Friday, July 31, 2009

Price picks up fourth win

By Ryan Schulz - Former Commodore lefty David Price earned his fourth win of the season and second of July on Friday as Tampa Bay defeated Kansas City 8-2.

Price tossed seven innings of five-hit baseball, surrendering just one run, while walking two and striking out three. The seven innings pitched matched a career high for Price, who moved to 4-4 on the season.

The strong outing was much needed for Price after two of his previous four starts lasted three innings or less.

Box Score

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Johnson takes part in football luncheon

By Ryan Schulz – Vanderbilt Head Coach Bobby Johnson and Tennessee Head Coach Lane Kiffin took part in the Nashville Sports Council’s annual SEC Football Luncheon on Thursday afternoon at the Wildhorse Saloon.

Approximately 400 people were in attendance at the event to watch Johnson and Kiffin discuss the upcoming 2009 season. Kevin Ingram from 104.5 The Zone emceed the luncheon, which began with Ingram taking turns asking each coach questions before opening the floor for questions from the audience.

Included among the questions directed at Coach Johnson were ones about replacing D.J. Moore and Reshard Langford in the secondary, the status of the running back situation, the implementation of a no-huddle offense, etc.

There were a few laughs among the crowd during the luncheon, but maybe the largest laugh came when someone in the crowd asked each coach to pick their sleeper team in 2009. “Vanderbilt,” answered Kiffin. “Tennessee,” replied Johnson.

Johnson was also asked about being one of the oldest coaches in the SEC and how he plans on teaching lessons to youthful coaches in the league. The question and Johnson’s initial response drew a large laugh from the crowd.

“The thing about being an old hat in this league is my premature gray is no longer premature, it matches my age now,” cracked Johnson.

Below are a few more quotes from the luncheon.

On the running back situation:
“We feel like we will be much better at running back because our offensive line is back intact, but also because we have more talent at the position than we have had.”

On the no-huddle offense:
“The no-huddle offense gives us an opportunity to do a lot of things, but the main thing you want to do is dictate tempo. Also a lot of times the defense may tip off what they are going to do. We had a down year on offense and we want to improve on that this year.”

On the stadium renovations:
“We are excited about the renovations. They will be a great improvement to our stadium and it is a big commitment by our administration.”

On what to expect over the next few weeks:

“Football today is a whole lot different because the players all used to go home and you didn’t know if they were working hard and getting ready. Now, we’ve been with them all summer. They come through the office and tell us how they are doing. The strength staff tells us how they are doing. There are no surprises. We are just ready to get to work. A lot of these guys played big roles for us last year, so we expect them to step up and play big roles for us this year.”

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Former 'Dores begin NFL training camp

By Ryan Schulz - The Commodores are just over a week from beginning fall football practice, but many former Commodores have already begun or will be starting NFL training camp by the end of the week.

Below are the start dates for former Commodores at training camp.

Buffalo: July 25 (Marcus Buggs)
Carolina: Aug. 3 (Justin Geisinger)
Chicago: July 31 (Earl Bennett, Jay Cutler, Hunter Hillenmeyer, D.J. Moore and Chris Williams)
Detroit: July 31 (Curtis Gatewood)
Dallas: July 29 (Matt Stewart)
New York Giants: Aug. 3 (Jonathan Goff)
Philadelphia: July 26 (Reshard Langford)
St. Louis: July 31 (Sean Walker)
Tennessee: July 31 (Jovan Haye)
Washington: July 30 (Todd Yoder)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Snedeker earns another top-five finish

By Ryan Schulz - Former Commodore Brandt Snedeker continued his hot play on the PGA Tour on Monday when he tied for fifth at the RBC Canadian Open with a 72-hole score of 13-under par 275.

After carding an opening round score of 1-over 73, Snedeker posted rounds of 67, 67 and 68 to finish five shots back of Nathan Green, who won the tournament at 18-under par.

Snedeker's top-five finish was his third in his last four tournaments and came on the heels of last week's announcement that he was one of nine people selected to Vanderbilt's Hall of Fame.

Before Monday's finish, Snedeker had tied for fifth at the John Deere Clasic on July 12 and tied for second at the AT&T National on July 5.

Click here to view the final leaderboard.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Workin' for the summer

By Weinman - For rising seniors studying Human and Organizational Development (HOD) at Vanderbilt's Peabody College, the summer is normally spent receiving some real-world training through a number of internship programs.

One such senior on the women's basketball team is Lauren Lueders (pictured above with VU great Charles Davis and the arm of News Channel 5 producer Brian McKeegan). Lauren has spent the summer as an intern with the News Channel 5 Sports staff, working alongside the same members of the media who previously have interviewed her for stories on the Commodores.

Fellow rising seniors Jessica Mooney and Ashlee Bridge have also spent the summer as interns in Nashville, all while balancing school work with basketball workouts.

2009 baseball intro songs

by Barca Blog - I received a couple of emails asking for the names of the intro songs that Commodore baseball players used last season, whether it was at the plate or on the mound. Graham from the baseball offices was kind enough to forward me the following list.

It should be noted that the songs were compiled at the start of the year and some of the guys eventually changed to a different tune.

Which one was your favorite?

Alex McClure- Seven Nation Army by White Stripes
Sonny Gray- Ladies and Gentleman by Saliva
Matt Marquis- Riot by Three Days Grace
Andrew Giobbi- We Global by DJ Khaled
Brian Harris- In the Air Tonight by Nonpoint
Riley Reynolds- Put You In the Game by The Game
Curt Casali- Can't Stop by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Navery Moore- Throw It Up by Lil John
Sean Bierman- Never Forget Me by Bone Thugs and Akon
Jack Armstrong- Higher by Creed
Jason Esposito- Can't Be Touched by Roy Jones Jr.
Steven Liddle- Until the End by Breaking Benjamin
Caleb Cotham- See You In My Nightmares by Kanye West
Grayson Garvin- Lose Yourself by Eminem
Russell Brewer- Boondocks by Little Big Town
Drew Hayes- I Put On by Young Jeezy
Taylor Hill- Fever Dream by 300 Soundtrack
Aaron Westlake- Papercut by Linkin Park
Jonathan White- Encore by Jay Z
Mark Lamm- Wanted Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi
Drew Fann- Amazing by Kanye West
Alex Hilliard- Dey Know by Shawty Lo
Joey Manning- Cant Tell Me Nothing by Kanye West
Joe Loftus- So Fresh, So Clean by Outkast

Thursday, July 23, 2009

... Like A Champion

by Barca Blog - After all the media day hype yesterday, I thought this video from last season would get you revved up even more for the start of college football.

Believe it or not, we're only 44 days from the Music City Bowl champions' home opener against Western Carolina. The sights and sounds of gameday will be here before you know it. Have you reserved your seats? If not, watch this clip, then buy your tickets. (And see if you can name all the Commodores that appear in the video)

Stewart plays 64 minutes against USA

by SID - Chelsea Stewart picked up her sixth cap with the Canadian National Soccer team in Wednesday night's 1-0 loss to Team USA in Charleston, S.C.

She played 64 minutes in the final match of a three-game friendly against the US.

Batting Techniques with Ryan Flaherty

by Barca Blog - All you youngsters looking for some baseball advice, I suggest you pay attention in a flash as former Vanderbilt star Ryan Flaherty offers some hitting tips to help you improve your game. The four-part instructional series was filmed back in January, prior to Flaherty's season with Single-A Peoria.

Watch the clips below, and make sure you check out VUcommodores' official YouTube page.

SEC Media Days Wrap (links galore!)

by Barca Blog - I just compiled a collection of links so you feel like you were in attendance for 2009 SEC Football Media Days on Wednesday. The Commodores were represented by head coach Bobby Johnson, cornerback Myron Lewis, and center Bradley Vierling.

Schulz's Feature: Vierling showcases his personality

Photo Gallery: View pictures from the event

Twitter: Look back at BarcaBlog's tweets during the trip

Quotes: Full transcript covering the Commodores.

Johnson in a rush to see improved running game
Vandy looks to prosper
Vandy sounding more confident
Vandy eyes bigger prize


Coach Johnson speaks to the press

Myron Lewis and Bradley Vierling field questions

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Football times set for three games

by Barca Blog - Big news from SEC Media Days... Vanderbilt football will open the 2009 season with three straight night games, so mark your calendars with the following start times:

Sept. 5 vs. Western Carolina - 6:30 p.m. CT on CSS
Sept. 12 at LSU - 6 p.m. CT on ESPNU
Sept. 19 vs. Mississippi State - 6 p.m. CT on FSN

Follow more SEC news throughout the day (plus updates from the road) on my twitter account - click here.

Chelsea Stewart Playing For Canadian National Team

by SID - Chelsea Stewart played 45 minutes for the Canadian Women's National Team in Sunday's 1-0 loss to Team USA in Rochester, N.Y.

She picked up her fifth cap playing for the National Team and now has 17 matches of international experience including her U-20 time.

Canada and the US will close out a three-game friendly series tonight at 7 p.m. CT in Charleston, S.C.

"It's been exciting getting to play against and with some of the best players in the world, players I grew up watching and admiring," said Stewart prior to Wednesday night's contest against the US.

She has used the experience against the US team to better herself as a player. "Being on the pitch with them is an opportunity to improve your game drastically," added Stewart who has always followed the team. "I saw the US beat Brazil in the 1999 World Cup semis at Stanford when I was nine years old, so the opportunity to play against them was great."

The incoming freshman thought her team played tough in Monday's loss. "I thought Canada did well against the US, holding them at 0-0 for nearly 80 minutes and I am proud of my team," Stewart said.

Stewart, along with the rest of the Commodore soccer team, will officially report to campus on Aug. 5. The team will play an exhibition match at Western Kentucky on Aug. 15 at 6 p.m., before opening the regular season on Aug. 22 against Saint Louis at 7 p.m. at the VU Soccer Complex.

Follow Media Madness Wednesday

by Barca Blog - I'll be making my fourth consecutive trip to SEC Football Media Days in Hoover, Ala., early Wednesday morning with our Athletics Communications staff.

In case you're not familiar with Media Days, I'd describe it as one of the craziest -- and most entertaining -- days of the year with throngs of media and fans gathered in one hotel with the sole intention of jumpstarting another college football season.

Vanderbilt and Arkansas will kick-off the three-day event from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. CT Wednesday at the Wynfrey Hotel. The Commodores will be represented by head coach Bobby Johnson, senior center Bradley Vierling and senior cornerback Myron Lewis.

I'll be giving live updates throughout the day on my Twitter account (as I try to fight through the madness). Fans can also follow the latest news on and

(Archived link: At 2008 Media Days, Ryan Schulz followed every footstep of wide receiver George Smith - read)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

More photos of HOF announcement

by Barca Blog - Check out more of Steve Green's photos of the Hall of Fame press conference inside the McGugin Center on Tuesday. Click Here

Reaction from HOF Inductees

by Barca Blog - Steve Green sent me this photo of the 2009 Vanderbilt Hall of Fame inductees that were in attendance or represented at today's press conference.

Left to Right: Leigh Ann Hawkins (wife of the late Charles Hawkins), Vice Chancellor David Williams, Jim Arnold, Charles Davis, Roy Skinner and John Rich (son of the late Herb Rich).

Ryan Schulz was able to catch up with Arnold, Davis and Skinner after the official announcement. Find out how the former Commodores' reacted to the honor - click here.

In total, nine inductees will be recognized at a banquet on Friday, September 4 and introduced during half time of the Western Carolina football opener on Saturday, September 5.

Know these guys?

by Barca Blog - Here's a sneak preview of the 2009 Vanderbilt football media guide cover featuring Ryan Hamilton, Bradley Vierling, Myron Lewis and Patrick Benoist. The 208-page book will be on sale for $15 next week in the McGugin Center ticket office.

ESPN Regional Television and Southeastern Conference introduce ‘SEC Network,’ announce syndication package

By A. Boggs - In a release today, the SEC and ESPN Regional Television has announced their over-the-air broadcast affiliates for their "SEC Network", which will kick off this fall for football season. The breadth of the network is impressive, stretching from Florida in the south to Michigan in the north to Arizona in the west. Other states with affiliates include Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia, to go along with states that have SEC members.

Here's the official release from the SEC and ESPN Regional...

ESPN Regional Television, the new over-the-air syndication home for Southeastern Conference programming, and the SEC announced today a regionally syndicated college sports package that will air in more than 73 television markets, along with the branding of the syndication package as the SEC Network – all part of the groundbreaking 15-year agreement between ESPN, Inc., and the SEC.
Within the nine-state SEC footprint, the SEC Network will be delivered in markets by the local over-the-air carrier of SEC events. In markets outside the SEC footprint, the syndicated programming will air on either local, over-the-air television stations or regional sports cable networks.

Coverage will feature extensive football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball telecasts, produced by ESPN Regional Television.

“As ESPN moves forward in this landmark agreement with the SEC, ESPN Regional Television is thrilled to provide our viewers with a consistent window for Southeastern Conference football and basketball,” said Pete Derzis, senior vice president & general manager, ESPN Regional Television. “With ESPN’s multimedia platforms, we anticipate SEC sports will touch an unprecedented base of college fans nationwide.”

The SEC Network will feature an SEC football Game of the Week regionally for 13 consecutive Saturdays, beginning Sept. 5. Those telecasts will kick off at noon ET/11 a.m. CT with the live SEC Studio show, followed by the matchup, generally determined 12 to six days in advance. The new kickoff time for the Game of the Week will be 12:21 p.m. ET.

Longtime SEC announcer Dave Neal will call the weekly SEC Network game on Saturdays, along with analyst Andre Ware and reporter Cara Capuano.

The SEC Studio show is produced by ESPN Regional Television at their headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., also the home of ESPNU. The SEC show will kick off Saturday coverage with host Rob Stone and analyst Matt Stinchcomb in the studio.

The regular-season SEC men’s basketball package on the SEC Network beginning in January will consist of Wednesday and Saturday games, including doubleheaders. The SEC Network will also offer regional coverage of multiple rounds from the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament as well as SEC women’s basketball games on Sundays, also beginning in January.

“The SEC Network, through the efforts of ESPN, will be the largest college sports syndication television package in the country,” SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said. “The comprehensive market coverage in the nine-state SEC area combined with the out-of-market reach gives us significant additional exposure for our programs.”

The markets that will air the package represent more than 54 million television households, or 47 percent of the U.S. Before the first football game this season, as clearance work continues, the coverage area will be larger still. The 15-year agreement between ESPN and the SEC begins with the 2009-10 season and continues through 2023-24.

Find the complete list of affiliates on the SEC's official website,

Monday, July 20, 2009

Video: 2009 Football Commercial

by Barca Blog - In the words of Joe Fisher... "You better believe they belong!"

Commodore fans can see the Music City Bowl champions in action six times this fall at Vanderbilt Stadium. The home slate includes Western Carolina, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Kentucky. Season ticket packages start at only $109, so reserve your seats today! Click here

Oh, and you can remember the elation and recapture the feeling by watching this commercial below.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

MBB Season Tickets On Sale July 21

Vanderbilt men's basketball season tickets will be in short supply again for the upcoming 2009-10 season as Kevin Stallings returns all five starters and 14 letterwinners from a year ago. Memorial Gym will once again be in for a special season with a great non-conference schedule and the always-tough SEC slate. Just like in the last two years, this year's season ticket will be a hot item, with a sell-out of Memorial Gymnasium season tickets all but certain for the 2009-10 campaign.

The ticket office will be open to take your orders beginning at 8:30 am on Tuesday, July 21. For best results and no waiting, order your tickets online at at midnight before the ticket office opens. As always, 615-322-GOLD (4653) will be an option starting at 8:30 a.m. on July 21.

Click Here for Pricing Information

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Right Price

By Barca Blog - Whit Watson (of Sun Sports TV) blogged about a recent trip to Nashville to meet the family and friends of Tampa Bay's David Price. Watson opens with the following text:

The purpose of the trip was to shoot interviews for an upcoming episode of "Inside The Rays" featuring Price; the outcome was a renewed faith in people. Specifically, the people who surrounded Price on his way to the majors.

If this kid doesn't make it, I don't know who will. And though it's been driven into my head for twenty years that "there's no cheering in the press box," I have become a very big fan of David Price.

Watson then goes into detail about every stop he made, including his visit with Vanderbilt baseball head coach Tim Corbin (look for the story about the marshmallow, jelly bean, and rock).

This is a must read. Click Here

Jack attack

by Barca Blog - It's been a good summer for Jack Armstrong.

Armstrong, who's pitching for the Wareham Gatemen in the Cape Cod League, has been lights out against some of the best college hitters in the country with a 3-0 record and a 2.22 earned-run average. Just this week he was selected to the 47th Under Armour Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star Game (which will be played at Fenway Park July 23), and also named Pitcher of the Week with a complete game shutout over Hyannis.

In fact, one scout told the Cape Cod Times,“(Jack's) the best I’ve seen down here, the most dominant. He throws a hard curve. His velocity was a little down today (against Cotuit) but was still 93. He’s still impressive.”

It will be exciting to see how Armstrong progresses when he returns to Vanderbilt for his sophomore year this fall. He only appeared in six games in relief as a freshman.

Click Here to check out this great feature in today's edition of the Cape Cod Times, as well as this story in the South Coast Today.

(Side note -- Vanderbilt's Russell Brewer will also play in the Cape's All-Star game for the second year in a row.)

(Photo: Paul Blackmore/Cape Cod Times)

Making your mind up

by Barca Blog - Well, I decided to scrap the new way of doing "Around the Web" via the blog... and went back to the old traditional way of just having the links posted on the front page (middle column) of Also, the archive will be posted here.

I know, I haven't done a good job of making my mind up lately... which leads us to the video of the day. I should have just listened to this group's advice from the start.

School is out and I ain't been on the court yet....

By Weinman - With apologies to Will Smith, it may be summer time but school is in session and the Commodore women's basketball team is finding plenty time to get out on the court. The ladies got a pickup game together earlier this week at the Student Recreation Center and I stopped by to grab the first photo of the 2009-10 squad.

In the photo, Merideth Marsh, Lauren Lueders and Jessica Mooney and kneeling in front of (also left to right) Hannah Tuomi, Jordan Coleman, Ashlee Bridge, Jence Rhoads, Stephanie Holzer, Tiffany Clarke, Gabby Smith, Rebecca Silinski, Angela Puleo and Elan Brown. Apologies if the quality of the photo isn't up to par, but I shot this on my camera phone so I could get it up on our Twitter page quickly.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

SEC announces 2009 Freshmen Academic Honor Roll List

By A. Boggs - Thirty-five Vanderbilt freshman student-athletes were named to the 2009 SEC Freshmen Academic Honor Roll, Thursday by SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.

Each student-athlete must 1) have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above at the nominating institution; 2) be on scholarship or a letter winner; 3) have completed 24 semester hours of non-remedial credit at the nominating institution; and 4) have been a member of the varsity team for the sport’s entire NCAA Championship segment.

The 2009 SEC Freshmen Academic Honor Roll is based on grades from the 2008-09 academic calendar.

You can find the complete list of freshmen here.

Baseball Summer League Update, part 1

by Travis Young - As we near the backstretch of the dog days of summer, I thought I would give an update on how Vanderbilt’s baseball players are doing in the Cape Cod Baseball League and Valley League. This will be the first of a two-part update on the Commodores playing in summer leagues.

Visit later this week for a run down on the rest of the leagues, including the New England Collegiate League, Prospect League, New York Collegiate League and Kitty League.

Click Here for a review of the Cape and Valley leagues.

Around the Web - Thursday, July 16

  • Men's basketball guard John Jenkins talked with Maurice Patton about being the only freshman on the squad this year.

    "Everybody's been helping me out," Jenkins told The Tennessean. "I've been cool with the whole team.

    "I just think of myself as an upperclassman. I don't think of myself as a freshman. Mostly, the key is staying focused all the time."

  • In NBA Las Vegas Summer League action last night.... Derrick Byars had one point, rebound and steal in Denver's 77-70 win over Washington, while Matt Freije contributed two rebounds in eight minutes in Portland's 87-82 loss to Houston. Shan Foster is the only Commodore in action tonight as Dallas takes on Cleveland at 9 p.m. CT. Keep track of these 'Dores during summer ball here.

  • Update from the Cape... Russell Brewer is now tied for the league lead in saves with seven after he recorded the final three outs of Chatham's 6-4 victory over Falmouth. Grayson Garvin also threw a scoreless inning in relief for Falmouth, allowing no hits while striking out two. Follow the 'Dores this summer here.

  • Sonny Gray was charged with his first loss as Japan defeated Team USA, 8-7, in 11 innings. Japan took advantage of back-to-back errors to score the winning run. In two innings of work, Gray allowed one unearned run and two hits while striking out three.

  • Through nine holes at Turnberry this morning, Brandt Snedeker is 1-over with a bogey at hole number 5. He's grouped with Thomas Haylock and Branden Grace. Follow the British Open here. And check out Joe Biddle's column on how Snedeker adjusted his game to earn back-to-back top-5 finishes.

  • Christina Wirth did not play in Indiana's 84-74 victory over Chicago. The Fever extended its franchise record winning streak to 10 in a row (seventh longest in WNBA history).

  • In his AJC blog, Mark Bradley lists Vanderbilt's Bobby Johnson as one of top 15 coaches in college football.

  • Chris Low of points out that Vanderbilt's the only team in the SEC without a football bye this year.

  • Finally, Vanderbilt Athletics' second Hall of Fame class will be announced next Tuesday. The event will be available live online in Commodore Nation All Access.

  • Make sure you check out the latest stories on our official site,
  • Johnson on 104.5 at 8:10 a.m. CT

    by Leathers - Coach Johnson will appear as a guest on the Morning Zone Show at FM 104.5 Thursday morning.

    Johnson, preparing for his eighth year at the helm of Vanderbilt football and coming off a 7-6 campaign in 2008, will appear on the show at 8:10 a.m. CT. He will join Voice of the Commodores Joe Fisher and sideline reporter Kevin Ingram.

    Ingram is a co-host of the popular morning sports talk show while Fisher is subbing for regular hosts Mark Howard and Frank Wycheck. The Zone is Vanderbilt’s flagship radio station.

    Listen live here

    Wednesday, July 15, 2009

    Around the Web - Wednesday, July 15

  • Update from the Cape League... Caleb Cotham made his first appearance of the summer for Brewster Tuesday, throwing three innings of one-hit relief while striking out seven to pick up the win against Wareham. Also, Russell Brewer earned his sixth save (tied for second in the Cape) in Chatham's 4-2 victory over Hyannis.

  • The Shelbyville Times-Gazette has an update on Jonathan White, who is currently playing for San Francisco in the Arizona Rookie League.

  • Vanderbilt golfer Hudson Johnson recapped his junior season -- which included winning the Hummingbird Intercollegiate -- with his hometown paper, The Longview News Journal. In the article, Johnson also mentions about his goals for his senior year.

    "I would like to win at least two more tournaments next year," Johnson said. "In my freshman year, we qualified for the NCAA Championships as a team. That was a great experience and I would like to get back there."

  • Derrick Byars had four points, a rebound and an assist in his debut with Denver in the NBA Las Vegas Summer League last night. The Nuggets will take on Washington tonight at 9:30 p.m. CT. Also, Matt Freije and Portland will face Houston at 9 p.m. CT. Keep track of these 'Dores during summer ball here.

  • In WNBA action, Indiana will try to extend their franchise-record nine-game winning streak against Chicago at noon CT today. Wirth recorded season-highs in rebounds (3), assists (2) and minutes (11:48) in the Fever's last outing, a 83-54 victory over the Sky.

  • Brandt Snedeker will tee off in his second British Open Thursday at approximately 5 a.m. CT. He will be grouped with Thomas Haylock and Branden Grace in the first two rounds at Turnberry. Follow the action here.

  • Finally, in keeping with the spirit of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Chris Low from came up with his SEC All-Star teams.
  • Tuesday, July 14, 2009

    Around the Web - Tuesday, July 14

  • Former Commodore Amani Floyd (Track & Field) is making an impact in the classroom. Floyd is mentoring students at an inner-city high school in Mississippi... and her teaching results have been extraordinary. Read More

  • Sonny Gray pitched five and a third innings of scoreless relief to lead Team USA to an 8-4 victory over Japan Monday in game three of the 37th Annual USA vs. Japan Collegiate Championships. Gray only allowed one hit while striking out five and walking none to move his record to 2-0. He lowered his ERA to an astounding 0.60 for the summer in 15 innings of work (only one earned run allowed).

  • Brandt Snedeker talked with about this week's British Open (Watch Video). Snedeker has been red-hot of late with back-to-back top-five finishes.

  • Tony Barnhart (Mr. College Football) weighs in with his thoughts on the predicted order of finish for the SEC East this season.

  • Jon Solomon (Birmingham News) thinks Vanderbilt's David Williams is missing from a list of the most powerful people in the SEC.

  • Shan Foster had a good shooting night in Dallas' 95-90 loss to Phoenix yesterday in the NBA Las Vegas Summer League. Foster scored 13 points, going 5-for-7 from the field and 3-for-4 behind the arc. The Mavs return to the court Thursday vs. Cleveland.

    Matt Freije debuted with Portland, contributing five points, three rebounds and a steal in 12 minutes against Toronto. The Trail Blazers next game is Wednesday vs. Houston.

    Derrick Byars will play for Denver in Vegas after spending last week with Indiana in the Orlando Summer League. Byars and the Nuggets open with San Antonio today at 9 p.m. CT.

    Keep track of these 'Dores during summer ball here.
  • Monday, July 13, 2009

    Around the Web - Monday, July 13

  • Brandt Snedeker finished tied for second (-17) after playing 36 holes Sunday at the John Deere Classic. It was Snedeker's second straight top-5 finish. The former Commodore recapped the final day of action with

    Snedeker will now turn his attention to the British Open, which takes place this week at Turnberry in Scotland.

  • David Boclair of The City Paper caught up with Sonny Gray via email during Team USA's trip to Japan. In five appearances for USA this summer (four in relief), Gray is 1-0 with a 0.93 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 9.2 innings.

  • Pedro Alvarez went 1-for-2 with an RBI single for the United States in the MLB Futures Game Sunday in St. Louis. The World team won the game though, rallying with four runs in the final inning to defeat the U.S., 7-5. (shortened to seven innings due to rain). posted a cool video of Alvarez mic'd up during the All-Star festivities -watch here.

  • Shan Foster and the Dallas Mavericks will return to the court today to face the Phoenix Suns at 5 p.m. CT in the NBA Las Vegas Summer League. Also, Matt Freije and Portland will open up league play against Toronto at 7 p.m. CT. Follow the action here.
  • Sunday, July 12, 2009

    Around the Web - Sunday, July 12

  • Rising sophomore pitcher Sonny Gray (Vanderbilt) pitched one inning of scoreless relief to help Team USA beat Japan 3-0 in game one of the 37th Annual USA vs. Japan Collegiate Championships in Matsuyama, Japan.

  • Shan Foster didn't play in Dallas' 98-95 loss to Houston last night in the NBA Las Vegas Summer League. The Mavs will return to the court Monday to face Phoenix. Also, Matt Freije and Portland will open up league play tomorrow as the Trail Blazers are scheduled to take on Toronto. Follow the action here.

  • Brandt Snedeker is in contention at the John Deere Classic, entering Sunday tied for fourth at eight-under, only five shots of the lead. Snedeker, who finished fifth at the AT&T National last week, fired 67's in the previous two rounds. The former Commodore spoke with about the excitement of being in the mix for another win.

    "It's great. Last week I felt like I played really well at AT&T," Snedeker said. "I never really had a chance to feel like I was really close to breaking through with a really good round. I finally played good on Sunday.

    "This week I sort of have been right where I was -- took off last week. I feel really great about my game, especially this week going into next week at the British Open. It's just nice to be in the mix again and know where my game is."

    With 36 holes scheduled for today, anything can happen. Follow the action here.
  • Saturday, July 11, 2009

    ESPNU to air 2008 Auburn-VU game

    By Ryan Schulz - Need a Vanderbilt football fix to get you through a dreary day in Nashville? ESPNU will provide Commodore fans with just that on Saturday at 6 p.m. CT when the network airs a replay of Vanderbilt's dramatic 14-13 win over Auburn.

    The win moved Vanderbilt's record to 5-0, giving the Commodores their best start to a season since 1943.

    For a complete recap of the game, click here.

    Around the Web - Saturday, July 11

  • Rising sophomore golfer Marina Alex missed the cut at the 2009 U.S. Open. Alex finished tied for 127th.

  • Derrick Byars had four points, three rebounds and an assist in Indiana's 68-54 win over Orlando Friday afternoon in the NBA Orlando Summer League. Byars logged 18 minutes off the bench, his longest stint of the week. The Pacers finished league play with a 5-0 record.

  • Shan Foster started in Dallas' opener last night against Milwaukee in the NBA Las Vegas Summer League. The former Commodore ended up with two points, four rebounds and two assists in 18 minutes of action. The Bucks won the contest, 65-59. The Mavs will take on Houston Saturday night at 9 p.m. CT. Click Here to follow the action.

  • The Indiana Fever extended their franchise-record winning streak to nine games with a 83-54 victory over the Chicago Sky Friday night. Christina Wirth recorded season-highs in rebounds (3), assists (2) and minutes (11:48) for Indiana. The Fever will return to the court Wednesday to host the Sky.

  • Finally... don't forget to vote for Memorial Gym over Williams Arena in's Arena Wars.
  • Friday, July 10, 2009

    Vote for Memorial Gym

    by Barca Blog - has a summer series called Arena Wars. This week Vanderbilt's Memorial Gymansium goes up against Minnesota's Williams Arena (both venues feature a raised court). Make sure you vote for Memorial as the better game experience!

    CBS columnist Gary Parrish chose Memorial saying, "I have been to Memorial Gymnasium and I can tell you with a degree of certainty that it is one of the neatest arenas in college basketball. ... The design is pleasantly strange. And the levels seem to be stacked on top of each other to the point where it looks intimidating from the floor and sounds really loud from anywhere. Bottom line, I dig that place."

    Around the Web - Friday, July 10

  • The second day of the U.S. Open is underway at Saucon Valley Country Club. Follow rising sophomore Alex Marina's round hole-by-hole here.

  • USA Baseball suffered its first loss of the summer Friday, falling 7-1 in an exhibition with Budo University in Chiba, Japan. Rising sophomore pitcher Sonny Gray struck out the only batter he faced to get the final out in the top of the ninth.

  • Tampa Bay's David Price outdueled Toronto's Roy Halladay Thursday afternoon to lift the Rays to a 3-2 win. Price was coming off the shortest stint of his MLB career, but responded by holding the Blue Jays to only one run in six innings to move his record to 3-3 on the season.

    "I just wanted to go out there and be myself," Price told the Tampa Tribune. "I don't want to know if a guy can hit an inside fastball or if it's 110 mph when I throw it, just make him prove to me that he can hit it. Every pitcher is different. I might throw 94 and so might somebody else, but it's not the same. Nobody's fastball is going to be the same.

  • Ever wonder where Vanderbilt's baseball players live during summer ball in the Cape? Find out in this article, which includes comments from rising sophomore pitcher Grayson Garvin.

  • Christina Wirth and the Indiana Fever will travel to Chicago tonight for a 7:30 p.m. CT tipoff. It's still early in the season, but Indiana has the second best record (8-2) in the WNBA and lead the Eastern Division by three games over Washington. Wirth is averaging five minutes per game in her rookie year.

  • Derrick Byars will conclude his week at the NBA Orlando Summer League today when Indiana faces Orlando at 2 p.m. CT (free webcast). Byars did not play in the Pacers 91-88 win over Boston Thursday night.

  • The NBA Las Vegas Summer League gets underway today. Shan Foster and the Dallas Mavericks open with Milwaukee at 9 p.m. CT tonight.

    "One of the things coach (Rick) Carlisle talked about yesterday is coming out here and just playing your game, doing what got you here," Foster told WFAA-TV. "For me, that's what it is, making shots, playing great defense, being a great teammate, being a leader out there, and just playing hard."

    Matt Freije will also play in this league for Portland, but the Trail Blazers first game isn't until Monday night against Toronto.

  • Finally, have the college football itch? Well, find out who will be calling the action this year. Here's a link to ESPN’s 2009 college football game and studio announcer assignments.
  • Thursday, July 9, 2009

    Marina Alex first-round results at U.S. Open

    By A. Boggs - Vanderbilt rising sophomore fired an 82 at the U.S. Women’s Open at the Saucon Valley Golf Course in Bethlehem, Pa., which places her in a tie for 143rd place after day one.

    Alex posted one birdie, five pars, and 12 bogeys in her inaugural round at the Open. Alex, who teed off on the first hole in the afternoon, fired a 43 on the front nine and a 39 on the back.

    Alex returns to the course on Friday for her second round, which begins at 9:01 a.m. ET.

    Click here for complete results of the first round.

    Alex at the U.S. Open

    By A. Boggs - Marina Alex's first round at the U.S. Women's Open is now underway, and you can follow her score here.

    Many of you have seen her blog on (click here if you haven't), but Brendan Prunty of the New Jersey Star-Ledger came to Pennsylvania and wrote a great article about Marina's experiences so far at the Open.

    You can check out Prunty's story here.

    Good this weekend Marina!

    Around the Web - Thursday, July 9

  • Jim Wyatt has a good piece on the friendship that evolved between Jay Cutler and Steve McNair. Cutler recalls how McNair went out of his way to prep him for the Senior Bowl in January, 2006.

    "Mac met with me on two occasions, and he would have stayed there with me all day, as long as it took for me to learn the offense," Cutler told The Tennessean. "I'll never forget that, and that just shows you the type of guy he was."

  • Rising sophomore golfer Marina Alex will tee it up in her first U.S. Open today at 1:31 p.m. CT. Follow her hole-by-hole here, and keep up with her latest blog.

  • You can track Derrick Byars (Indiana Pacers) in the NBA Orlando Summer League all week long. Byars only played in four minutes of Indiana's 95-79 victory over Utah Wednesday. The Pacers will next face Boston Thursday at 6 p.m. CT. Watch a free webcast of the action here.

  • Chicago Bears wide receivers coach Darryl Drake talks about how he's been impressed with Earl Bennett during OTA practices. Drake points to Bennett's confidence level as the key.

  • Tampa Bay pitcher David Price rebounded from some recent struggles on the mound by limiting Toronto to just one run on six hits while striking out seven before exiting the game after six innings (still in progress, Rays lead 3-2 in 8th).

  • Cleveland Indians pitcher Jeremy Sowers was optioned to Triple-A Columbus on Thursday.

  • Cape Update... rising sophomore Grayson Garvin pitched three scoreless innings in relief Wednesday, but Falmouth still fell to Bourne, 3-1. For updated stats on all the Commodores playing in the Cape, click here.
  • Baseball signees in summer school

    by SID Five signees from the 2008-09 recruiting class are on campus and started summer school this week. Nathan Dorris, Anthony Gomez, Conor Harrell, Curt Powell and Sam Selman are getting an early start to their collegiate careers.

    Dorris (45th round- Atlanta) and Selman (14th- Los Angeles Angels) were both drafted last month.

    More info on the entire incoming class will be posted at the start of the fall semester. In addition, exciting announcements regarding Vanderbilt baseball are on their way and should be revealed soon.

    Wednesday, July 8, 2009

    I've got a message for you

    by Barca Blog - Coach Johnson has a direct message for you. Click Here!

    (note -- it may take a few seconds for the video to appear on the bottom right side of your screen)

    Around the Web - Wednesday, July 8

  • Chris Low of takes a stab at the most pivotal road games for each SEC team this football season.

  • You can track Derrick Byars (Indiana Pacers) in the NBA Orlando Summer League all week long. Byars contributed three points, three assists, two rebounds in Indiana's 91-88 triumph over Oklahoma City Tuesday night. The Pacers will next face Utah Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m. CT. Watch a free webcast of the action here.
  • Dores Excel in Birmingham

    By Weinman - While you may think that summer is a time for college students to take it easy, the student-athlete is certainly an exception. In no sport is that more true than golf, where the best weather of the year beckons just as classes fall idle.

    A number of Commodore men's golfers took part in the ninth annual Greystone Invitational in Birmingham last month, with impressive results. Most notably, rising senior Chris Rockwell (above, with Tournament Director Tom Ramsey) was the tournament's runner-up after posting a four-day total of 288 (even-par and only one stroke behind medalist Justin Yoder). Rising sophomore Trey DelGreco finished in a tie for 10th place in an event which saw 80 players make the cut.

    For complete information about the tournament, including results and a photo gallery, visit

    Tuesday, July 7, 2009

    NBA Summer League Tracker

    Keep up with former Commodores Derrick Byars, Matt Freije and Shan Foster at the NBA Summer Leagues in Orlando and Las Vegas. Here's a list of upcoming games/results so you can track the action on your computer:

    For Live Webcasts, Stats, etc. --- Go Here

    Derrick Byars (Indiana)
    July 6 vs. New Jersey/Philadelphia - Did Not Play
    July 7 vs. Oklahoma City - 3 pts, 3 ast, 2 reb in 15 min
    July 8 vs. Utah - 0 pts, 1 reb, stl in 4 min
    July 9 vs. Boston - Did Not Play
    July 10 vs. Orlando - 4 pts, 3 reb, ast in 18 min

    For Live Webcasts, Stats, etc. --- Go Here

    Shan Foster (Dallas)
    July 10 vs. Milwaukee - 2 pts, 4 reb, 2 ast in 18 min
    July 11 vs. Houston - Did Not Play
    July 13 vs. Phoenix - 13 pts, 3-4 3pt, reb in 25 min
    July 16 vs. Cleveland - 4 pts, reb in 9 min
    July 18 vs. OK City - 14 pts, 3-5 3pt, 3 ast, 2 reb in 27 min

    Matt Freije (Portland)
    July 13 vs. Toronto - 5 pts, 3 reb, stl in 12 min
    July 15 vs. Houston - 0 pts, 2 reb in 8 min
    July 17 vs. Denver - 4 pts, 4 reb in 16 min
    July 18 vs. San Antonio - Did Not Play
    July 19 vs. D-League Select - Did Not Play

    Derrick Byars (Denver)
    July 14 vs. San Antonio - 4 pts, reb, ast in 8 min
    July 15 vs. Washington - 1 pt, reb, stl in 9 min
    July 17 vs. Portland - 4 pts, reb, stl in 8 min
    July 18 vs. D-League - 6 pts, 4 ast, 2 reb in 19 min
    July 19 vs. New Orleans - 3 pts, reb in 13 min

    Just another day at the course

    by Barca Blog - Vanderbilt golfer Marina Alex (rising sophomore) had the opportunity to meet Lorena Ochoa, the top-ranked LPGA golfer in the world, during the U.S. Women's Open practice round Tuesday at Saucon Valley Country Club. The two players have a common connection- Vanderbilt's Greg Allen also coached Ochoa during his previous stint at Arizona.

    Alex will blog throughout the week on as she prepares to tee it up in her first Open Thursday. Here's a link to her entry from Monday evening.

    Around the Web - Tuesday, July 7

  • You can track Derrick Byars (Indiana Pacers) in the NBA Orlando Summer League all week long. Indiana will face Oklahoma City Tuesday night at 6 p.m. CT. Watch a free webcast of the action here. Byars didn't play in Monday's opener.

  • Joe Fisher gives a Cape League baseball update on Taylor Hill, Jack Armstrong, and Russell Brewer in his 104.5 morning update. Listen

  • Jeremy Sowers will take the hill for Cleveland tonight against the Chicago White Sox at 7:11 p.m. CT. Sowers is winless in three starts vs. Chicago this season and has never beaten them in six career tries.

  • Pedro Alvarez will get to play in the XM All-Star Futures Game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis this Sunday. The event will be held two days prior to the MLB All-Star game at the same venue. According to Jonathan Mayo of, the former Commodore is looking forward to competing on big stage.

    "I got to go to the All-Star Game in New York last summer," Alvarez said. "That was pretty cool, and I can't imagine what it's going to be like to be on the field. I'm really looking forward to it. I'll get to meet Ozzie Smith, that will be unreal. I'm excited to see what the atmosphere is like."
  • Monday, July 6, 2009

    Monday's NBA Summer League recap

    by Barca Blog - Derrick Byars did not play in Indiana's NBA summer league opener in Orlando Monday afternoon due to coach's decision, according to the box score.

    The Pacers used nine of the 13 players on their roster to defeat the split squad of New Jersey/Philadelphia, 75-67 in overtime, led by Tyler Hansbrough's team-high 17 points.

    Indiana will next take on Oklahoma City Tuesday at 6 p.m. CT. Click Here to follow the Orlando Summer League all week.

    Make that change

    by Barca Blog - As Michael Jackson once sang, "I'm starting with the man in the mirror... I'm asking him to change his ways."

    So, I finally decided to do some summer cleaning to my office... The same office that my daughter unexpectedly referred to as a "train wreck" a few weeks ago.

    You see, during the athletic season, my workspace is as chaotic as an episode of VH1's Rock of Love. But I decided it was time to "make a change" during the down days of summer... so here it is (click image to make bigger.)

    By the way, you can follow my random posts on twitter at

    SEC's red-hot rivalries

    by Barca Blog - Chris Low of thinks Vanderbilt/South Carolina should be on the list of hottest rivalries in the SEC entering the 2009 football season.
    Read More

    Byars in action today

    by Barca Blog - Derrick Byars will resume his quest to make an NBA roster when the Orlando Summer League opens Monday at 2 p.m. CT.

    Two season removed from his collegiate career at Vanderbilt, Byars will suit up for the Indiana Pacers over the next five days with a chance to showcase his talents to the entire league.

    There could be a log jam for playing time considering the Pacers have three first-round picks from the last two drafts on their summer league roster in Tyler Hansbrough (UNC), Brandon Rush (Kansas) and Roy Hibbert (Georgetown), as well as second-round picks A.J. Price (UConn) and Josh McRoberts (Duke).

    Byars spent last year playing for the Bakersfield Jam in the NBA Development League. He was a second team All-NBADL selection, averaging 17.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and one steal per game while shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from long range.

    Indiana will take on a split squad comprised of players from New Jersey and Philadelphia at 2 p.m. CT today. Watch live video of the action here.

    Also of note... Shan Foster will once again play for Dallas in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas from July 10-19, while Matt Freije will be on Portland's roster.

    Sunday, July 5, 2009

    Snedeker British Open-bound

    by Associated Press

    WASHINGTON D.C. — Brandt Snedeker earned a spot in the 2009 British Open on Sunday in the AT&T National.

    Snedeker got there because he was the leading player among the top five at Congressional who hadn't already qualified.

    "Floored and excited," said Snedeker, whose closing round of 67 was just enough to earn him a tie for fifth at 7-under 273.

    Snedeker wasn't even aware that he had qualified when he left the course at Congressional Country Club. He missed eight weeks earlier this year with a rib injury and had been planning to play the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee during the week of the British, which takes place at Turnberry in Scotland in two weeks.

    "My golf game was in bad shape before I got hurt," Snedeker said. "The first time I felt healthy, I didn't know what to think about coming back out. People gave me the sympathy vote last week when I made the cut - first cut I'd made in a while, and it ticked me off. I don't want sympathy. This week, I felt like I proved to everyone and myself that I can get back to where I was."

    For more information about the British Open, click here.

    Thursday, July 2, 2009

    Around the Web - Thursday, July 2

  • Chris Low from takes a quick look at both hope and concern for the 2009 football squad.

  • Maurice Patton of The Tennessean gives an update on Sonny Gray's summer with Team USA. In the article, Gray receives some high praise from Elon Coach Mike Kennedy, the pitching coach for USA:

    "(Sonny) has electric stuff. He pitched at 94, 95 (mph). He has a lot of life on the ball. The ball moves, cuts, runs. He's got a live arm.

    "He's got great stuff, a great arm, and his makeup is such that you want that type guy around."

  • One of Kevin Stallings mentors, Vergil Fletcher, passed away Tuesday. Stallings played under the legendary coach at Collinsville High School in the late 1970's. Fletcher won a remarkable 747 games during his 30+ year career at Collinsville and was inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2004.

    "(Vergil) was easily, by far and away, the most influential nonfamily member of my life -- not only then, but still today," Stallings told the Belleville News. "I wanted to coach because of him. I thought, 'What a cool existence it would be to go through life and impact people like he impacted me.'"

    Stallings reflected on Fletcher in these two articles:
    Vergil Fletcher remembered
    A brilliant teacher of life

  • Finally, an update on former Commodore Ryan Mullins, who pitches for Double-A New Britain... and Vanderbilt's Russell Brewer picked up a win for Chatham in the Cape last night.
  • Wednesday, July 1, 2009

    Lott Trophy feature on Benoist

    by Barca Blog - Check out this article on Vanderbilt senior linebacker Patrick Benoist, who was recently named to the 2009 Lott Trophy watchlist. At the end of each season, the Lott Trophy is awarded to the nation's top defensive player who has had the biggest impact on his team both on and off the field.

    Megan Grehan named as a National Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar

    By A. Boggs - Vanderbilt sophomore women’s golfer Megan Grehan was named as an All-American scholar by the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) in an announcement made on Tuesday. Grehan, who is majoring in Human and Organizational Development, had a stroke average of 76.2 in 2008-09.

    The National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) All-American Scholar Teams for Division I, II & III were announced Tuesday with a total of 410 women’s collegiate golfers recognized with the prestigious honor. The criteria for selection to the All-American Scholar Team are some of the most stringent in all of college athletics. The minimum cumulative GPA is 3.50 and student-athletes must have competed in at least 50% (Division I) or 66% (Division II & III) of the college’s regularly scheduled competitive rounds during the year.

    WBB season tickets on sale!

    by Barca Blog - It may be the first day of July.... but it's not too early to reserve your season tickets for the women's basketball 2009-10 home slate at Memorial Gym.

    Season tickets start at only $32... that's right, $32 dollars. That equates to around two bucks per game. An amazing price for a program coming off its sixth SEC Tournament Championship overall and fourth NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance in the last six years.

    Click Here to order today!

    Gate 2 Progress

    by Barca Blog - Here's a sweet photo of the progress being made on the Gate 2 entrance Vanderbilt Football Stadium (courtesy of John Russell). As you can see, signage has been added to the top of the main structure in front of the plaza area. Click the above photo to make it bigger.

    If you'd like to support Vanderbilt's facility upgrades, please contact the National Commodore Club at (615) 322-4114.