Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Around the Web - Tuesday, June 30

by Barca Blog - I'm on the road today for an SEC meeting in Birmingham, so here are some quick links to articles from around the web... most deal with early looks at the 2009-10 SEC basketball season.
Bakich quickly settles in
SEC basketball revives itself
SEC coaches see progress coming
SEC MBB Coaches Press Conference
Positive buzz returns to SEC preseason

Monday, June 29, 2009

Around the Web - Monday, June 29

  • As posted below, VU pitcher Sonny Gray threw one inning of relief in USA's 20-3 romp over Canada last night.

  • Vanderbilt baseball assistant coach Erik Bakich is expected to be announced as Maryland's head coach on Monday.

  • Professional golfers Brandt Snedeker and Luke List both made the cut at the Travelers Championship. Snedeker finished tied for 47th while List ended up tied for 63th.

  • Mike Organ of The Tennessean looks at Christina Wirth's transition to the Indiana Fever and the WNBA.

  • Colorado Rockies pitcher Casey Weathers is still recovering from Tommy John surgery, but took the time to give an update on his health in an article by the Tri-City Herald. Weathers is expected to be sidelined for all of the 2009 season after suffering the injury in October 2008.

  • Pitcher David Price allowed only one run in 6.1 innings to to lead Tampa past Florida 5-2 Sunday. Price was coming off the worst outing of his young career a week earlier when he surrendered 10 runs, five earned, in 4.1 innings in a loss to Philadelphia.

    "I just pitched better today (against Florida)," Price said. "I got runners on and I was able to pitch out of it. That's what you have to do. You have to be able to continue to throw up zeroes and get our offense back out there."

  • The New York Times College Sports Blog previews the Commodores' upcoming football season.

  • Finally, Mike Dodd and Nate Davis of USA Today give a position-by-position breakdown of the Chicago Bears roster, which features five former 'Dores.
  • Gray, Team USA Blast Canada, 20-3

    By Travis Young - Team USA jumped out to an early 8-2 lead and never looked back as it defeated Team Canada, 20-3 Sunday night at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Eleven different players recorded a hit Sunday as Team USA improved to 4-0 this summer.

    Vanderbilt's Sonny Gray allowed one run, zero earned, and one hit while striking out two in one-inning of relief.

    In two appearances with Team USA this summer, Gray is 0-0, 0.00 ERA with five strikeouts and no walks in 2.2 innings of work.

    Team USA and Team Canada will finish its five game series Monday, June 29 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. The game will start at 6:30 p.m. CT.

    Saturday, June 27, 2009

    Around the Web - Saturday, June 27

  • Pitcher Jeremy Sowers had his best performance of the season Friday to lead Cleveland to a 9-2 win over Cincinnati. The former Commodore allowed only two runs and six hits while recording six strikeouts in seven-plus innings -his longest outing of the year. He was 0-5 with a 6.82 ERA in seven starts coming into the game.

    "It's definitely a step in the right direction to work deep in the game and be efficient with my pitches," Sowers told MLB.com.

  • Indians reliever Jensen Lewis also pitched one scoreless inning, but was optioned to Class AAA Columbus after the game.

    "Jensen has the heartbeat for this job, he has the guts for it, and he has the mind for it," Manager Eric Wedge told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "He needs to go down and get more consistent with his command."
  • Friday, June 26, 2009

    Dancing with the Stars

    In early June, women's basketball guard Jence Rhoads traveled to Austria, Italy and the Czech Republic as part of Athletes International, a non-profit organization that gives American athletes in over a dozen different sports a chance to play around the world.

    Click here to read David Rutz's article about the trip. And the picture above is of Jence dancing on the streets of Brno, Czech Republic (courtesy of IPFW).

    Around the Web - Friday, June 26

  • Sonny Gray had a good outing last night against Canada in his first appearance since making Team USA's final roster. Gray was able to get USA out of a bases loaded jam when he entered the game in the eighth, and then retired the final three Canadian batters in the ninth to seal the 12-4 win. An interesting note -- Gray also came up to the plate in the eighth -- something he didn't do as a freshman last year -- but struck out swinging.

  • Last night was just the third time in 28 years that the SEC didn't have any players selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. Here's a list of SEC players that eventually went in the second round:

    Jodie Meeks, Kentucky -- by Milwaukee
    Marcus Thornton, LSU -- by Miami, traded to New Orleans
    Nick Calathes, Florida -- by Minnesota, traded to Dallas

    Other notable draftees: DeMarre Carroll (Missouri, former Vanderbilt) and Toney Douglas (Florida State, former Auburn) were chosen at the end of the first round, while Patrick Beverley (former Arkansas) went in the second round.

  • Pedro Alvarez homered in his second straight game for Double-A Altoona Thursday... and also received news that he will be playing in the MLB Futures Game during All-Star festivities in July.

  • Maurice Patton of The Tennessean reported that Chris Nickson was released by the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.

  • Duke guard Elliot Williams is transferring for family reasons, and the Memphis native has Vanderbilt listed as one of four schools he's interested in according to the Commercial Appeal.

  • Finally, I'll close with two videos in tribute of Michael Jackson. If you're around my age, you probably remember exactly where you were when you first saw the video/making of Thriller... or when he executed the Moonwalk during Motown's 25th Anniversary Special. Most of us have a connection with the King of Pop from our childhood that will live forever.

    The first clip is of the Jackson 5 performing "Never Can Say Goodbye"



    The next video features one of my favorite MJ songs called "Working Day and Night" from the Off the Wall album. Some YouTube wiz put together some of his greatest music video clips over this audio track.. good memories.


  • Thursday, June 25, 2009

    Lewis, Vierling going to media days

    by Barca Blog - Head coach Bobby Johnson and seniors Myron Lewis and Bradley Vierling have been selected to represent Vanderbilt at 2009 Southeastern Conference Football Media Days in Hoover, Ala., the league office announced earlier today.

    The Commodore trio will appear on July 22, the opening day, with representatives from Arkansas, Mississippi State and Kentucky. The three-day event will be held at the Wynfrey Hotel. (If you've never been to the event, it is a media frenzy with hundreds of radio, TV, web and print outlets from across the country.)

    View a complete list of tentative attendees for each school by clicking here (yes, Tebow will be there).

    White debuts with a bang

    by Barca Blog - Jonathan White got off to a quick start in his rookie league debut for the San Francisco Giants Tuesday in Arizona. The former Commodore started in left field and went 1-3 with a solo homer and a walk in the lead-off position.

    "It was a surreal experience rounding the bases after the home run," White told the Shelbyville Times Gazette. "It was good to get my feet wet and show them what I can do."

    Read Jimmy Jones' full feature here, and follow White's progress at this link.

    Around the Web - Thursday, June 25

    Two articles about Sonny Gray making the USA Baseball National team:
    Gray joins Team USA
    USAB announces 2009 NT roster

    Langford photo

    by Barca Blog - Here's a picture of Reshard Langford during Philadelphia's OTAs a couple of weeks ago. (Courtesy of PhiladelphiaEagles.com)

    Wednesday, June 24, 2009

    Gray makes USA Baseball National Team

    by SID - Right-hander Sonny Gray was one of 22 players named to the 2009 National Team by USA Baseball Wednesday evening. Gray's selection to the squad marks the sixth straight year Vanderbilt will have a representative on the top collegiate summer team in the country. The Smyrna, Tenn., product pitched in two intrasquad games and gave up three runs, one earned, on four hits in five innings with six strikeouts and a walk.

    Familiar names on the roster to Commodore fans include first baseman Andy Wilkins (Arkansas; Broken Arrow, Ark.), outfielder Bryce Brentz (Middle Tennessee State; Crossville, Tenn.), pitchers Tony Zych (Louisville; Hazelcrest, Ill.) and Drew Pomeranz (Mississippi; Memphis, Tenn.) and catcher Blake Forsythe (Tennessee; Memphis, Tenn.).

    The National Team begins its summer season Thursday, opening a five-game series against the Canadian National Team in Cary, N.C. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM ET at the National Training Complex, and Pomeranz will take the mound for the U.S.

    Click here for a complete release and the roster for the 2009 USA Baseball National Team.

    Around the Web - Wednesday, June 24

  • Women's basketball signee Stephanie Holzer is ready for college basketball. The McDonald's All-American had a decorated career at Cardinal O'Hara, but finished on a sour note after she broke her ankle in the Lions' state title game loss to Mount Lebanon in March. Holzer told the Daily Times she was cleared by doctors last week to return to the hardwood.

    “The bone in my ankle is healed and I can put pressure on it. I can start running and jumping. I’m so happy to be getting back. I know I’ve got a long way to go, but I plan to be ready this fall when practice starts.”

  • Men's golfer Jon Curran is playing well in his first tournament as a professional at the 100th Massachusetts Open. The former Commodore is in 11th place at 1-under par going into Wednesday's final round. He will try to earn his PGA Tour card in the fall.

  • Pedro Alvarez, who was just promoted to Double-A Altoona, revealed to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that making the jump to a higher level of baseball is never easy.

    "It's funny, when you're in high school, you think you have an idea, then you get to college and realize you have no idea. It's the same thing with college. You think you have things figured out, then you get to the pros and realize there's so much more to learn."

    Alvarez was hitless in his debut with the Curve last night, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

  • David Price had a tough outing last night against Philadelphia. The former 'Dore was handed his second straight loss, surrendering 10 runs, five earned, in 4.1 innings of work.

    "I put that one on me," Price said. "They're a good-hitting team, and that's what they do when you make an average pitch. They hit it to the wall or they hit it out.

    "That's the best I've felt all year. ... I thought my stuff was the best, and I got hit around. I was around the zone. It's a tough way to go out, putting up six in the first. That's ridiculous."

  • Finally, Chris Low had some nice things to say about football head coach Bobby Johnson in his ESPN blog yesterday.
  • Gray finds out USA fate tonight

    by Barca Blog - Vanderbilt pitcher Sonny Gray will find out if he makes the USA Baseball National team when the final 22-man roster is released this evening.

    In two appearances during trials play, Gray has allowed three runs (one earned) and four hits with six strikeouts and one walk in five innings of work.

    After the roster is announced, the squad will begin its month-long tour in the United States, Japan and Canada. For more info on USA Baseball, click here.

    Is this legit? part 2

    by Barca Blog - Follow up to the last post.. Harold sent me this video last week of minor leaguer Josh Womack and his amazing bat skills. What do you think... real or fake?

    Is this legit? part 1

    by Barca Blog - With high-tech video production accessible to pretty much anyone these days, I never know what to believe anymore on the world wide web. Watch this video... and let me know if you think it's legit.

    Tuesday, June 23, 2009

    Men's Basketball bios updated

    Take a look at the 2009-10 roster... click here.

    Around the Web - Tuesday, June 23

  • Congrats to Bobby Johnson and Des Kitchings. The duo will be inducted into the Furman Athletics Hall of Fame in July.

  • Pedro Alvarez commented on his promotion to Double-A: "It's an honor and a privilege to be anticipated in such a way," he told the Associated Press. "It's very flattering. It's just my first year and I still have a long way to go, a lot to learn. I'm excited that the people in Pittsburgh are excited. All I can promise is that I'm going to work as hard as I can and do the best I can for this organization."

  • Wide receiver Brandon Marshall recently announced he wanted to be traded from the Broncos. Quarterback Jay Cutler talked with the Daily Press about the possibility of reuniting with Marshall in Chicago. "I played with Brandon for three years and I think he's one of the best receivers in the NFL. I think he can be one of the greatest ever to play. He's big and fast, and can do everything you want him to do, on the field and in the meeting room. I don't know what we're going to do. That's up to the guys upstairs. If we make a run at him, we make a run at him."
  • Monday, June 22, 2009

    Gray throws two-innings of relief Monday


    By Travis Young -- Vanderbilt's Sonny Gray made his second appearance on the mound for USA Baseball Monday as the Blue team (5-1) defeated the Red team (1-5) for the fifth consecutive time, winning 8-5 Monday. Gray allowed two runs, one earned, while scattering three hits for the Red team in two innings of middle relief. He earned his first loss of the summer circuit despite striking out three and walking one.

    The U.S. National Team Trials will continue Tuesday, June 23 at 8:00 PM (ET) with a Blue vs. Red intrasquad game at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. Batting practice and pregame workouts will begin at 6:00 PM.

    More football roster updates

    by Barca Blog - I've been working on posting Vanderbilt's 2009 football roster on VUcommodores.com. The second batch of updates include tentative numbers, heights, weights and positions for the incoming freshmen class. I'll add bios for each player on the roster in the near future.

    Tentative Freshmen Numbers:
    Trey Wilson - 8
    Charlie Goro - 17
    Zac Stacy - 21
    Wesley Tate - 24
    Warren Norman - 27
    Jay Fullam - 33
    Blake Southerland - 35
    Eric Samuels - 37
    Javon Marshall - 41
    Eddie Foster - 43
    Mylon Brown - 50
    Wesley Johnson - 67
    Justin Cabbagestalk - 70
    Mason Johnston - 85
    Collin Ashley - 87
    Brady Brown - 88
    Charlie Bryge - 89
    Walker May - 92
    Thad McHaney - 99

    In case you missed it in February, check out our 2009 National Signing Day central site.

    Around the Web - Monday, June 22

  • Cape Update: Brian Harris pounded a grand slam with one out in the ninth to give Chatham a 10-7 comeback victory over Orleans. Taylor Hill (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings to pick up the win. Read More

  • Congrats to Pedro Alvarez... The former Commodore was called up to Altoona, Pittsburgh's Double-A affiliate, late Sunday night. Alvarez hit .247 at Single-A Lynchburg with 14 homers and 55 RBIs in 66 games. He'll make his debut with the Curve Friday night. Read More
  • Sunday, June 21, 2009

    Father's Day feature, part 2

    by Ryan Schulz, Commodore Nation magazine

    Around the Nashville metropolitan area, the surname Del Greco conjures up memories of made extra points and game-winning field goals, but on the west side of the city at Vanderbilt University, there is another Del Greco making a name for himself for an entirely different reason.

    Trey Del Greco, son of former NFL kicker Al Del Greco, has returned to the city where his dad spent the final years of his professional career with the Tennessee Titans and is making an immediate impact as a freshman on Vanderbilt's golf team.

    Click Here to Read More

    Saturday, June 20, 2009

    Father's Day feature, part 1

    by Ryan Schulz, Commodore Nation magazine

    Alex McClure may have just finished his first year at Vanderbilt, but he is far from new to the Vanderbilt campus. A sophomore transfer from Walters State Community College, McClure spent many days of his youth making the trek between his hometown of Clarksville, Tenn., and Vanderbilt's campus to watch from the visiting dugout as his father, Gary McClure, coached Austin Peay State University's baseball team against the Commodores.

    However, the frequency of McClure's trips to Nashville increased unexpectedly at the age of 15.

    Click Here to Read More

    Around the Web - Saturday, June 20

    VU, MTSU stars share USA tryout

    First look at WBB incoming frosh


    By Weinman - Stopped by Memorial Gymnasium yesterday to say hello to the newest group of Commodores -- the incoming freshmen class for the women's basketball team. The ladies posed for a few smiling pictures (see the VandyWBB Twitter feed) before they decided to get serious (above). From left to right, welcome Gabby Smith, Elan Brown, Tiffany Clarke and Stephanie Holzer! You'll hear more from them next month once everyone is on campus for the second summer semester.

    Friday, June 19, 2009

    Track 'Dores in Summer Baseball Leagues

    USA Baseball National Team
    Sonny Gray - USA

    Cape Cod League
    Jack Armstrong - Wareham
    Sean Bierman - Brewster
    Russell Brewer - Chatham
    Jason Esposito - Falmouth
    Grayson Garvin - Falmouth
    Brian Harris - Chatham
    Drew Hayes - Yarmouth-Dennis
    Taylor Hill - Chatham
    Steven Liddle - Wareham
    Joe Loftus - Harwich
    Navery Moore - Cotuit
    Chase Reid - Harwich

    New England Collegiate League
    Will Clinard - Sanford
    Alex Hilliard - Holyoke
    Joey Manning - Newport
    Matt Marquis - North Shore
    Aaron Westlake - Newport

    Valley League
    Ben Blanton - Farquier
    Alex McClure - Waynesboro
    Corey Williams - Winchester

    Prospect League
    Richie Goodenow - Danville
    Mark Lamm - Danville

    New York Collegiate League
    Drew Fann - Saratoga

    Kitty League
    Andrew Harris - Marion

    Thursday, June 18, 2009

    Pics from WBB Camp Spirit Day

    By Weinman - Thursday was "Spirit Day" at the Vanderbilt girls' basketball day camp, and campers and counselors alike brought out their best black and gold ensembles. Alumni Liz Sherwood and Jen Risper both donned mascot uniforms (Sherwood was Mr. C, right, while Risper played the inflatable Big C), but rising senior Merideth Marsh was named the Most Spirited Coach. Click here for a photo gallery from Thursday morning.

    Around the Web - Thursday, June 18

    Links to today's articles on the Commodores from around the web.
    Nashville is now 'String Music City'
    He's walked in their spikes
    Cutler readies for camp, critics

    Sonny starts in USA Trials opener

    View Box Score

    by SID
    - Sonny Gray got the start for the Blue team in the first intrasquad contest of USA National Team Trials. He allowed one unearned run in three innings of work with three strikeouts and no walks. Gray did not factor in the decision as his squad fell 2-1 in eight innings.

    Some familiar names on his team include Tennessee catcher Blake Forsythe who went 1-for-3 with a solo homer and Louisville pitcher/utility man Tony Zych who went 0-for-3 as the designated hitter/left fielder. Familiar names on the Red team include Middle Tennessee outfielder/pitcher Bryce Brentz who went 0-for-4, Florida first baseman Preston Tucker who was 0-for-2 and Alabama second baseman Ross Wilson who was 1-for-3.

    The trials continues Thursday, June 18 as the second intrasquad, Blue vs. Red game will begin at 5:30 p.m. CT at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.

    Players will participate in daily practices and drills at the trials, as well as in modified intrasquad Blue vs. Red games. The final 22-man roster will be announced on June 24.

    Once the official roster has been announced, the National Team will stay in Durham and Cary, N.C. as it competes in two international friendship series against Canada and Guatemala from June 25-29 and July 1-4, respectively.

    Team USA will then travel to Japan to participate in the 37th annual USA vs. Japan Collegiate Championships before traveling to Prince George, British Columbia, Canada for the 2009 Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline World Baseball Challenge.

    The 2009 team will be coached by Tulane University head coach Rick Jones, who previously served as an assistant coach for Team USA on the 1989 Presidential Cup Team and 1990 Collegiate National Team. Jones is joined by pitching coach Mike Kennedy (head coach, Elon University) and assistant coaches Dan McDonnell (head coach, Louisville University) and Rob Cooper (head coach, Wright State University; 2007 National Team assistant coach).

    Construction Zone Flags

    by Rocket - It happens many times a year and I once had the same misconception years ago.

    Someone notices an orange flag flying from high atop a construction crane on our campus and jumps to the quick and easy conclusion that the construction crew has a Big Orange sports allegiance. Why on earth is Vanderbilt letting this happen?

    The fact is that these orange flags have nothing to do with universities or sports; they are state mandated and must be flown at any and all construction sites that fit into certain parameters. We had so many irate Commodore fans complain about this that we once had a detailed description on our web site. The exact details of that state law are foggy to me at this moment but you now have the general theme next time you see orange flying high above Vanderbilt University.

    Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    Video: EA Sports Band of the Day

    by Barca Blog - I can't wait much longer for September 5th to get here.

    Check out this video game clip (below) of EASports.com's Band of the Day -- none other than Vanderbilt's Spirit of Gold. Ahh.... there's nothing like the sound of Dynamite at Dudley Field to get your adrenaline flowing. I'm aching for Saturdays this fall on West End... everything from Vandyville to the Victory Flag!

    Remember, season tickets are still available and can be purchased online. Here's the video:

    Football roster

    by Barca Blog - I've been working on posting Vanderbilt's 2009 football roster on VUcommodores.com.

    The first batch of updates are done for returning players with tentative changes made to numbers, heights, weights and positions. I still have to add their bios from the previous season. Also, please note that incoming freshmen will be entered in the near future.

    Here is a list of tentative numbers changes that I compiled for returning players:

    Player- New Number (Old Number)
    Brandon Barden- 6 (87)
    Michael Bryant- 75 (67)
    Dexter Daniels- 18 (48)
    Jermaine Doster- 26 (41)
    Akeem Dunham- 3 (22)
    Ryan Fowler- 48 (94)
    Richard Kent- 94 (84)
    Gaston Miller- 7 (27)
    Micah Powell- 20 (43)
    Tristan Strong- 32 (24)

    Around the Web - Tuesday, June 16

    Links to today's articles on the Commodores from around the web... feel free to comment below.
    Giant change for White
    Composite bats concern NCAA
    Davis says Jordan still rules
    Wise choices by Vanderbilt players
    Early look at SEC basketball

    Monday, June 15, 2009

    Renew Your NCC Membership Today!

    Don't forget to renew your National Commodore Club Membership! make your gift today!

    Join the NCC by June 30 and secure your parking pass for the 2009 football season!
    NCC members already have the best seats in Vanderbilt Stadium, but did you know they also have access to the best parking, too? A $500 gift to the NCC entitles you to a parking pass in Lot 2, just steps from Vanderbilt Stadium. There's no better place to tailgate with your friends before every Commodore home game.
    Call the NCC today at 615/ 322-4114 for more information.

    Tell your friends!
    The 2010 Southeastern Conference Men's Basketball Tournament will be held at the Sommet Center in Nashville March 11-14. Your NCC priority will be essential in securing tickets for the tournament, so don't forget to renew your NCC membership today, and don't forget to tell your friends to join today! For more information on the NCC priority system, please read our frequently asked questions.

    For Vanderbilt Young Alums
    Special offer for recent Vanderbilt graduates! If you earned a degree from any of Vanderbilt's undergraduate schools in the last five years, you can purchase two football and two men's basketball season tickets for half-price when you join the National Commodore Club with a $100 gift. Join online today!

    June issue of Commodore Nation

    By Ryan Schulz - The June 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 among other things in this issue are the 2008-09 photos of the year, stories on pitcher Sonny Gray, former Commodore Josh Paul and Carmen Mims of the track team, who won the most prestigious art award at Vanderbilt.

    To view more archived issues, here.


    Thursday, June 11, 2009

    White selected by Giants in 40th round

    By Travis Young - Vanderbilt fifth-year senior Jonathan White was just drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 40th round (1197th pick overall) of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. It marks the second time that White has heard his named called during the annual June draft. The Shelbyville, Tenn., native was taken by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 24th round of the 2007 draft but elected to return to Vanderbilt for his final two seasons.

    Here is a list of the Vanderbilt players that have been drafted (through 40 rounds)
    First Round: Mike Minor (7), Atlanta Braves
    Fifth Round: Caleb Cotham (165), New York Yankees
    13th Round: Nick Christiani (389), Cincinnati Reds
    15th Round: Steven Liddle (462), Minnesota Twins
    22nd Round: Drew Hayes (653), Seattle Mariners
    40th Round: Jonathan White (1197), San Francisco Giants

    Click here to follow the final day of the MLB.com draft.

    Final day of MLB Draft is underway

    By Travis Young - The third and final day of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft is underway. Click here for the MLB.com draft tracker to follow the day's events. Today's draft will cover the final 20 rounds (Rounds 31-50). The Commodores have had five players drafted through the first two days.

    Wednesday, June 10, 2009

    Day 2 of MLB Draft Ends

    By Travis Young - As the scouting directors and cross checkers from all 30 Major League clubs go back to the drawing board in their top secret draft room Thursday evening, a total of 921 players have been selected in the last two days of the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Four Commodores heard their names called during the day. Caleb Cotham (5th round), Nick Christiani (13th round), Steven Liddle (15th round) and Drew Hayes (22nd round) were selected Wednesday. See below to see where each player went and what team selected them.

    The third and final day of the 2009 MLB Draft will resume Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m. CT with rounds 31-50. Follow each team's selections by logging on to MLB.com ... and make sure you stay with our blog for Vanderbilt updates.

    Here is a list of the Vanderbilt players that have been drafted (through 30 rounds)
    First Round: Mike Minor (7), Atlanta Braves
    Fifth Round: Caleb Cotham (165), New York Yankees
    13th Round: Nick Christiani (389), Cincinnati Reds
    15th Round: Steven Liddle (462), Minnesota Twins
    22nd Round: Drew Hayes (653), Seattle Mariners

    Also, two players in last fall's signing class were also drafted. Sam Selman, a left-handed pitcher from St. Andrews Episcopal in Austin, Texas, was picked in the 14th round by the Los Angeles Angels, while Regan Flaherty, a first baseman from Portland, Maine, was selected in the 28th round by the Seattle Mariners. Selman was ranked the 24th best prospect in Texas by Baseball America, while Flaherty has Vanderbilt bloodlines as his brother Ryan achieved All-American status as a Commodore from 2006-08.

    Hayes drafted by Mariners in 22nd Round

    By Travis Young - Vanderbilt junior right-hander Drew Hayes was just drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 22nd round (653rd pick overall) in the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. It marks the second time that Hayes has been drafted. The McKenzie, Tenn., native was taken out of high school by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 29th round of the 2006 amateur draft.

    Click here to follow the second day of the MLB.com draft.

    Liddle drafted by Twins in 15th round

    By Travis Young - Vanderbilt outfielder Steven Liddle was just drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 15th round (462nd pick overall) of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. Liddle was draft eligible because he redshirted his first season at VU. A product of Franklin, Tenn., Liddle has a small connection to the Twins organization as his uncle serves as the bench coach for the big league club.

    Christiani drafted by Reds in 13th round

    By Travis Young - Vanderbilt senior right-hander Nick Christiani was just drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 13th round of the Major League Baseball draft. Christiani was the the 389th overall selection and the eighth player off the board in the 13th round. A native of Linden, N.J., Christiani was drafted for the second consecutive season. He was taken by the Cleveland Indians in the 32nd round last year, but decided to return to the Commodores for his senior season.

    Cotham drafted by Yankees in fifth round

    By Travis Young - Vanderbilt right-hander Caleb Cotham was just drafted by the New York Yankees in the fifth round (165th pick overall). Cotham is the second Vanderbilt player to be drafted in the 2009 draft. Minor went to the Braves as the No. 7 overall pick in yesterday's first round.

    Father's Day gift idea

    Do you think your dad would like a framed version of this Commodore memory for Father’s Day?

    There are hundreds of other great sports images taken by Vanderbilt’s best sports photojournalists over the years easily available by visiting the Photo Store located on the front page of vucommodores.com.

    Ordering is easy, the quality of the framed photograph is high and delivery is prompt. Place your order soon to insure delivery by Father’s Day and keep the Photo Store in mind for future gifts for those special Commodore fans of yours.

    Click Here to purchase photos.

    Day 2 of MLB Draft underway

    The second day of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft is underway. Click here for the MLB.com draft tracker to follow the day's events. Today's draft started with the fourth round and is scheduled to go through the 30th round.

    Tuesday, June 9, 2009

    Day 1 of MLB Draft ends

    by Barca Blog - Well, after almost five hours and 111 picks, the opening day of the 2009 Major League Baseball draft has concluded. Mike Minor was the only Commodore to be taken on Tuesday, going to the Braves in the first round, seventh overall.

    Day 2 (of 3) of the draft will resume Wednesday with rounds 4-30 starting at 11 a.m. CT. Follow each team's selections by logging on to MLB.com ... and make sure you stay with our blog for Vanderbilt updates.

    Minor's first quotes

    by Barca Blog - Here are a couple of Mike Minor's first statements (courtesy of the Associated Press) about being selected by the Atlanta Braves earlier tonight.

    On being drafted by the Braves
    "Being so close to home, all my friends and family can come see me play when I do make it. Everyone is going wild. It's awesome to be with the Braves."

    On contract negotiations
    "I see it happening pretty quick, probably in the next week or two or whatever. I'm definitely not planning to hold out. If they have a fair offer, it should be pretty soon."

    Corbin talks about Minor

    by Barca Blog - Head coach Tim Corbin just released a statement on junior pitcher Mike Minor, who was selected by the Atlanta Braves with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft earlier tonight.

    "Mikie is as good as any of the pitchers that have been in our program," said Corbin. "Like Jeremy Sowers, Casey Weathers and David Price before him, Mikie will be another Vanderbilt pitcher that has developed in our system and under pitching coach Derek Johnson and become a first rounder. He has been a phenomenal young man to coach and I will miss what he and his family brought to our program. I am excited for him and look forward to watching him play at the next level."

    Click here to read VUcommodores.com's official press release... And check out the AP story by Paul Newberry.

    Scouting director comments on Minor

    by Barca Blog - Atlanta director of scouting Roy Clark has released a statement on the Braves' decision to select Vanderbilt junior pitcher Mike Minor with their first round pick.

    "This guy is a winner," Clark said. "We've been tracking him for a long time. We were hoping for the opportunity to select him and now I'm just hoping for the opportunity to sign him."

    Read more here on AtlantaBraves.com.

    Fans can continue to follow the first day of the draft on MLB.com.

    Braves take Minor with 7th overall pick


    By Travis Young -- Vanderbilt junior left-hander Mike Minor was drafted by the Atlanta Braves as the No. 7 overall selection in the first round of 2009 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Minor became the sixth first round pick the Commodores have had in the last six years and the 12th in the history of the program. Vanderbilt has now had five players taken in the first round dating back to the 2007 season, including four top-10 overall selections. Minor joins David Price, Casey Weathers, Pedro Alvarez and Jeremy Sowers as the five players that have been selected in the top 10 under head coach Tim Corbin.

    It also marks the third consecutive season that Vanderbilt had the first player from the Southeastern Conference drafted.

    The baseball draft is upon us

    by SID - With the new format of the baseball draft, we are likely to find out the draft status of a couple of Commodores this evening when things begin at 5 p.m. CT.

    All of the experts agree that junior left-hander Mike Minor is a first round pick, but where he gets drafted is up in the air. Unlike David Price and Pedro Alvarez the last two years, two definite top five picks, Minor has been projected to go as high as No. 3 by some and as low as in the 20's by others. In any case he will be the sixth first round pick the Commodores have had in the last six years and the 12th in the history of the program.

    Righthander Caleb Cotham, a redshirt sophomore in his third year at Vanderbilt, could also be picked today or early tomorrow. Several other Commodores are draft eligible and could be picked during the three day draft. We will have a full recap when things are complete on Thursday.

    Today will consist of the first 111 picks, including Round One, Compensation Round A, Round Two, Round Three and Compensation Round B. There will be four minutes between first-round picks and one minute between all other selections. On Wednesday, the Draft will resume in the fourth round at 11 a.m. and will be tentatively scheduled to go through the 30th round. The Draft will conclude on Thursday with the 31st through 50th rounds, beginning at 10:30 a.m.

    MLB Network will televise the entire first round live for the first time at its new studios in New Jersey, after two years of ESPN broadcasting the event at Disney World in Florida.

    The 32 first-round selections will also be simulcast live on MLB.com. Beginning with the 33rd pick, up-to-the-minute on-air coverage from the remaining rounds will shift exclusively to MLB.com/Live, where host Vinny Micucci will be joined by MLB.com Draft expert Jonathan Mayo and Major League Scouting Bureau director Frank Marcos.

    Here is MLB.com's scouting report on Minor.

    Zack is back

    by Barca Blog - Yes, it's true. Zack Morris appeared on last night's episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon... And he's still the same guy we all remember from Saved by the Bell -- bleach-blonde hair, rolled up sleeves, stone-washed jeans with thumbs in pockets, and white high top sneakers. He even still carries around that gigantic cell phone that all of us wanted back in the day.

    Even better news is that Fallon's one step closer to staging a reunion of the classic show after Morris gave his approval during the segment. We just need Screech and Kelly to sign on and we're set!

    Watch the nine-minute clip (below) which includes one of the greatest songs of all-time at the end.

    Monday, June 8, 2009

    Vierling... front and center

    David Rutz will have a feature on each of Vanderbilt's three captains over the next week on VUcommodores.com. His first spotlight is on the only returning captain, senior center Bradley Vierling. Read the complete story here.

    Audio: Johnson introduces captains

    by Barca Blog - Head coach Bobby Johnson just met with the local media to introduce the Commodores' 2009 football captains. Click Here to listen to his official announcement.

    Oh captain, my captain

    By Barca Blog - Which Commodores will serve as captains of the 2009 football squad? Click Here to find out.

    And since we're on the subject... why not throw in a clip from the award-winning movie, Captain Ron.

    WNBA Tuesday Programming Note

    By Weinman - ESPN2's first WNBA broadcast of the 2009 season will be tomorrow night's Seattle-Indiana game at Conseco Fieldhouse. The game tips at 6 p.m. CT and will be shown in hi-definition.

    The Fever will be looking to rebound from with back-to-back season-opening losses at Atlanta and against Minnesota. According to the schedule on wnba.com, this will be the only ESPN2 game for the Fever and 2009 VU grad Christina Wirth (the team is scheduled to make five appearances on NBA TV this year).

    Sunday, June 7, 2009

    Video: Mike Minor highlights

    by Barca Blog - Get ready for this week's MLB Draft by watching highlights of Mike Minor during his Vanderbilt career.

    Friday, June 5, 2009

    Photos: Corporate golf outing

    by Barca Blog - I had the opportunity to go to VU Athletics' annual corporate golf outing -- hosted by ISP -- Thursday morning at Vanderbilt Legends Club. Of course, I wasn't there to show off my amazing golf stroke (just think Tiger Woods), but instead, to shoot some photos of the participants.

    Vanderbilt coaches and staff were paired with corporate sponsors in an 18-hole golf scramble (4-person teams). Head coaches playing in the event included Bobby Johnson, Melanie Baclomb and John Williamson. Coaches Kevin Stallings and Tom Shaw were also in attendance as well Vice Chancellor David Williams.

    After the competition, everyone was treated to lunch followed by an awards ceremony. Balcomb (pictured above with Johnson) won the honor of longest female drive.

    Click Here to view photos.

    Jenkins to wear number 23

    By A. Boggs - Vanderbilt's only signee for men's basketball has chosen a number.

    Vanderbilt newcomer John Jenkins will wear number 23 when he dons the Black and Gold this fall at Memorial Gym. Jenkins will be the 19th player to wear #23, with Charles Davis and Ronnie McMahan being two of the more recognizable names to have the number.

    Jenkins wore #12 in high school at Station Camp. Jordan Smart currently wears 12 for the Commodores.

    Jenkins and most of his new Vanderbilt teammates are in Nashville for summer school, where they are attending classes, working out and playing pickup.

    Construction Update

    by Barca Blog - Here are the latest photos of the facility upgrades taking place at Vanderbilt Stadium. If you'd like to support VU's facility upgrade campaign, please contact the National Commodore Club at (615) 322-4114.

    Video: D.J. Moore dunks

    by Barca Blog - Thanks to Wes for sending me a link to this video posted on ChicagoBears.com. During a recent trip to The Boys and Girls Club in Waukegan, former Commodore D.J. Moore showed off his basketball hops. Click Here to watch the clip.

    Wirth makes Fever's 2009 roster

    By Weinman - Congratulations to Christina Wirth! The Indiana Fever have set their roster for the 2009 season, and the recent Vanderbilt grad was one of two rookies to make the team.

    The Fever's 11-woman roster features a contrast of experience and youth, with six players boasting eight-or-more years of WNBA experience and four players in their first or second season. The exception is Ebony Hoffman, who has played five years in the league.

    Head Coach Lin Dunn's squad opens the 2009 regular season on Saturday, June 6, in Atlanta against the Dream. The Fever return to Indianapolis the following night for their home opener against Minnesota. Their 34-game schedule runs through Sept. 13.

    PR director Kevin Messenger will host a live chat prior to tomorrow night's game at Atlanta on the Indiana Fever web site.

    Thursday, June 4, 2009

    Johnson to participate in 104.5 Radiothon

    by Leathers - Vanderbilt Coach Bobby Johnson will join forces with former Commodore basketball great Charles Davis and 104.5 The Zone personalities Thursday afternoon at the 17th annual Davis Foundation Radiothon in Nashville. This marks Johnson’s third year assisting the fund-raising effort.

    Johnson will appear with Davis, radio hosts George Plaster and Willy Daunic, and Houston Chronicle NFL sportswriter John McClain from 6-8 p.m. CT, at Ferguson’s Bath & Kitchen Gallery. Ferguson’s is located next to Home Depot directly across from 100 Oaks Mall/Vanderbilt Medical Center off Interstate 65. The radiothon raises large sums of money for the Davis Foundation mission to provide resources and programs for inner-city kids in Nashville.

    Click Here to listen to the radio broadcast live online.

    Wednesday, June 3, 2009

    Mideast Regional Track photos

    By Travis Young - Vanderbilt sophomore distance standout Rita Jorgensen competed in the 1500-meter run at last weekend's Mideast Regional Championships in Louisville, Ky. Jorgensen advanced to the 1500 finals after clocking a 4:24.95 in the prelims before finishing in ninth place a day later in the finals. It marked the second straight year that Jorgensen had advanced to the regional finals in the 1500.

    Click here to view Pat Jorgensen’s photos from the event.

    Macias in town this week

    by Barca Blog - If you live in the Nashville area, take a trip to Greer Stadium this week to see former Commodore David Macias in action.

    Macias and the Iowa Cubs are in town for a four-game series against the Nashville Sounds until Friday. Last night, he went 1-for 3 with a single in the Cubs' 3-0 loss. He also made some nice plays in the field at second base.

    I've been told the highlight of the night, though, was in his third at-bat. Macias drilled a line drive of the leg of his third base coach (which knocked him down). The coach got up, took his helmet off for the crowd, and then pointed to center field and told "Dave" to hit it that way. Next pitch, Macias swung and his bat went flying towards the Sounds' dugout.

    A bunch of his former teammates were in attendance to show their support like Johnny White, Nick Christiani, Brian Harris, and Caleb Cotham to name a few.

    Thanks to G for sending me the update and picture.

    Here's a link to the Sounds home schedule with ticket information.

    Minor on list of likely impact players

    by Barca Blog - Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com lists Vanderbilt junior ace Mike Minor as one of five players who could have the first Major League impact among those drafted on Tuesday, June 9. Read More

    Diamond Trio named Freshmen All-Americans

    by SID - Just received word from my old pal Sweet Lou Pavlovich at Collegiate Baseball that Sonny Gray, Riley Reynolds and Aaron Westlake were named to Louisville Slugger's Freshmen All-American team.

    Click here for the full story.

    SEC TV viewing this fall


    By A. Boggs - With football quickly approaching and the SEC's new TV deal with CBS and ESPN on the horizon, the Birmingham News' Jon Solomon breaks down where and when you'll be able to catch football this fall on your television.

    More details will become available in mid-July, but Solomon's blog entry is a great synopsis of what we know now.

    Check out the link here.

    Star Walk Brickwork


    By Ryan Schulz - If you happened to be on Vanderbilt's campus last week, you may have noticed Jess Neely Drive was closed to traffic for the majority of the week. The reason for the closure was to allow construction crews an opportunity to do brickwork on Vanderbilt's Star Walk, where the football team enters Vanderbilt Stadium before each home football game.

    As you can see from the photo above, the crews created a distinct black and gold brick pathway connecting the Star Walk entrance to the football stadium across Jess Neely Drive. The addition of the bricks to the Star Walk is just the latest portion of the on-going renovation process of Vanderbilt Stadium to be completed.

    Tuesday, June 2, 2009

    Alex Washington attends NCAA National Student-Athlete Leadership Conference

    by CHAMPS - Vanderbilt Football's Alex Washington just returned from the NCAA National Student-Athlete Leadership Conference, May 24-27 at Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Washington was among the 600+ student-athletes from Division I, II and III colleges and universities across the country who attended the conference.

    "It was a great experience," Washington said. "I had a lot of fun making connections with student-athletes from other schools and particpating in the workshops."

    Washington looks forward to utilizing the information he took away from the conference to make a difference on Vanderbilt's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) in the Fall.

    The NCAA National Leadership Conference is a forum in which student-athletes have an opportunity to enhance their leadership and decision-making skills and discuss key issues in intercollegiate athletics that affect them on their campus and in their community. The NCAA National Leadership Conference also promotes better communication among student-athletes, coaches, administrators, faculty and communities. The conference consists of daily exercises and activities to help the student-athletes develop as individuals and as contributing members to society.

    During the leadership conference, student-athletes will discuss a variety of topics such as sportsmanship, substance abuse, social networking sites, hazing, recruiting climate, professional development and integrating student-athletes into campus. They will also discuss division-specific issues, create dialogue surrounding possible solutions to division-specific issues and discuss potential career direction. In addition to the speaker and discussion sessions, the student-athletes will participate in initiative and team building games at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. Coaches, athletics administrators and program facilitators will also attend. In addition, members from each division's national SAAC will facilitate at the event. SAAC provides feedback to NCAA committees and councils regarding student-athlete well-being issues and is the "voice" of the student-athlete within the NCAA governance structure.

    It's Not Too Late to Renew your NCC Membership!

    It's not too late to renew your NCC membership! Vanderbilt's fiscal year ends on June 30, 2009. Please make your NCC gift before June 30!

    Call - 615-322-4114 to renew via phone
    Click - Here to renew online with a credit card
    Come By - our offices at the McGugin Center at 2601 Jess Neely Drive

    Monday, June 1, 2009

    Audio: Post-UL press conference

    by Barca Blog - Listen to head coach Tim Corbin, pitcher Mike Minor and outfielder Joe Loftus talk to the press following the Commodores' 5-3 loss to Louisville Monday. Click Here for Audio

    FINAL: Louisville 5, Vanderbilt 3

    Louisville defeated Vanderbilt 5-3 in the NCAA Louisville Regional final Monday night at Jim Patterson Stadium in Louisville, Ky.

    Click here for the official postgame coverage of tonight's regional final.

    IN PROGRESS: Vanderbilt vs. Louisville

    By Travis Young - The Commodores and Cardinals are underway in the final game of the NCAA Louisville Regional. The winner of tonight's contest will advance to face Cal State Fullerton in the Super Regionals this coming weekend (June 5-8). Click here to follow the action on vucommodores.com.

    Monday lineup vs. Louisville

    By Travis Young - Here is the lineup for Monday night's game against top-seeded Louisville. Tonight's game will get underway at 6 p.m. CT. The winner of tonight's Louisville Regional final will advance to play Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field next weekend (June 5-8) in Fullerton, Calif. The game will start at 6 p.m. CT.

    1. Brian Harris SS
    2. Jonathan White CF
    3. Steven Liddle RF
    4. Curt Casali 1B
    5. Aaron Westlake DH
    6. Andrew Giobbi C
    7. Jason Esposito 3B
    8. Riley Reynolds 2B
    9. Joe Loftus LF
    SP: Mike Minor (6-5, 3.79 ERA)

    Weather: Party cloudy, 90 degrees.Winds blowing from the southwest at 12 mph. The flag poles behind the outfield wall indicate the wind is blowing out to center field so we might see some big flys.

    Louisville will send freshman righthander Tony Zych to the mound tonight to face the Commodores. Vanderbilt has seen a brief stint of Zych (5-2, 3.29 ERA) this season as he allowed one run, one hit and three walks with one strikeout in one inning of work against the Commodores on April 22.

    In Zych's last outing he allowed only one run, scattering six hits with two strikeouts in 11-3 win over Connecticut in the BIG EAST Tournament title game. Earlier this season, Zych was invited to participate in the 2009 USA National Team Trials, June 15-24 in Cary, N.C. Zych will join VU's Sonny Gray as one of only five college freshman to be among the players invited to the trials.

    As SID broke the news earlier on the blog, Vanderbilt will counter with Minor. The coaches are looking to the junior left-hander to get the team off to a good start. He is coming off a 134 pitch eight inning complete game against Middle Tennessee on Friday.

    Click here to follow Monday night's Louisville Regional final between Vanderbilt and Louisville.

    It all comes down to tonight

    by Barca Blog - I just set up shop in the Patterson Stadium press box... We're an hour and a half away until Vanderbilt and Louisville square off for the right to play Cal State Fullerton in the Super Regionals.

    Vanderbilt has fought out of the loser's bracket to make a NCAA Regional championship game once before under head coach Tim Corbin, dropping a 4-3 heartbreaker in 10 innings to Michigan at Hawkins Field in 2007.

    I asked Corbin what it meant to be one game away from making his second trip to the Super Regional with the Commodores (The 2004 team swept through the Virginia Regional in three games).

    "I don’t look at as much as going to a Super Regional as much as it’s another baseball game and we’re just in the fifth leg of it," Corbin said. "We’re just going to take the same approach we’ve taken. We’ve played four pretty good baseball games and now we have one left.

    "This has kind of been our trail all year. We’ve kind of been one of those teams that’s had to battle through a lot of different emotional swings because of the youth and inexperience. But you know what? It’s made us a little bit tougher and I can feel that for sure."

    First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT at Patterson Stadium. You can track the action here on VUcommodores.com.

    Kata back in the bigs

    by Ryan Schulz - The Houston Astros recalled former Commodore Matt Kata from Triple-A Round Rock over the weekend. The versatile Kata has played every position besides catcher and pitcher in his four years in the majors. He was promoted after second baseman Kaz Matsui was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

    Kata made his big-league debut in 2003 with Arizona and also played with Philadelphia, Texas, and most recently with Pittsburgh in 2007. Last year, he played for Triple-A Indianapolis in the Pirates farm system.

    He has a .242 average with 12 homers and 58 RBI in 238 career games in the majors. Kata is one of four Commodores currently in the majors, joining pitchers Jensen Lewis, David Price and Jeremy Sowers.

    On a related note, Sowers will take the hill tonight when Cleveland hosts the New York Yankees at 6:05 p.m. CT. Sowers was moved back into the rotation after tossing five scoreless innings of relief last week to pick up a win against Tampa Bay.

    Tonight's starter is...

    by SID - Mike Minor. The coaches are looking to the junior left-hander to get the team off to a good start. He is coming off a 134 pitch eight inning complete game against Middle Tennessee on Friday. Prior to that, the Chapel Hill native had nine days off after throwing a complete game against LSU in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference tournament.

    Obviously it would be a limited start for Minor with the thought that a good start would keep the Louisville crowd out of the contest early, and after an inning or two, the rest of the staff would piece it together from there on out.

    In a Winner Takes All contest, you want to go with your best and the coaches are doing that early with a chance for Sonny Gray to come in late to possibly close out the game.

    Speaking of Winner Takes it All. Check out this video below.. Barca Blog would agree that this Sammy Hagar song is better than the ABBA song of similar name.

    Reid: pitching with pressure

    By Travis Young – Chase Reid has been used in nearly every pitching role this season. The sophomore righty enjoys throwing in pressure situations and has been given the chance to do that in recent situations.

    In his last two outings against Louisville and South Carolina, Reid has earned two saves while striking out five in 2.1 innings of work.

    Last night against Louisville, Head coach Tim Corbin went to Reid with runners on first and third and one out in the eighth. Reid responded by striking out Ryan Wright and pinch hitter Alec Lowery on 3-2 curveballs to end the Cardinal threat.

    In the ninth, Corbin elected to stay with Reid for the ninth and once again the former Southlake Carroll (Texas) standout answered the call by striking out John Dao and Drew Haynes before getting Josh Richmond to ground out to short to end the game for his second save in as many chances.

    “I was able to get Louisville to chase some of my breaking balls down in the zone," Reid said. “Giobbi did a great job of calling the game. I thought I used a good mixture of fastballs, curveballs and changeups to keep them guessing.”

    Reid came up clutch once again for the Commodores against South Carolina at the SEC Tournament when he earned his first save of the season. The sophomore entered the ninth inning with one-out and runners on second and third before retiring the next to batters on an infield fly and strikeout.

    Reid admits he enjoys getting the ball when the game is on the line.

    “It is always exciting to pitch in pressure situations like I did last night,” Reid commented. “Anytime you enter a game that has two runners on base with one out you have a chance to get the momentum back for your team.”

    The Vanderbilt coaching staff likes what they have seen out of Reid in his last couple of outings and have said he is focused on helping the team win games.

    “There is a determination about him,” Corbin said. “I didn’t think he had it during the middle of the year and I challenged him a little bit and he was probably mad at me but since that he has responded and is starting to shine out there. He is go-to type of pitcher and we are proud of the way he has played for us.”

    Christiani comes through in the clutch

    by Barca Blog - Nick Christiani had a tough act to follow against Louisville Sunday night.

    Vanderbilt was coming off two straight shutout performances by Caleb Cotham and Sonny Gray in NCAA Regional elimination games, and it was up to senior right-hander to help keep the Commodores' season alive.

    "We've had great starting pitching and you just want to keep it going," Chrisitani said following VU's 8-4 victory. "You want to be the guy for your team and step up and give them a big win when it counts the most."

    Playing in front of a hostile, standing-room only crowd of 4,006 fans in Patterson Stadium, the Linden, N.J., native didn't disappoint. Christiani limited the Cardinals to three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts in six innings to push the Commodores into the regional championship against Louisville Monday night.

    Surprisingly enough, Christiani admitted after the game that he "probably felt as out of sync as he had felt all year" in the first two innings. He avoided some major trouble in the bottom of the first when All-American slugger Chris Dominguez just missed a three-run homer that was caught by Joe Loftus at the top of the wall. Pitching coach Derek Johnson then made a trip to the mound to help the four-year veteran settle down.

    "I just tried to get in a rhythm after that (meeting)," said Christiani, who picked up his 20th career win, tying him for 10th on Vanderbilt’s all-time list with Mike McLochlin (1988-1990). "I just felt a little slow, a little sluggish, and just picked up the pace and tried to pump the zone with all my pitches and let my defense play."

    Christiani was locked in after that. Jeff Arnold singled to lead off the second, but Christiani would respond by retiring 10 consecutive Cardinal hitters before Drew Haynes singled in the fifth. He also pitched out of a bases-loaded no-out jam in the sixth inning, surrendering only two runs.

    Christiani's taken the hill in the NCAA tournament before but with different results. In two previous regional starts (2008 vs. Oklahoma, 2007 vs. Michigan), he gave up a combined 10 runs in nine innings of work -- both no decisions. He was also the hard-luck loser after a decent outing with little run support in the SEC Championship loss to LSU last Sunday.

    Good things come to those who wait... and no one is more deserving than Christiani.

    "I’m really proud of (Nick)," head coach Tim Corbin said. "I just really wanted something good to happen to him. He’s the right guy at the right time. He pitched well and kept us in the ballgame. I thought he only got better after the second inning. He did a nice job of stopping a tough team in a tough environment."

    (by the way, check out just how close Dominguez was to a homer in this photo by Jimmy Jones.. click the image to make it larger)

    Sunday Photos: 'Dores beat Cards

    by Barca Blog - Here's a link to Jimmy Jones' photo gallery from Sunday night's 8-4 win over Louisville. Photo Gallery

    Monday's baseball articles

    by Barca Blog - Here are Monday's baseball stories from around the web:
    VU lives to play another day
    Reliable pitching keeps season going
    Vanderbilt perseveres with pitching
    VU rides pitching in 6-0 win
    Vanderbilt keeps momentum
    Cards need Big Three to top VU