Thursday, April 30, 2009

More numbers

by Barca Blog - South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner has led one of college baseball’s premier programs for the last 13 years since arriving in Columbia in 1997. Tanner has taken the Gamecocks to the College World Series three times and holds the second highest all-time winning percentage among SEC coaches behind legendary LSU coach Skip Bertman.

But here are some series statistics that may interest Vanderbilt fans as the Commodores travel to face the Gamecocks starting Friday at Carolina Stadium.

Under head coach Tim Corbin, Vanderbilt has won the last four regular season series against South Carolina including the last two series in Columbia (2005, 2007). Overall, the Commodores have taken 10 of the last 14 games between the clubs.

These numbers are impressive considering Tanner held a 17-1 mark against Vanderbilt in his first six seasons at USC (1997-2002). Since Corbin took the helm in 2003, the Commodores and Gamecocks have split their 22 meetings, with the ‘Dores holding the upper hand since 2005. USC did take the first two series against Corbin's squad in 2003 and 2004 and both of those Gamecock teams eventually made it to Omaha.

This weekend will be crucial for both squads as Vanderbilt (27-17, 10-10 SEC) and South Carolina (27-18, 9-12 SEC) hold the seventh and eighth spots in the conference standings with three weeks left in the regular season. The team that takes the series would be on the inside track to advance to postseason play... so here’s hoping the Commodores make it five in a row.

Numbers game

by Barca Blog - According to, Earl Bennett will go with a different look for his sophomore campaign in the NFL. The former Commodore wideout will switch from N0. 85 to No. 80 for the upcoming season.

“I just wanted to change my number," Bennett told Larry Mayer. "I feel like ‘80’ fits me a little bit better. I think it’s in my character. I didn’t really think ‘85’ really fit it.

“Number 80 has so much tradition behind it with Jerry Rice and Cris Carter and those guys, and hopefully I can become one of those guys and be a legend like they were.”

Bennett initially wanted his college number which would have set up a No. 6 to No. 10 connection one more time after the Bears acquired Jay Cutler in an offseason trade. Unfortunately, the NFL prohibits receivers who have a number in the 80s from switching to a number from 10 through 19... so No. 80 will have to do.

Also, cornerback D.J. Moore has been assigned No. 30, but it could change before the season.

Read the full article here. (Photo by Bill Smith)

Coach Corbin radio interviews

by SID Coach - Corbin will have a couple of radio interviews Thursday previewing the South Carolina series. He will be on the Thom Abraham Show (560 AM WNSR) at 12:45 p.m. CT and on the Afternoon Sports Zone (104.5 FM) at 3:25 p.m.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Postseason baseball projections

by Barca Blog - With only three weeks left in the regular season, check out the latest NCAA Baseball Tournament projections according to three national web sites.
Rivals. com: Rogers' NCAA Field Etheridge's NCAA Field Fitt's NCAA Field

Register for summer sports camps

Commodore fans, summer is just around the corner and this means it's time for your favorite Vanderbilt sports camps. Our coaches are excited to offer a wide variety of camps for all ages. Click Here for more info and to register online.

Frank The Dancin' Dog Update

by SID - We have received confirmation through a source close to Frank that he has read the previous blog and categorically denies a majority of what is in it. Frank is willing to give Doreline NBC an exclusive interview next week. Stay tuned to

Mel Kiper's plug

by Rocket - You may be as weary of NFL Draft speculation as I am but ESPN ended its SportsCenter last night (Tuesday) by bringing back its draft guru, Mel Kiper, to chat about the 2010 draft forecast.

I opted to listen since it was not quite time for NCIS. Anchor Linda Cohn asked Mel if Sam Bradford would be the No. 1 pick and they moved on to discuss his top five running backs and wide receivers.

As they concluded the segment, Cohn asks Kiper who would be the next draft's hot guy that is essentially unknown to the football world at this time.

Kiper says, and I paraphrase closely, when you think about draft picks you think about the SEC and Vanderbilt has put quite a few people into the NFL. (they show film of D.J. Moore) The Chicago Bears have five Vanderbilt alums on their roster and D.J. Moore could have been the steal of the entire draft in the fourth round. Next year watch out for Myron Lewis, another cornerback. He's not 5-foot 9, he's 6-foot 2. He's not 185 pounds, he's 210 pounds. He could project to be quite a player and is certainly someone to watch.

Kiper does his homework. He talks to hundreds of people involved in college and professional football. His endorsement doesn't mean Lewis is a lock for greatness but it is another sign that Vanderbilt football continues to be on the move. The pipeline is still flowing.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Photo: Perdue at golf challenge

by Barca Blog - Here's one more photo, this time of Will Perdue at Tuesday's Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge golf tournament in Greensboro, Ga. Also, you'll notice Jon Barry, another former NBA player (back right), who represented Georgia Tech's team with football head coach Paul Johnson. For complete results, click here.
(Picture courtesy of Matt Garvey)

Photo: Johnson at golf challenge

by Barca Blog - Here's a photo of head coach Bobby Johnson at the Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge golf tournament held Tuesday at Reynolds Plantation on Lake Oconee. Johnson teamed with former Commodore basketball great Will Perdue. (Picture courtesy of Matt Garvey)

Where's Frank The Dancin' Dog?

by SID - So in a week where the players are taking finals, I wanted to write an update on a person that has been noticeably absent all season: Frank The Dancin' Dog. Doreline NBC wanted to investigate what happened to this one-time giant in the unofficial mascot industry.

Five years ago he ruled as the top food mascot in the nation. His sidekicks ketchup and mustard and him barnstormed across West End throwing hot dogs, kissing babies and shaking hands with some of Nashville's finest. Then all of a sudden after the 2007 season he and his friends disappeared. He made a one-time appearance in the last series of the 2008 season, looking like Elvis in his final days. Unshaven and unkempt, his last performance was a sad shell of what he used to be. All that was missing was a cigarette and he would have looked like Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa. Afterwards, unnamed sources reported he needed an oxygen tank and an IV of pickle juice.

Efforts to find the elusive dog have come up empty and his sidekicks ketchup and mustard are not talking. You could sense the anger in their voices as they have lost out on plenty of opportunities, because without him they are just condiments. It would be like Dave Matthews Band without Dave. Some people, who chose not to go on record, say Frank got a huge ego and wanted his own promoter and agent booking gigs across the country and was angered when no one showed interest in the job.

Like Myron Noodleman before him and Crazy George, Frank had the potential to be a main-eventer but could not handle the pressure. Some say when the NCAA wouldn't allow him to perform at the Regional, that sent him over the edge. Insiders say that he had to be coaxed into his one time showing last season against Georgia and had to be paid handsomely in Smoothie King coupons and Coconut Cake.

The investigation took Doreline NBC to his home where his wife said he didn't want to go on camera or talk because he was embarrassed about what he had let himself become. She said he missed the spotlight and was hoping for one last run, but that appears doubtful as we could see him scarfing down the world's biggest burrito while peaking inside the house.

Whatever the case, the legend of Frank the Dancin' Dog is strong and many fans are hopeful he will one day come out to Hawkins Field again. We can only hope that he comes back strong and with his friends ketchup and mustard who are staying in shape for one last run.

Here's a clip of Frank in his hey day.

More photos of DMB concert

by Barca Blog - Here are a few more photos of what Vanderbilt Stadium looked like during the Dave Matthews Band concert last Saturday. Thanks to Scott for sending these in.

Week 10 Vanderbilt Baseball Notebook

Overal: 27-17, 10-10 SEC; Record for the Week: 4-1

Last Week:

4/21: Austin Peay 9, Vanderbilt 8 (Clarksville)
4/22: Vanderbilt 4, Louisville 3 (Louisville)
4/24: Vanderbilt 8, Mississippi State 6 (Nashville)
4/25: Vanderbilt 10, Mississippi State 4 (Nashville)
4/26: Vanderbilt 11, Mississippi State 3 (Nashville)

This Week:
5/1: at South Carolina 6 p.m. CT (SportSouth)
5/2: at South Carolina 6 p.m. CT (SportSouth)
5/3: at South Carolina 12:30 p.m. CT (SportSouth)

Vanderbilt went 4-1 on the week with the lone loss, a one-run defeat on the road against Austin Peay last Tuesday. VU then won four in a row, starting with a come from behind win against Big East front-runner Louisville last Wednesday on the road. The win was the first for the Commodores after trailing heading into the ninth (0-13 previously) … The team took the momentum of the win into the Mississippi State series and swept the Bulldogs in three games for the second straight season. VU has now won the last seven meetings dating back to the 2007 SEC tourney and 11 of 13 dating back to the 2004 campaign … The 29 runs scored against MSU was the most in a conference series this year, besting the 25 scored against Auburn.

Brian Harris led the way on the week, going 10-of-22 (.455) with three doubles, two homers, seven RBI and seven runs scored in five games back in the lead off spot. He drew a 3-2 bases loaded walk to bring in the tying run in the ninth with two outs against Louisville in a game the Commodores would win 4-3 in 10 innings. He accounted for three RBI in that road win and then went 8-for-13 (.615) with two doubles, two homers, four RBI and five runs scored in leading VU to a sweep of Mississippi State. He is now tied for second in the SEC with 16 doubles … Aaron Westlake was 8-for-18 (.444) on the week with two homers, a double, and eight RBI. His homers came in a big way over the weekend, hitting a grand-slam homer in Friday’s win over Mississippi State and then adding a three-run homer in Saturday’s series clincher. He was 5-for-11 (.455) with a double, two homers and eight RBI in the three games against the Bulldogs. The California native leads the team with a .368 batting average and is among the SEC leaders in hits with 60.

Steven Liddle had a big week as well, going 10-for-23 (.435) with two doubles, two homers, seven RBI and 11 runs scored from the two-hole in the lineup. He went 7-for-14 against MSU with two homers, six RBI and eight runs scored … Curt Casali went 6-for-14 (.429) with two homers and five RBI against the Bulldogs. He now leads the team with eight homers and 44 RBI … Freshman second baseman Riley Reynolds went 7-for-19 (.368) with two doubles and two runs scored on the week … VU hit .322 in five games with nine homers (all on the weekend) and 41 runs scored.

Mike Minor picked up his first save since his freshman year against Louisville, recording an out to end the game. He then struck out a career-high 13 batters against Mississippi State on Friday. He gave up four runs on seven hits in 7.2 innings and walked three in the winning effort … Drew Hayes picked up his fourth win of the year on Saturday, holding the Bulldogs to two runs on five hits in 5.2 innings with five strikeouts and three walks … Russell Brewer made three relief appearances on the week and did not allow a hit while striking out seven with no walks in three innings. He picked up the win against Louisville and then struck out the only batter he faced in Friday night’s win to pick up his third save of the year.

Nick Christiani allowed two earned runs in 7.1 innings of relief work on the week with five strikeouts and one walk. He got the win against MSU on Sunday, allowing one run in 3.1 innings with a strikeout … Sonny Gray earned his team best fifth save of the year on Sunday, allowing one run on three hits in 2.2 innings while striking out six and walking none … Sean Bierman earned his first collegiate save on Saturday, allowing two runs on three hits in 3.1 innings with two strikeouts and no walks … The pitching staff sported a 4.00 ERA on the week with 53 strikeouts and 13 walks in 45.0 innings.

Wirth named NCAA postgrad scholar

By Weinman - Graduating senior Christina Wirth added another honor to her long list of postseason accolades Monday as the NCAA awarded educational grants to 58 student-athletes participating in winter sports. Wirth is one of 29 women who will receive a one-time, nonrenewable grant of $7,500 through the NCAA postgraduate scholarship program. See the complete list of award winners at

Monday, April 27, 2009

Photos: DMB at Vanderbilt Stadium

by Barca Blog - I mentioned last week that Dave Matthews Band was coming to perform at Vanderbilt Stadium. Well, it happened. And if you didn't make it to the concert of the century, then check out Jennifer Priddy's photo gallery, which also includes some pics of Jason Mraz.

I posted the images on Vanderbilt's Facebook Fan Page, so go here. And make sure you become a fan today.. we just went over the 1,000 mark!

Harris earns SEC player of the week

by SID - Vanderbilt shortstop Brian Harris was just named the Southeastern Conference player of the week by the league office Monday after helping the Commodores to a 4-1 record last week.

In those games, the 'Dores lead-off hitter was 10-of-22 (.455) with three doubles, two homers, seven RBI and seven runs. He drew a 3-2 bases loaded walk to bring in the tying run in the ninth with two outs at Louisville Wednesday in a game VU would win 4-3 in 10 innings.

The Nashville native accounted for three RBI in that road win and then went 8-for-13 (.615) with two doubles, two homers, four RBI and five runs scored in leading Vanderbilt to a sweep of Mississippi State. He is now tied for second in the SEC with 16 doubles.

Flashback video: Smith reVealed

by Barca Blog - After hearing wide receiver George Smith has a mini-camp tryout planned with Chicago, I thought about the reVealed video series he starred in for vucommodores two summers ago. George was a natural in front of the camera, no doubt about it, and it really was a pleasure teaming with him to give Commodore fans a behind-the-scenes look at the VU football program.

Here's one of my favorite segments where George gives the scoop on team picture day. Oh, keep an eye out for two more Bears in the footage.

Smith invited to Bears' mini-camp tryout

by Leathers - One day after Chicago took cornerback D.J. Moore in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL Draft, the Bears have invited Commodore receiver George Smith to a mini-camp tryout later this week.

Smith could join former teammate Earl Bennett with the Bears as a potential receiving threat from another former Vanderbilt star, Jay Cutler. Two more ‘Dores also appear on Chicago's roster: veteran linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer and second-year offensive tackle Chris Williams.

Smith, a product of Hollywood Hills High School near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., struggled with leg injuries last year, concluding the season with just 13 receptions for 140 yards. Smith had 89 receptions during his career, good for 1,137 yards and eight touchdowns.

Smith, an offensive co-captain for the 2008 Music City Bowl champions, spent six years in the Vanderbilt program after developing a near-fatal medical condition known as transverse myletis as a freshman. He missed 18 months of action recovering from the ailment that left him temporarily paralyzed.

“George has meant so much to our team," Vanderbilt head coach Bobby Johnson said. "He overcame a great deal during his time at Vanderbilt and worked incredibly hard to even have a chance of returning to the game. He’s an incredible young man, and a tremendous representative of our football team and university."

Women's Golf Selection Show later today

By A. Boggs - The Vanderbilt women's golf team, ranked 13th in the latest NGCA poll and 21st in the Golfweek/Sagarin Ratings, will see where they are heading later today when the NCAA announces the field for the NCAA Regionals. The announcement will be made at 3 p.m. CT.

The Commodores have made 10 Regional appearances and have played in the last nine, dating back to the 1999-2000 season. Vanderbilt has won one Regional Title, which came at the NCAA Central Regional in 2004, and Jacqui Concolino claimed medalist honors at the Central Regional in 2007. Concolino is the only player in Vanderbilt history to win an individual NCAA Regional Title.

The NCAA has three sites, the East Regional in Gainesville, Fla., the Central Regional in Columbus, Ohio, and the West Regional in Tempe, Ariz., and will fill those sites with 21 teams. Play begins at those three sites on May 7th.

Eight teams advance from those three sites to the NCAA Championship, which takes place at the Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mill, Maryland, May 19-22.

More from Moore

by Barca Blog - Commodore cornerback D.J. Moore talked with Todd Shanesy of the the Spartanburg Herald-Journal (his hometown newspaper) about his reaction to being selected by the Chicago Bears with the 119 overall pick in the NFL Draft Sunday.

On being drafted by the Bears
“I was so happy. I was so relieved. I guess things happen for a reason. I know I’m good. I think I landed in a good situation, so everything will happen for the best. I think the Bears are getting one of the best players in the draft. They’re getting a steal.”

On not being taken until the fourth round
“I didn’t know what was going on. There were so many of them getting drafted. I was trying to find out what was wrong with me. I don’t know what happened … For a minute, I was like, ‘Am I even going to get picked?’ I paid my dues. I really didn’t understand it.”

To read the entire article, click here. (Photo by John Byrum)

Corbin's final call-in show tonight

by Barca Blog - Tim Corbin's Call-In Show airs live from 7-8 p.m. CT Monday night at the Commodore Grille. Listen locally on 104.5 the Zone or online on For more info, Click Here.

Moore comments on being drafted

by Barca Blog - posted D.J. Moore's initial reaction to being drafted Sunday.

On if he has a chip on his shoulder about dropping to the fourth round : “I wouldn’t say that. Coming out of college, you have to prove yourself to the players that are already there and the coaches. So I guess you could say that it’s some form of a chip.”

On why he entered the draft: “I felt I was ready to go. I didn’t believe I was going to get too much better than what I was. I was one of the best cornerbacks in the best conference, playing with the best players. I felt I was the best cornerback in the draft.”

Also a video link of interest:
Bears scout Rex Hogan talks about D.J.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Langford agrees to free agent deal

While D.J. Moore was the only Commodore selected in the NFL Draft, defensive standout Reshard Langford agreed late Sunday to a free agent deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. Read More in VUcommodores' updated press release.

Also, several other former Commodores with NFL ambitions were waiting to hear from squads regarding possible free agent deals. Check back for updates during the week.

D.J. goes to Da Bears!

D.J. Moore became the first Vanderbilt cornerback taken in the NFL Draft in eight years when the Chicago Bears took the versatile playmaker with the 119th overall pick (19th in the fourth round). Moore joins a collection of Commodores on the Bears' roster, including the recently acquired quarterback Jay Cutler, offensive tackle Williams, receiver Earl Bennett and veteran linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer. Read More

Corbin on Twitter: Cotham to start

by Barca Blog - Vanderbilt baseball head coach Tim Corbin just posted the following message on his Twitter page:

"If you are in the area, come on out to the ball park today. The boys need your support. The weather is perfect and Caleb Cotham is pitching."

Two things --

First, Cotham was scheduled to start in his usual Saturday role, but was scratched due to a tweaked knee.

Second, you couldn't pick a better day to make it out to Hawkins Field. The squad needs a packed house Sunday as they try to sweep Mississippi State. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT and walkup tickets are still available. Fans that live out-of-town can follow the action on

2009 NFL Draft, Day 2

by Barca Blog - Day 2 of the 2009 NFL Draft is underway with rounds 3-7 taking place at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Commodore cornerback D.J. Moore wasn't taken in the first two rounds Saturday, but the Spartanburg, S.C., native shouldn't last long on the draft board today. Make sure you check out at the moment as Moore is featured in the picture on the main page (as shown above).

You can follow the draft on ESPN & NFL Network. will stream the coverage live at this link, and you can track every move on as well.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

LAX to play Hopkins in ALC Tourney

By Weinman - Penn State's 12-11 victory at Johns Hopkins on Saturday knocked the Commodore lacrosse team into the fourth seed for the upcoming American Lacrosse Conference Tournament, hosted by the Nittany Lions in University Park, Pa.

National Offensive Player of the Week Sarah Downing will lead Vanderbilt against Johns Hopkins on Thursday afternoon (3 p.m. ET/2 CT) in the #4/#5 game for the right to take on top-seeded Northwestern in Friday's semifinal.

Commodores Anticipating NFL Draft

by Leathers

Less than an hour before the 2009 NFL Draft starts, All-American cornerback D.J. Moore hopes to learn his draft fate sometime today.

Moore will watch the festivities on ESPN & ESPN2 from his hometown of Spartanburg, S.C., likely to be surrounded by a small group of friends including Commodore teammate Teriall Brannon.

Draft analysts have Moore and former captain Reshard Langford as the two Commodores most likely selected in the draft. Most observers have Moore going somewhere in Round 2, with Langford expected to go Sunday later in later rounds.

Moore looks to become the fifth Commodore defensive standout taken in the first two rounds since cornerback Leonard Coleman was selected eighth overall by the Colts 25 years ago. Coleman was the lost Vanderbilt defensive player taken in Round 1. Cornerbacks Corey Chavous (1998) and Fred Vinson (1999), linebacker Jamie Winborn (2001) and tackle James Manley (1996) were all Round 2 picks.

If Moore is selected earlier than many analysts suggest, he could become the third Commodore in four years taken in the 1st round. Tackle Chris Williams (2008) and QB Jay Cutler (2006) also hold the honor from recent drafts.

Several other standouts from the 2008 squad, including WR George Smith, PK Bryant Hahnfeldt, WR Sean Walker and QB/WR Chris Nickson, are hoping to get a chance to continue their careers in the NFL.

Hayes to start

by Barca Blog - Following up on the previous blog, Drew Hayes will take the hill for Vanderbilt against Mississippi State today in place of Caleb Cotham, who tweaked his knee last weekend according to head coach Tim Corbin.

If you aren't enjoying the beautiful weather at Hawkins Field, then track the action starting at 1 p.m. CT - click here.

Cotham a question

by Barca Blog - On Monday, the Commodore coaching staff announced their weekend starting rotation in advance for the first time in a couple of weeks. At the moment, though, it looks like their pitching plan may be in jeopardy.

Head coach Tim Corbin, who had slated Caleb Cotham to take the hill on Saturday followed by Drew Hayes on Sunday, revealed to The City Paper's David Boclair after the Commodores' 8-6 win Friday that a change might happen based on how Cotham feels before tomorrow's 1 p.m. matchup with Mississippi State.

"The unknown is whether Cotham can pitch right now,” Corbin said. “He did not feel good tonight. He hurt (his knee) last weekend and just tweaked it."

And if Cotham can't go tomorrow?

"We'd probably move up Hayes depending on how Cotham feels. It's nothing bad but it's just a situation where he tweaked it enough to where he doesn't feel 100 percent right now.”

If in fact Hayes is bumped up to Saturday (which will be a game time decision), that would leave an opening for Sunday's starting spot. Corbin did say if a change was made that he would use freshman reliever Sonny Gray in the same fashion he has the last few weeks -- based on the situation at hand. Gray was summoned to the bullpen tonight after the Bulldogs cut the lead to 8-6 with two outs in the ninth, but didn’t make it into the game. Russell Brewer was able to close things out by striking out the only hitter he faced on five pitches to secure the win.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Whale of a win

by Barca Blog - Mississippi State head coach John Cohen rolled the dice by going with his No. 3 starter, Forrest Moore, Friday night at Vanderbilt. In order to capture the series, Cohen weighed the risk of losing the opener by placing the odds on his top two starters in the matchups on Saturday and Sunday.

Well, the Commodores took advantage of the situation in a hurry. Moore didn’t even make it out of the second inning as the ‘Dores pounced on the sophomore lefty for seven runs highlighted by Aaron Westlake’s grand slam and Steven Liddle’s three-run shot causing Cohen to signal for his bullpen much earlier than expected.

Vanderbilt's quick start was the difference as the 'Dores only managed to score one more time on the night and held off the Bulldogs, 8-6. I asked VU head coach Tim Corbin after the game about his thoughts on Cohen’s rotation strategy:

“People have different strategies to that. Ours is that we’ve got to go with our best guy and get the momentum on Friday night. We couldn’t do something like that. Coach Cohen feels like his best opportunity to win the series is to play off like that and that’s fine. Some people look it as a series and some people look at it as game by game, and I’m sure he does too, but we just need some momentum right now and were not in any position to look at series wins. We need to look at games right now. We’re trying to eat a whale one bite at a time, not the whole thing.”

Vanderbilt's win couldn't have come at a more important time. After a flurry of ups and downs over the last few weeks capped off with being swept at home by Alabama, the Commodores needed to start this weekend on the right foot to keep pace with the rest of the league in the race to get to Hoover. With the win over the Bulldogs, Vanderbilt (25-17 overall, 8-10 SEC) moved into eighth place in the standings after Auburn fell to LSU, 7-3, Friday. The 'Dores victory also marked the first time they've captured a Friday home win since beating Vermont on February 27.

"We've gone through good and bad," pitcher Mike Minor said. "We're not use to losing but we just have to move on and we're starting to realize that. We can't be down on every game. We're playing better ball at the moment."

"Every win is a feather in our cap," Corbin added, "and you just hope something clicks in when you win a game like this."

More on Cohen

Due to Southeastern Conference policy, Cohen will have to sit out of Saturday’s contest against the Commodores after being ejected during the ninth inning Friday. The conference rule states that a one game suspension is ordered by the league if a player or coach is tossed for misconduct or unsportsmanlike conduct twice during the season. Cohen was also ejected in the Bulldogs’ loss to Auburn on April 5.

Crash.... into Vanderbilt

by Barca Blog - Here's a picture of Vanderbilt Stadium Friday evening (click to view larger image).

In less than 24 hours, the Commodores' football facility will transform into a music mecca as 35,000 fans are expected to pack the stands to see Dave Matthews Band with special guests Jason Mraz & Robert Earl Keen. It will be the first concert in the stadium since the Rolling Stones stopped in Nashville during their Bridges to Babylon Tour in October 1997.

Tickets are still available for the performance, which is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. CT with gates opening one hour prior (unless you have a special pass). Fans can enter and exit at gates 1 and 3. Beer will be available to purchase, however, no alcohol may be brought into the venue. And in case you're wondering about the setup, the main stage will be located in the North endzone.

Please Note... Parking for Vanderbilt's baseball game against Mississippi State Saturday (1 p.m. CT) will be altered due to several events on campus including the DMB concert. Click Here for details and maps.

I'll close today's blog with the video of the day. Here's one of my favorite Dave songs. Listen to the entire nine minutes and just let it soak in. Oh and sorry, couldn't get any of my Robert Earl Keen songs to pass the censors!

NFL Draft starts Saturday

by Barca Blog - For Commodore fans that can't make it up to Radio City Music Hall this weekend, here's how you can follow the NFL Draft:

Rounds 1 & 2: Saturday at 3 p.m. CT on ESPN & NFL Network
Rounds 3-7: Sunday at 9 a.m. CT on ESPN & NFL Network will stream the coverage live at this link, and you can track every move on as well.

One side note -- K'NAAN's song Dreamer will be used as the theme song throughout NFL Network's coverage. The artist just performed on campus last weekend at the annual Rites of Spring concert. Watch the video clip below.

DelGreco featured on Fox 17 tonight

By Weinman - Freshman golfer Trey DelGreco will be the subject of a feature story tonight during the 9 o'clock news on Fox 17. A native of Birmingham, DelGreco developed an affinity to Nashville when his father, Al, was a placekicker for the Tennessee Titans.

Sportscaster Dave Foster shot the piece on a beautiful day at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin. It is scheduled to air during either the 9:25 or 9:55 (p.m., CT) slot during the station's newscast. The feature should also be available online in the coming days.

SEC Women's Tennis Update

By Travis Young -- The No. 19 Vanderbilt women's tennis team is currently in action at the 2009 SEC Women's Tennis Tournament in Fayetteville, Ark. The Commodores currently trail No. 15 Florida 1-0 after dropping the doubles point to the Gators.

The fifth-seeded 'Dores advanced to Friday's quarterfinal round by knocking off 12th seeded Mississippi State 4-0 in yesterday's first round. The Commodores will have to win four of the six singles matches to advance to Saturday's semifinals . The winner of today's match will face No. 1 seeded Georgia, who clinched a spot in the semi-finals with a 4-1 win over eighth-seeded Alabama earlier this morning.

The tournament is a little behind schedule due to windy conditions at the George M. Billingsley Tennis Center, forcing the matches to be played inside the Dills Indoor Tennis Center.

Here are the updated doubles matches

Doubles Results
1. No. 43 Boonstra / Mather (UF) def. No. 38 Steinbauer / Wu (VU) 8-4
2. No. 29 Alexander / Revzina (UF) def. Newman / Preeg (VU) 8-5
3. Ulery, C. / Ulery, K. (VU) def. Allen / Wolken (UF) 8-1

order of finish: 3, 2, 1*

Avoiding Minor?

by Barca Blog - Mississippi State will shake up its starting pitching rotation this weekend against the Commodores.

Head coach John Cohen will move his No. 1 starter, Tyler Whitney (2-3, 4.29 ERA), from Friday to Sunday, and will bump sophomore lefty Forrest Moore (2-0, 4.28) into tonight’s series opener. Freshman southpaw Nick Routt (4-2, 3.06) will stay in his Saturday starting role.

Cohen explained the reason for the change during Thursday’s SEC coaches teleconference.

“We just felt like we’ve really struggled on Sundays and matching Whitney up with the best guy on Friday night probably doesn’t work for us. Our Sundays have not been what we wanted them to be. We feel like we’re going to hopefully be able to put some more runs up as the weekend goes on. We just feel like where our program is right now, it’s just more advantageous for us to schedule our pitching this way.”

Friday’s game will be Moore’s first start since the Bulldogs’ 10-9 win at Tennessee on Sunday, April 12. In that contest, Moore lasted only two innings, giving up three runs on three hits while walking four. In three conference starts this year, he has a 7.07 ERA without a decision.

The Bulldogs (21-21, 6-12 SEC) sport a 7.05 team ERA during SEC play, which ranks as the second highest in the conference behind Auburn.

Coping with asthma as an athlete

By Ryan Schulz
- Rudy Kalis of WSMV-TV Channel 4 in Nashville was at Vanderbilt earlier this week to do a story on athletes who cope with asthma. Kalis interviewed athletic trainer Tom Bossung, football player Adam Smotherman and soccer player Katie Schulz about the complications of suffering from asthma. The story has extra meaning this time of year in Nashville with the Country Music Marathon taking place Saturday and the Nashville Asthma Walk being held May 2. Click here to view the video.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jenkins mentioned in SI

by Barca Blog - In the current issue of Sports Illustrated, four of the top men's basketball high school seniors in the nation talked about a variety of topics including their prep careers and recruiting experiences. At one point, each player was asked to name the best shooter in this class... and the decision was unanimous: Vanderbilt signee John Jenkins.

Check out the complete article here.

Reshard Langford Highlight Reel

by Barca Blog - Here's another video to get ready for this weekend's NFL Draft. Yesterday we posted clips of D.J. Moore in the blog.... and today you can watch highlights of safety Reshard Langford during his career at Vanderbilt (see below). Fans can also view and share these clips on our Facebook Fan Page - go here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Important parking notice for Saturday

Several events will be taking place around Vanderbilt on Saturday including the Music City Marathon, Commodore Baseball vs. Mississippi State at Hawkins Field, and the Dave Matthews Band concert at Vanderbilt Stadium. If you are planning to visit campus that day, please click here for information on all parking procedures and road closures.

Baseball at Louisville

by SID - Beautiful day in Louisville, Partly Sunny and 63 degrees. Patterson Stadium is one of the unique setups in college baseball. The entire field is made of field turf. The places where dirt should be is red field turf. Only the pitcher's mound has real dirt. The setup should play slow, but one thing players will need to avoid is to over slide the bases.

Admission is free to all games and beer is sold. The setting behind the outfield wall is Papa John's Stadium (football) with an active train track in between. Behind home plate and to the right is Churchill Downs.

Alright here is the lineup for tonight with a new person playing centerfield: Jordan Wormsley. The sophomore from Knoxville is a solid defender who showed some offensive flashes a year ago, batting 7-for-13 (.538) in limited action.

Brian Harris SS
Steven Liddle RF
Curt Casali 1B
Andrew Giobbi C
Aaron Westlake DH
Joe Loftus LF
Riley Reynolds 2B
Jason Esposito 3B
Jordan Wormsley CF

Taylor Hill will get the start on the mound.. He is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 14 appearances, including two starts. He has 34 strikeouts and just seven walks in 30.0 innings, but teams are hitting at a .301 clip off of him.

Follow the action on

Photos: Commodore Field Day

by CHAMPS - The Vanderbilt Athletics Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) welcomed 125 third and fourth graders to campus for its annual Field Day event Wednesday morning. Commodore student-athletes set up several activities for the kids ranging from a water balloon toss to tennis skills challenges.

Field Day is held on the reading day for the university, the day before semester exams begin. It's a great study break for the student-athletes, as well as a fun experience for the grade schoolers.

Click here to view Lindsay Rutledge's photos of the event.

Twenty-Nine Student Athletes Make SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll

By A. Boggs - Twenty-nine Vanderbilt Student Athletes have been named to the 2009 SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll for their achievements in the classroom this season.

The 2008-09 SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll is based on grades from the 2008 Spring, Summer and Fall terms. The list includes student athletes who played a sport during the winter season.

The qualifications to make the team are as follows:

(1) A student-athlete must have a grade point average of 3.00 or above for either the preceding academic year (two semesters or three quarters) or have a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above at the nominating institution.

(2) If a student-athlete attends summer school, his/her grade point average during the summer academic term must be included in the calculation used to determine eligibility for the Academic Honor Roll.

(3) Student-athletes eligible for the Honor Roll include those receiving an athletics scholarship, recipients of an athletics award (i.e., letter winner), and non-scholarship student-athletes who have been on a varsity team for two seasons.

(4) Prior to being nominated, a student-athlete must have successfully completed 24 semester or 36 quarter hours of non-remedial academic credit toward a baccalaureate degree at the nominating institution.

(5) The student-athlete must have been a member of a varsity team for the sport’s entire NCAA Championship segment.

To see the entire list, please read here.

D.J. Moore Highlight Reel

by Barca Blog - Get ready for Saturday's NFL Draft by watching highlights of Commodore cornerback D.J. Moore (posted below). Fans can also view and share these clips on our Facebook Fan Page - go here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April Issue of Commodore Nation

By Ryan Schulz - The April issue of Commodore Nation is now available online by clicking below. You can toggle between pages by clicking the arrows or you can zoom into the document by clicking it.

Included in this issue are stories on former Commodore tennis star Bobby Reynolds, the unique relationship Joey Manning has with his parents and the passion Jennifer Risper has for serving the community.

To view more archived issues, here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pitching rotation

by Barca Blog - Here is the tentative pitching rotation for the Commodores this week. It should be noted that Drew Hayes has claimed the No. 3 starting role after two solid outings last week.

Tuesday at Austin Peay - Sean Bierman
Wednesday at Louisville - Taylor Hill
Friday vs. Mississippi State - Mike Minor
Saturday vs. Mississippi State - Caleb Cotham
Sunday vs. Mississippi State - Drew Hayes

Corbin's Call-In Show Tonight

by Barca Blog - Tim Corbin's Call-In Show airs live from 7-8 p.m. CT Monday night at the Commodore Grille. Listen locally on 104.5 the Zone or online on For more info, Click Here.

Personalize your brick!

Vanderbilt Stadium's new brick walkways will be paved with personalized bricks from the Black and Gold's most loyal fans. Show the world your Commodore pride with a brick of your own. Honor your family, a classmate, a favorite student-athlete or even a memorable date from Vanderbilt history.

Order your bricks today at the introductory price of $200 each. After June 1, the price goes up to $250. There's only room for 5,000, so don't wait!

Thank you for supporting Vanderbilt Athletics.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Week 9 Baseball Notebook

Overall: 23-16, 7-10 SEC; Record for the Week: 2-3

Last Week:
4/14 Vanderbilt 15, Middle Tennessee 7 (Nashville)
4/15 Vanderbilt 8, Morehead State 0 (Nashville)
4/17 Alabama 10, Vanderbilt 4 (Nashville)
4/18 Alabama 7, Vanderbilt 3 (Game 1) (Nashville)
4/18 Alabama 7, Vanderbilt 6 (Game 2) (Nashville)

This Week (Buy Tickets):
4/21 at Austin Peay - 6 p.m. CT
4/22 at Louisville - 5 p.m. CT
4/24 Mississippi State - 6 p.m. CT
4/25 Mississippi State - 1 p.m. CT
4/26 Mississippi State - 1 p.m. CT

Vanderbilt went 2-3 on the week with a pair of midweek wins and a three-game series sweep at the hands of Alabama over the weekend. It was the first time the Commodores were swept in Nashville since Florida did it at the end of the 2005 season to capture the Southeastern Conference regular season title. It was also the first time Alabama swept the series in Nashville since the 2000 campaign.

On the week, VU hit .311 as a team with three homers, 11 doubles, a triple and 36 runs in five games … Brian Harris broke out of an offensive slump that lowered his batting average to under .300 with a 7-for-16 (.438) week with four doubles, a homer and four RBI … Joe Loftus also had a nice week going 9-for-21 with three doubles, five runs and three RBI … Andrew Giobbi went 9-for-24 (.375) with two homers, a double and six RBI as the leadoff hitter. He has boosted his average to .303 on the season … Riley Reynolds went 6-for-14 with a double, four RBI and four runs scored. His hitting streak reached 19 games before ending in the first game of the doubleheader against the Crimson Tide on Saturday … Alex McClure went 4-for-9 (.444) in a limited role that saw him make his first ever start in right field in the second game of the doubleheader on Saturday.

The pitching staff had a strong week strikeout wise with 65 K’s and 17 walks in 45.0 innings. They held Alabama, the league’s top hitting team (.345 entering the weekend), to just a .283 average with 41 strikeouts and 10 walks in 27.0 innings. The big blows were eight homers given up in the three-game set and nine for the week … Drew Hayes had a big week with two solid starting outings. He started and went five innings in a 8-0 shutout over Morehead State in midweek. He struck out six, allowed just three hits with two walks. He then held Bama in check for 4.2 innings allowing three runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. He was 1-0 on the week with 13 strikeouts and three walks in 9.2 innings of work … Nick Christiani (2.0), Chase Reid (1.0) and Russell Brewer (1.0) combined with Hayes on the shutout.

Sean Bierman had a solid week, allowing one run on three hits in 7.2 innings of relief with eight strikeouts and a walk. He pitched 4.2 innings of two-hit scoreless relief against Alabama in the first game of the doubleheader and struck out four with no walks … Brewer pitched 4.1 innings of scoreless relief in two outings with seven strikeouts and just one walk. He pitched 3.1 innings of two-hit shutout relief against Alabama in the second game of the doubleheader on Saturday … Mike Minor had his shortest outing dating back to the season opener with six innings of work in Friday night’s opener. He allowed four runs, three earned, on five hits with 11 strikeouts and two walks in the no-decision.

Vanderbilt plays its final two scheduled midweek games of the year on the road against Austin Peay and Louisville before hosting Mississippi State next weekend at Hawkins Field … The Commodores currently have 53 games on the regular season schedule and are looking to add another game after final exams in a couple of weeks.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A message from the baseball team...


Your generous support of the Vanderbilt Baseball Food Drive during the Florida series allowed us to collect 762 pounds of food for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.

We greatly appreciate your support of our service project, as well as the unwavering support you show us each time we take the field.

Thanks again, and Go ‘Dores!

The Vanderbilt Baseball Team

Keep hitting

by Barca Blog - In the midst of his second hitting slump of the season, Aaron Westlake had a simple message for his head coach:

Keep believing in me and don’t take me out.

At the start of the week, the Commodores’ leading hitter was caught in a 2-for-23 slide at the plate which dropped his average 63 points from .426 to .363.

“I think Westy got himself down a couple of games and lost confidence,” Tim Corbin said. “Now we have to build him back up again because he’s a good hitter.”

Westlake looked back to form Tuesday and Wednesday with consecutive multi-hit games in Vanderbilt’s wins over Middle Tennessee and Morehead State. The redshirt freshman also contributed two RBI's, three runs, and a stolen base.

So how exactly do you deal with a good hitter in a slump? Corbin answered the question during Monday’s media day.

“Give him a rest sometimes and get him back going again and just keep hitting, keep hitting, and keep hitting. Slumps are usually a design of mindset going a little bit awry. I think some young hitters think, ‘Wow my swing might be screwed up,’ when really it doesn’t have anything to do with your swing. It’s about the guy you faced on that particular night.”

It should be noted that Westlake also broke out of a 2-for-18 slump in mid-March by going a torrid 9-for-14 with four RBIs and six runs at Auburn. The Commodores could use that kind of offensive output this weekend when Alabama, the conference’s top hitting club, comes to town for a three-game series.

Cutler doing the Windy City in style

by Leathers - Wonder if Jay Cutler ever dreamt of throwing out the first pitch of a Chicago Cubs baseball game while growing up in Santa Claus, Indiana?

If Jay did, his dream is about to come true. On Saturday, Cutler will receive the rarest of combos bestowed by the Cubs organization: he will throw out the first pitch for the Cubs-Cardinals game, then return in the 7th inning to serenade a sellout crowd with "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."

Jay, here's hoping you sound a lot more like Harry Caray than Ozzy Osbourne. Also, please remember, it's Wrigley Field, not Wrigley Stadium as racer Jeff Gordon once infamously uttered.

Don't worry about the Windy City buying into Jay Cutler as their QB. A visit last week to America's third largest city reveals a town totally pumped for the upcoming Bears' season.

Cutler's casual duties Thursday only included dropping the ceremonial first puck at Chicago's NHL Stanley Cup playoff opener against Calgary in front of 22,376 roarin' Blackhawks fans in the United Center. By the way, the 'Hawks won quickly in overtime 3-2 - taking their first playoff victory in seven years.

Another former Commodore and current Bear, tackle Chris Williams, also got into the action at the Blackhawks playoff opener. During an intermission break, Williams took part in a celebrity shootout, scoring twice from center ice.

Friday morning baseball news

by Barca Blog - Here are some Friday morning links to get you ready for tonight's series opener with Alabama at Hawkins Field.
Vanderbilt's Preview
Vanderbilt's Game Notes
Alabama's Preview
Alabama's Game Notes
Boclair: Reynolds is more than OK
Rutz: Reynolds, Giobbi standing out
And don't forget... If you haven't reserved your seats for the three games this weekend, then please do so now. We need a packed house to support the 'Dores as they try to win their third conference series in a row. Call (615) 322-GOLD for tickets.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Women's Basketball senior videos

by Barca Blog - Go to our VUcommodores YouTube site to watch senior videos on Christina Wirth (left), Amy Malo (center), and Jennifer Risper (right). The footage originally aired during last night's awards banquet.
Video: Amy Malo
Jennifer Risper
Christina Wirth
(Note: The pink out jerseys shown above commemorate N.C. State's late coach Kay Yow, who passed away in January from her decades-long fight against breast cancer.)

Video: ESPNU features LAX's Giordano

By Weinman - Vanderbilt senior Jacquie Berger produced a feature video on lacrosse standout Cara Giordano for the ESPNU's Campus Connection. Click here for the video.

Black and Gold Banquet photos

by Barca Blog - We just uploaded John Russell's photos from Monday's annual Black and Gold Banquet on campus. The event featured a dinner plus the announcement of the 2008-09 Vanderbilt Athletics awards, which were voted on by the student-athletes.

One honor of note... The Men's Cross Country team (pictured above) once again took home The Tolbert Cup, which is given to the Commodore team with the best combination of winning percentage, community service and cumulative grade point average. Congrats to them for their hard work on and off the course.

Also, find out who won the title of Mr. and Miss Commodore? Click here for a complete recap and go here to view photos.

WBB Banquet photo galleries

by Barca Blog - The Women's Basketball team held their annual awards banquet yesterday at the Marriott Vanderbilt. Find out which 'Dores were recognized and also take a minute to browse our two photo galleries -- click here.

Postseason baseball projections

by Barca Blog - Yes, the college baseball pundits are already offering their early projections for the 2009 NCAA Baseball Tournament. See if Kendall Rogers (, Mark Etheridge (, and Aaron Fitt ( put the Commodores on their list.
Rogers' NCAA Field
Etheridge's NCAA Field
Fitt's NCAA Field

More John Jenkins news

By A. Boggs - Vanderbilt signee John Jenkins was recently elevated to a five-star signee by and ended the year as the 15th ranked prospect in the nation according to the website's Class of 2009 final rankings. Jenkins becomes the first five-star prospect to sign with the Commodores.

You can read more about's final Class of 2009 rankings here.

Video: Football signee Collin Ashley

by Barca Blog - Bobby Johnson added one more player to his 2009 recruiting class Wednesday when Collin Ashley, a two-time Texas 5A All-State receiver and return specialist from Flower Mound High School, signed to play for the Commodores this fall.

"Collin is the most versatile player I've ever coached," said Flower Mound offensive coordinator and assistant head coach Bo Wasurick. "As a junior, he was one of the top cornerbacks in the state. For him to turn around this season and play receiver the way he did was phenomenal.

"We compete in one of the toughest football districts in all of Texas and Collin is probably the kid more ready to play (at the next level) than anybody I've coached."

Some clips of Ashely's senior season have surfaced on YouTube. Check out the video below.

Minor receives national honor

By Travis Young - Vanderbilt left-hander Mike Minor has been named to this week's National All-Star Lineup by the College Baseball Foundation and Diamond Sports. Minor was one of 20 players from across the country named to the week eight team. The Commodore was one of three SEC players that was named to the list, joining, Florida's Preston Tucker and Alabama's Brandon May.

Earlier in the week, the southpaw earned SEC Pitcher of the Week honors after holding No. 1 Arkansas to just four hits (all singles) in eight innings of work with 11 strikeouts in the Commodores 9-0 win over the Razorbacks last Friday at Baum Stadium.

The preseason All-American candidate will take the mound for the Commodores Friday night as the 'Dores open a three-game homestand with Alabama at Hawkins Field. Friday night's game will start at 6:00 p.m. CT.

To view this week's College Baseball Foundation and Diamond Sports National All-Star Lineup click here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More Lacrosse photos

by Barca Blog - We just posted John Russell's photos from No. 12 Vanderbilt's 18-11 victory over No. 9 Notre Dame on Wednesday at the VU Lacrosse Complex. Check them out and also take a look at the complete recap of the win.

Lacrosse Senior Day photos

by Barca Blog - Here's a photo gallery of lacrosse senior day (courtesy of Weinman), which took place prior to Vanderbilt's big home matchup with No. 9 Notre Dame today.

The five graduating Commodores pictured from left to right are Jess Demorest, Merissa Eide, Carolyn Gioia, Cara Giordano and Rachel Woolford. Prior to today, this class has been a part of 38 victories and hopes to become the first group of 'Dores to make three consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament.

By the way... No. 12 Vanderbilt leads Notre Dame 10-3 at the half. Watch a free live webcast of the second half at

Baseball home plate ruling

by SID - Barca Blog asked me to post the official rule referring to sliding/colliding at home plate due to Brian Harris getting ejected in Tuesday night's game against Middle Tennessee. Per the NCAA rule book (AR 2 is what was called):

Collision Rule
SECTION 7. The rules committee is concerned about unnecessary and violent collisions with the catcher at home plate, and with infielders at all bases. The intent of this rule is to encourage base runners and defensive players to avoid such collisions whenever possible.

a. When there is a collision between a runner and a fielder who clearly is in possession of the ball, the umpire shall judge:
(1) Whether the collision by the runner was avoidable (could the runner have reached the base without colliding) or unavoidable (the runner’s path to the base was blocked);
(2) Whether the runner actually was attempting to reach the base (plate) or attempting to dislodge the ball from the fielder; or
(3) Whether the runner was using flagrant contact to maliciously dislodge the ball.

PENALTY—If the runner attempted to dislodge the ball, the runner shall be declared out even if the fielder loses possession of the ball. The ball is dead and all other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the interference.

A.R. 1—If the fielder blocks the path of the base runner to the base (plate), the runner may make contact, slide into, or collide with a fielder as long as the runner is making a legitimate attempt to reach the base or plate.

A.R. 2—If the flagrant or malicious contact by the runner was before the runner’s
touching the plate, the runner shall be declared out and also ejected from the contest. The ball shall be declared dead immediately. All other base runners shall return to the bases they occupied at the time of the pitch.

A.R. 3—If the contact was after a preceding runner had touched home plate, the preceding runner will be ruled safe, the ball becomes dead immediately and all other base runners will return to the base they had last touched before the contact.

A.R. 4—If the runner is safe and the collision is malicious, the runner shall be ruled safe and ejected from the game. If this occurs at any base other than home, the offending team may replace the runner.

Now if you read this far down, the answer to the question if Brian Harris has to sit out any games is no. That would only come into play if fighting was involved or if the ejection occurred after the game. A great example was last year against Oklahoma in the final game of the season. Shortstop Ryan Flaherty did not agree with the balls and strikes the home plate umpire called and let him know about it after the game. He was subsequently thrown out. If "Flash" were to have returned for his senior year he would have had to sit out the first game this season against Stanford.

SJR 0305

By Weinman - No, SJR 0305 is not the new Sci-Fi film from George Lucas. It's a resolution recently introduced to the 106th Tennessee General Assembly by State Senator Douglas Henry to honor the 2008-09 Vanderbilt women's basketball team.

Douglas S. Henry (pictured left) has been a state senator since the 87th General Assembly. He received both his undergraduate and law degrees from Vanderbilt, and serves Tennessee's 21st district (which includes the portion of Davidson County that houses Vanderbilt's campus).

Head Coach Melanie Balcomb's Commodores won the 2009 SEC Tournament, advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16, and finished the season ranked No. 8 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll.

Click here to read the entire resolution (click on the blue "SJR 0305" after the jump to get the .pdf file). The beautiful prose of the resolution is well worth the read.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Leading man

by Barca Blog - Baseball head coach Tim Corbin decided to change things up at Arkansas last weekend by putting junior catcher Andrew Giobbi in an unfamiliar position... at the top of the Commodores' batting lineup.

“It’s actually the only spot that I hadn’t hit in college baseball.” Giobbi admitted.

Giobbi might not look like your prototypical leadoff hitter, but according to Corbin, “a leadoff hitter is a leadoff hitter usually one time during the course of the game. Giobbi is a fastball hitter and good on the bases, too.”

Before Giobbi appeared first in the order, Brian Harris had occupied that spot for 31 of 32 games. In the Commodores’ two victories over the top-ranked Razorbacks, Giobbi responded to the move by reaching base four times in eleven trips to the plate. He had a double, single, two walks, three RBIs, three runs, and two stolen bases.

That’s right, two stolen bases. Giobbi came into the series with only five career steals. But speed isn’t the only factor in determining a good leadoff hitter.

“He’s got very, very good instincts on the bases,” Corbin said. “Baserunning is more instinctual, it’s more reading the looks of the pitcher and getting the timing down. Andrew’s very good at that."

“We watch a lot of film on (Baltimore Orioles player) Brian Roberts,” Giobbi added. “You can be the fastest guy in the world but if you can’t get a lead because you’re scared to get picked off, you’re never going to steal a bag.”

Of course, teammates were quick to poke Giobbi about being "the slowest leadoff hitter in the history of college baseball."

And that’s fine with him.

“Get on base and score runs - that’s all it is.”

[Editor's Note: In his third consecutive game in the leadoff role Tuesday against Middle Tennessee, Giobbi hit a three-run homer in the Commodores' 15-7 rout of the Blue Raiders. He finished with a team-high three hits and four RBIs with two runs, a walk, and another stolen base.]

Motivation factor

by Barca Blog - The Vanderbilt baseball team returns to action tonight with a chance to avenge one if its worst losses of the season -- an 8-0 shut out to Middle Tennessee last Tuesday at Reese Smith Field.

In that game, the Commodores were blanked for the first time this year after the offense only mustered six hits off Blue Raider starter Chad Edwards, who threw MT's first complete game in eight seasons.

You can bet the Commodores would like to even the score tonight at Hawkins Field.

"They jumped us good last Tuesday," head coach Tim Corbin told the media Monday afternoon. "We weren’t even in that game so it was a little demoralizing. As I told the kids, ‘We have a decent team but right now were not even the best team within a 60-mile radius. You’ve got to stand up for yourselves a little bit. We’re not use to losing around here and when you do, it kind of wakes you up a little bit.’”

Take nothing away from Middle Tennessee. If the season ended today, the Blue Raiders would likely earn a NCAA Tournament bid. They're currently receiving votes in the national polls with a 24-8 overall record including 13-5 in the Sun Belt Conference, good for second in the league.

And of course, every win counts as the Commodores (21-13, 7-7 SEC) continue to build their own postseason case after series victories over Florida and Arkansas in the last two weeks.

“It’s a very important game," Corbin added. "We’re not in a position where we can drop many games from an RPI standpoint. Middle Tennessee is right on our heels as far as that’s concerned. They’ve always had the respect of our kids because we know they’re good and know they can hit."

Walkup tickets are still available for tonight's game. Fans can also track the action online here starting at 6 p.m. CT.

Minor feature on Golden Spikes site

by Barca Blog - Click Here to read Aaron Fitt's Golden Spikes Spotlight on junior southpaw Mike Minor.

Monday, April 13, 2009

On a side note

By A. Boggs -On a side note, Andre Walker was wearing a different number and a different style of practice jersey at the weight lifting session today.  So I asked him about it.

AB: "Did we get new practice gear?  Or did you go out and buy that?  It looks different."

AW:  "Naw, this is Red’s (Alex Gordon) jersey from a few years ago."

AB:  "Serious?  You can fit in that?"

AW:  "Yeah, it’s a little snug, but I can get into it.  He’s knows I have it."

AB: "Okay.  I like it.  It’s got that Oregon thing going on with it with the type on the front."

AW:  "Nice and simple isn’t it?"

Offseason Weight Training

By A. Boggs - Burns so good.  At least that's what Elliott Cole told me when I walked into the McGugin Center weight room today.  I'm glad that's the way he feels about it.

Anyway, the men’s hoops team may not be practicing and playing like they do during the playing season, but that still doesn’t mean the team isn’t working.  In fact, men’s basketball head strength and conditioning coach Mark Davis is pushing the guys harder than ever.  This is the time of year to build on strength and make the kind of gains that will help the Commodores in the fall.

“This is my in season,” said Davis as the guys were going through a strenuous circuit of exercises.  “We focus on physical development during this time, and after going through a maintenance phase during the season, now we’re trying to reawaken the body – to shock the system back to life and gain some strength back.”

Today, the team was doing a “300” circuit, a workout done by the actors in the movie “300”, with a few adjustments made by Davis.  The workout consisted of nine different pushing movements, with a certain number of repetitions assigned per station.  Each guy will do as many reps as possible, as fast as possible, to get to that assigned number – whether it takes one set or 10.

“The goal is to do this as fast as possible,” said Davis.  “Inevitably, they will work until failure.  But, they’ve got to push through the failure to get that number."

The strength and conditioning coach was loving every minute of the workout - as for the guys, I think they were digging it too.  I think they know that this will help them get maximum effort on the Memorial Gym court later this year.

Week 8 Vanderbilt Baseball Notebook

Overall: 21-13, 7-7 SEC; Record for the Week: 2-1

Last Week:
4/8 Middle Tennessee 8, Vanderbilt 0 (Murfreesboro, Tenn.)
4/10 Vanderbilt 9, No. 1 Arkansas 0 (Fayetteville, Ark.)
4/11 Vanderbilt 13, No. 1 Arkansas 6 (Fayetteville, Ark.)

This Week (Buy Tickets):
4/14 vs. Middle Tennessee - 6 p.m. CT
4/15 vs. Morehead State - 6 p.m. CT
4/17 vs. Alabama - 6 p.m. CT
4/18 vs. Alabama - 3 p.m. CT
4/19 vs. Alabama - 1 p.m. CT

The Commodores lost a midweek game at Middle Tennessee on Tuesday, but rebounded with two wins over No. 1 Arkansas over the weekend. The wins were the first over a No. 1 ranked team since VU beat Rice in the season opener in 2007 … The Commodores have now won five straight games against Arkansas dating back to the 2007 SEC Tournament championship game. The series win was the first ever in Fayetteville, as the team was 5-13 in six previous trips … VU won its second straight SEC series and has won four straight league games to even its record at 7-7 for the first time on the year.

The starting duo of Mike Minor and Caleb Cotham held the Razorbacks in check in two games, recording 23 strikeouts with just four walks in 15.0 innings. Minor allowed just four hits in eight innings on Friday with 11 strikeouts and three walks. Cotham carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning on Saturday, before giving up back-to-back solo homers to end the scoreless run. He ended up allowing four runs on five hits in seven innings with a career-best 12 strikeouts and one walk in his second straight SEC win … As a team, VU sported a 4.15 ERA in three games with 38 strikeouts and eight walks in 26.0 innings.

The Commodores hit .298 on the week with a homer, six doubles and 22 runs scored … Against Arkansas, VU hit .338 and outscored the Razorbacks 22-6 … Freshman Riley Reynolds extended his hit streak to 16 games with a hit in all four games on the week. He went 4-for-8 with two runs and three RBI against Arkansas … Steven Liddle went 4-for-8 with a double, homer, four RBI and three runs scored on the weekend … Curt Casali went 3-for-7 (.429) and Joe Loftus (4-for-10) with a double, two RBI and three runs scored against UA … Jonathan White got the start in all three games in center and went 4-for-12 with a RBI and two runs scored … Jason Esposito stole a career best three bases in the 9-0 win over Arkansas on Friday. He now leads the team with 16 stolen bases in 19 attempts.

Corbin's Call-In Show Tonight

By Barca Blog - Tim Corbin's Call-In Show airs live from 7-8 p.m. CT Monday night at the Commodore Grille. Listen locally on 104.5 the Zone or online on For more info, Click Here.

Weight Training with VU Golfers

By Weinman - Channel 4's Rudy Kalis recently ran a feature highlighting the Vanderbilt men's golf team's work in the weight room with Strength and Conditioning Coach Curtis Turner. Click here for the video.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Rain washes out Sunday baseball game

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. ­­- Vanderbilt’s Sunday baseball game at No. 1 Arkansas, scheduled for 1:05 p.m. CT, has been canceled due to rain. Per Southeastern Conference rules, the game will not be made up. Read More

Baseball Sunday not looking real good

by SID - Well folks it looks like Vanderbilt could head home 2-0 against No. 1 Arkansas as rain is steadily pouring right now and won't likely stop anytime soon. The forecast calls for 90% chance of rain throughout the night and into tomorrow.

At this point unless there is some hidden three-hour window on Arkansas' radar, it doesn't look like Game 3 will be played. It would be the second straight year the series between the two schools has been shortened to two games. VU won both contests last year as well and has won the last five meetings dating back to the 2007 SEC Championship.

If the game is cancelled, will be the place to find out.

The Dores return home for a five-game homestand starting with midweek games against Middle Tennessee and Morehead State, before ending with a three-game series against Alabama next weekend.

One thing that this team could really use is a good crowd at Hawkins Field. This young group feeds off the energy in the crowd and could definitely use a nice following over the next two weekends at home in order to make a run up the league standings. If you get a chance, head over to The Hawk and support a team that I believe is finding its stride heading down the stretch run of the season.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Price on center stage

By Travis Young - Former Vanderbilt pitcher David Price will be in the spotlight tonight as he faces the Norfolk Tides in a Triple-A International game in Durham, N.C. Tonight's game will feature two of Major League’s top-two prospects in Tampa Bay’s Price and Baltimore Orioles switch-hitting catcher Matt Wieters. Both Price and Wieters are ranked as Baseball America’s top 2009 overall prospects.

While at Vanderbilt Price posted a historical career en route to being named the 2007 Consensus National Player of the Year and the first overall draft pick by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2007 draft. This last season, Price proved to be a valuable arm at the back end of Tampa Bay’s bullpen as he recorded the save in a memorable game seven against the Boston Red Sox, giving Tampa Bay its first American League Pennant.

To view Baseball America’s Q&A with Price and Wieters, click here.