Men's Golf finishes 3rd at Athens onto NCAA Championships, Baseball keeps truckin

The 4th ranked Vanderbilt Men’s Golf team closed with a team 1 under round today to finish at +1 for the Athens Regional and in third place insuring we will be traveling next week to play in the NCAA Championships at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Will Gordon shot 3 under par 68 to lead the team and fell just 3 strokes short of winning the individual low medalist award shooting -6 over for the three days. Awesome effort from our senior from Davidson, N.C. Quite a future in the game for Will. I know he wants to go out as a national champion before that though.

John “Clutch” Augenstein finished 9th at even par. John didn’t have his best day today shooting +3, but he’s a fighter and I’m glad he’s on our team heading into next week. The NCAA Championships start a week from Friday, May 24th with 3 rounds of stroke play with the top 15 places out of 30 qualifying for a final 18 holes of stroke play. The top 8 teams that emerge from the 4th round of stroke play will square off in match play to determine the national champion. The championship match is Wednesday, May 29th.

Harrison Ott played well and finished tied for 10th at +1. Patrick Martin didn’t have his best tournament finishing at +10, but I like PMart in the championships. He’ll give us great effort and toughness.

No.16 Georgia won at 8 under on their home course the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens. No.9 Duke was next at -1. We were third at +1, SMU was fourth at +16 and No.22 Liberty was the final team to make it to the championships finishing at +18.

So now our team gets ready for the big tournament. Tremendous that we got there once again under our superb coach, Scott Limbaugh, but I know Scott and the team want to do a lot more than this next week in Fayetteville. Great stuff from the guys. Will keep you informed on the team going forward into the championships a week from Friday.

Baseball a 5-2 winner

Our No.2 ranked baseball team took care of business last night at Hawkins Field, behind some timely hitting and solid pitching.

Stephen Scott hit a 2 run shot in the 4th over the right field wall to put us up 2-0. That was Stephen’s 7th homer of the season and RBIs 38 and 39. Harrison Ray hit a two out RBI double in the sixth and Ethan Paul and Pat DeMarco drove in runs in the seventh with Paul’s double and DeMarco’s single.

Austin Martin was 2 for 5 and is now hitting .432. DeMarco was 2 for 4 and is hitting .305. Ethan is at .327 and has a team leading 18 doubles on the season. He’s one ahead of Scott, who has 17. Stephen is at .317, and Harrison Ray, who has driven in 16 runs in his last 18 outings, is hitting .265 and is 14-of-17 in stolen bases. Harrison is a key part of this team. He’s been hugely clutch lately. All our players have come through in the clutch many times this season, but Harrison has been terrific at the plate and at second in the last 3 weeks.

Mason Hickman started, went 5, giving up 3 hits, 2 earned runs, with 2 walks and 10 K’s. Mason didn’t get the victory, but he’s still 6-0 with a 2.26 ERA and has walked only 15 in 67 innings and has struck out 89. Hick has been on fire. We’ll really need him in the postseason. Jake Eder came in and pitched the 6th and the 7th, giving up 2 hits, 0 runs, with 0 walks and 4 K’s. Super performance by Jake. He got the victory his first of the season. He’s 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA. Jackson Gillis got them out in the 8th without any damage, giving up 1 hit, but no runs. Tyler Brown pitched the 9th and let 2 guys get on, but struck out 2 and stranded 2 guys on base for his 13th save. Tyler has been phenomenal this season. He is also 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA with 7 walks and 47 K’s in 33 innings of work. Tyler is a key piece to our success going forward as he has been all season. We’ll need guys like Eder and Gillis along with Hugh Fisher, A. J. Franklin, Ethan Smith and Chance Huff to deliver out of the pen as well. One of those guys or a couple might get some starts in the postseason, so they’ll have to be ready for that.

We are now 42-10 and 20-7 in the SEC with a one game lead over Arkansas (19-8) and a 2 game lead over Georgia (18-9) and Mississippi State (18-9)

We head to Lexington tomorrow for a final 3 game set in the conference at Kentucky. First pitch tomorrow (Thursday) night is at 5:30 CT. Friday’s game is also at 5:30 PM CT, and Saturday’s game is at 1 PM CT. All 3 games will be broadcast by the SEC Network+.

Kentucky is 26-25 overall and, more importantly, 7-20 in the SEC and battling with Alabama and South Carolina for the final 12th spot in the SEC tournament, so they’ll be very hungry. Both Alabama and SC are at 7-20 as well. So a lot to play for this weekend. Will keep you apprised throughout the weekend on our team’s progress. Drake, Thursday, Kumar, Friday and Rabes on Saturday.