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Vandy Baseball: Sixth Week Behind, Week Ahead

March 30th, 2012 Comments off

The Commodores finally got of the schnide on Saturday with their first SEC win on a walk off single by Conrad Gregor. Photo credit: Mike Rapp, VandySports.com.

From the darkest of moments, the Vanderbilt season has seemingly turned a corner. Although it would be hard to imagine another Omaha run and the NCAA playoffs still seem like a long shot, the VandyBoys do appear to be having fun out there. After a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Georgia on Friday, the Commodores erupted upon Conrad Gregor’s game winning single on Saturday night. Visiting Bulldog fans might have wondered what could have caused a near dog pile type celebration, but after seeing the frustration of a 7-15 record at the time and a season with so much promise in which so many things have gone wrong, the raucous victory lap was long overdue.

The Dores have a long way to go to get truly right, but it was a great first step and a pair of nail-biter victories over the Bulldogs were complimented by an easy midweek win over Tennessee Tech. More importantly, for the first time this season, Vanderbilt appears to be really having fun out there and is playing a more fundamentally sound version of baseball.

The Immediate Progression – Getting to .501

Eligibility for the SEC playoffs has been expanded to ten teams in 2012. Currently, only one team seems certain to be excluded. The Alabama Crimson Tide are 9-16 and just 1-5 in SEC play with an RPI of 135. While Vanderbilt is just a game better on the season (and, more troubling, has yet to win any of their seven road games – though six have been against NCAA’s elite Florida and Stanford squads), the Commodores schedule appears softer than the Tide from hereon out. So it seems that Vanderbilt will likely compete with Tennessee (15-10, 2-4) and an injury-plagued Mississippi State (17-9, 2-4) squad for the lower end of Hoover eligibility this year.

Now, it’s entirely possible that the VandyBoys could either click on full in SEC play – after all, the talent is there – or completely fall apart. My guess is that we end up somewhere in the middle of that road. The starting pitching has certainly come around, and if TJ Pecoraro can regain his feel for pitching and have enough endurance to start, Vanderbilt should feel confident in a Sunday win each week (especially with Drew VerHagen and Will Clinard sharing closing duties).

So what would Vanderbilt need to do to be eligible for post-season play?

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Vandy Baseball: Fourth and Fifth Week Behind, Week Ahead

March 23rd, 2012 Comments off

I’m getting quite behind in the columns due to just not having quite enough time to keep this up to date.  I’d be lying if the 7-14 start to the season didn’t have something to do with that.

Since I last posted, the VandyBoys had a rough go of it in Florida (as expected) and lost a heart breaker to Evansville on Tuesday.  With 33 games left on the regular season schedule, qualifying for NCAA post-season play is now looking more and more unlikely.

The Immediate Progression — Where the Season Goes From Here

To be eligible for a Regional, a team must be at least one game over .500 after the conference tournament in Hoover.  Sitting at seven games under, Vandy can’t feel comfortable entering Hoover unless they’re already at that point, necessitating something along the lines of a 21-12 finish to the regular season (permitting a 1-2 record at Hoover).

Ty Beede will be back in the Saturday starter role this weekend against Georgia. Vanderbilt needs him to come up big against All-SEC righty Michael Pallazone of the Bulldogs. Photo Credit: Mike Rapp, VandySports.com.

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SEC Baseball, Part 1 – The East and the Draft

August 21st, 2011 2 comments

This is the first in a three part look at the draft's impact on SEC rosters for the coming year.

This is the first in a three part series looking at the Southeastern Conference and the impact of the Major League Baseball Draft for the 2011/12 academic year. Part one provides data relating to the drafted players and recruits for each of the six Eastern division squads. Part two will do the same for the Western division. I’ll close with a final look at and overview of how each team matched up in recruiting, retaining and promoting their programs going forward. I’ll also identify some of the key newcomer names to watch on the horizon as we head into yet another year of baseball in the best conference in college sports.

Look for part two later in the week.

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Vanderbilt Baseball: Fifteenth Week Behind, Week Ahead

June 3rd, 2011 1 comment

The final game of the SEC season pitted the two teams I considered the best at the start of the year. Unfortunately, Florida was better that day. Photo courtesy Mike Rapp of VandySports.com.

Well it was quite the amazing regular season. Vandy ended up as tri-champs of the SEC regular season, but came up just short in Hoover, falling to Florida in the championship game after storming past Georgia, South Carolina and Arkansas. Vandy also fell just short of a number 1 ranking, finishing 2nd in the final coaches’ and baseball writers’ polls and third in the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball rankings. The team moves on to the Nashville Regional with a national seed in hand and Oklahoma State, Troy and Belmont coming to the Hawk.

The Immediate Progression – When It Strikes Me is Credentialed?

Indeed, thanks to the help of College Baseball Daily, for whom I will be covering the Nashville Regional, I’ll be carrying a press pass down to the regional this weekend. Look for some posts by me on the mother ship website of NCAA Baseball coverage this weekend. I’ll also have tickets in hand, so I intend to spend some time in the stands this weekend, but with temperatures forecast in the 90s, I’m not to ashamed to shirk the heat and head up to the press box to cover the game alongside VandySports.com’s Chris Lee. It should be a great weekend.

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Vanderbilt Baseball: Fourteenth Week Behind, Week Ahead

May 24th, 2011 Comments off

Tony "Clark" Kemp, the Man of Steal, slid into surprise contention for and then won the Freshman of the Year in the SEC. The 1st Team all conference outfielder is seen here stealing second against Florida. Photo courtesy of Mike Rapp, VandySports.com.

Two things you cannot argue with: a regular season is a great success if a) you finish as the co-champion of the finest conference in the land and b) you end up with the fewest losses of any team in the country. Vanderbilt ended their regular season by winning yet another road series at Georgia this past week and have been rewarded with a ranking as high as second in the coaches’ and national sportswriters’ polls. Without further ado, let’s take a look back on this regular season.

The Immediate Progression: The Regular Season

Looking back on the 2011 regular season, you see a team that was, by all means, as good as any in Vanderbilt history. It may not have had quite the star power as the 2007 squad, but it steamrolled the competition like no other prior Vanderbilt team. In sum, Vanderbilt will ride into the SEC Tournament at Hoover with quite the resume. They are ranked first in both the Nolan Power Index and the Boyd’s World Iterative Strength Rating. Warren Nolan places them 4th in the RPI against the 32nd best Strength of Schedule. Boyd’s has them at 5th against the 40th best Strength of Schedule.

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Vanderbilt Baseball: Thirteenth Week Behind, Week Ahead

May 18th, 2011 2 comments

Although Coaches Corbin and O'Sullivan are the best of friends, there were plenty of moments of tension this week. Photo courtesy of Mike Rapp, VandySports.com.

If the prior week against Kentucky was a bit boring, this week was anything but. The weekend series against Florida had a very charged atmosphere and featured, arguably, the two most talented teams in the nation. While Vanderbilt was afforded every opportunity to sweep, late inning heroics by and the superior bullpen of Florida led to a Gator series win.

The Immediate Progression: Bad Losses

It’s somewhat funny to raise the subject of bad losses with this Vanderbilt squad. Any time you can count the losses on your hands even after a Fourth of July fireworks accident, well, you’ve got a consistent and maybe great team.

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UGA VII dies

November 19th, 2009 Comments off

Article on UGA VII’s Death.

Via rickankielsmustache: Not even I can make a joke about this.

There will be no live mascot at Georgia’s game on Saturday but a wreath will be placed on Uga VII’s doghouse on the north sideline.

No jokes can be made, but I’ll observe that Georgia fans might not shed too much of a tear in a very down year.

UGA VII’s record is only 16-7. Coming off UGA VI’s record 87–27, that’s pretty pedestrian. And yes, Georgia fans do credit the mascot.

Anyway, sad news. UGA is dead… Long live UGA.

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