 4 last night with a 2 run homer and a pair of ribbies. That was Bryan’s second homer of the season and he’s now hitting .309 and looking pretty established in left field for the Pittsburgh Pirates which defeated the San Diego Padres 5-3, to move to 22-20 on the season and 3 games back of the NL Central leading Chicago Cubs.
Tony Kemp was hitless last night for the Astros and is hitting .227, but Tony is showing signs of hitting better. He’s been playing second as Jose Altuve has been battling injuries. Tony always plays stellar defense and his bat will come around. The Astros have been red hot lately They are 30-15 with the best record in baseball and lead the AL West by 6 1/2 games over the LA Angels.
Walker Buehler is on the hill for the Dodgers today at Cincinnati. Walk is 4-0 with 4.15 ERA and a very good WHIP (walks+hits per inning) at 1.04. Anything under 1.10 is very good. Under 1.00 is outstanding. So Walk is close. He got hit hard a couple of times earlier in the season, but he’s been cookln lately. Looking forward to seeing him pitch versus the Reds. The Dodgers are 30-16 and lead the NL West by 4 1/2 games over the Arizona Dbacks.
MIke Minor pitches Monday at home versus Seattle. Mike is 4-3 with a 2.61 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP He’s been pretty spectacular many times this season. Mike’s always had awesome stuff, but his fastball hits 95 consistently now and can get to 96. It’s phenomenal.
David Price is scheduled to come off the DL and pitch Monday at Toronto. David has dealt with some elbow tightness, but looks to be ready to go. David is having a pretty solid year despite being banged up a little. He’s 1-2 with a 3.75 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. David has walked only 10 batters in 36 innings and struck out 42. He’s just supremely accurate. Will be good to see DP back on the mound.
Sonny Gray pitches Tuesday @ Milwaukee. Sonny is 0-4 with a 4.30 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. He hasn’t pitched that badly this season, he’s just had problems giving up the long ball. Still believe in him.
Women’s Tennis battles, just falls short
Our No.8 women’s tennis team fought till the end against No.1 Georgia but just came up barely short, falling 4-3 at Orlando in the Elite 8 of the NCAA Championships.
Awesome season once again for Coach Geoff McDonald and the team though. I know we fell short of our goal, which is to win it all every year, but we’ve got some good players returning led by junior Christina Rosca and freshman Georgia Drummy, and some good players coming in, so we should be highly competitive once again next season. That’s always the case with Geoff McDonald teams.
Fernanda Contreras finished strong in her senior year winning in straight sets at No.2 yesterday. We’ll miss Fernanda. She’s been an awesome representative of Vanderbilt both on the court and in the classroom. She was the ultimate leader of this team. But Fern has a lot of tennis left in front of her. She’ll set out to make her way on the professional circuit. I’ll keep you posted on Fern’s progress.
Also, Astra Sharma will be competing next Sunday in the French Open which begins a week from tomorrow, June 26th. Will be awesome to see Astra compete at Roland Garros as she keeps matriculating up the world rankings. She is now at No.100.
Astra will also play at the Wimbledon Championships in July, July 1st-14th. So great stuff from our former All American. It’s amazing to think that Astra was a senior on the team just last year.the team that fell in the national championship match to Stanford but had a spectacular season. It just seems like a long time ago. Maybe because she’s already become so outstanding on the pro tour. She had a great career at VU and has an awesome career ahead of her on the WTA circuit. Excited to see her play next week in Paris
Women’s Golf fighting for a top 15 spot
Women’s golf is presently in 21st place at 34 over at the NCAA Championships at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville. We are 10 strokes behind No. 15 Wake Forest (+24). The top 15 after 3 days of stroke play advance to the 4th round of stroke play, so we have our work cut out for us. We are 7 over today through holes 9-10. Gotta start making some birdies. Still time left if we can start cranking it up.