Vanderbilt Baseball Weekly Report

Greg Arias

Nashville, Tn.- The Vanderbilt Commodores lost two of three over the weekend in the MLB4 Tournament in Scottsdale, Az. Here is a look at the weekend and what's to come this week.   

Ovearll Record: 1-2, 0-0 SEC

Streak: Lost 1

Last Week’s Results (1-2)

Friday, Feb. 14 vs. No. 13 Michigan – Loss, 4-3

Saturday, Feb. 15 vs. UConn – Win, 6-1

Sunday, Feb. 16 vs. Cal Poly – Loss, 9-8

This Week (Times Central)

Tuesday, Feb. 18 vs. South Alabama — 4:30 p.m. [SEC Network+]

Wednesday, Feb. 19 vs. South Alabama — 4:30 p.m. [SEC Network+]

Friday, Feb. 21 vs. Illinois-Chicago – 4:30 p.m. [SEC Network+]

Saturday, Feb. 22 vs. Illinois-Chicago – 2 p.m. [SEC Network+]

Sunday, Feb. 23 vs. Illinois-Chicago – 1 p.m. [SEC Network+]

Commodore Notes

No. 2 Vanderbilt dropped 2 of 3 at the second-annual MLB4 Collegiate Baseball Tournament over the weekend at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Commodores turned in two strong starts from Mason Hickman and Kumar Rocker, respectively, who did not allow an earned run in a combined 11 innings.

Vanderbilt hit .240 on the weekend and struggled further with runners on base, batting .170 (9-for-53). The Commodores, who led the SEC in fielding percentage a season ago, committed nine errors during their three games.

Michigan’s Matthew Schmidt hit a two-run home run in the top of the ninth to give Michigan a 4-3 win over Vanderbilt in the 2020 season opener. The Wolverines were down to their final two outs before a one-out Clark Elliott single brought Schmidt to the plate. He took a 1-1 pitch from Vandy closer Tyler Brown out to left for the eventual game-winner.

Vanderbilt overcame a slow start, using a four-run sixth and steady pitching from Rocker to power past UConn 6-1 on Saturday night. Commodore freshman CJ Rodriguez (4-for-4) paced the way, highlighted by a one-out, two-RBI single in the sixth. The four hits were the most by a freshman since Isaiah Thomas registered as many April 30, 2019, against Tennessee Tech.

Fellow freshman Carter Young plated Spencer Jones (hit by pitch) on a squeeze bunt single before coming around to score on Rodriguez’s third hit. Rocker held the Huskies hitless with runners aboard (0-for-3) and to a .105 average (2-for-19) overall. He permitted three walks and one run (none earned) while striking out nine across six innings.

Cal Poly surrendered a five-run lead only to pounce for two runs in the ninth including a walk-off sacrifice fly from Tate Samuelson to upended second-ranked Vanderbilt, 9-8 at the MLB4 Collegiate Baseball Tournament on Sunday.

Vanderbilt committed four errors and surrendered eight walks. Offensively, the Commodores batted .200 (2-for-10) with runners in scoring position. Cal Poly totaled 12 hits with the top six in the order contributing eight of the club’s nine RBIs.

With two outs in the eighth, Harrison Ray deposited a 1-0 slider onto the left-field berm for a game-tying three-run home run. The senior’s fifth career long ball followed by a fielder’s choice RBI’s from Spencer Jones and Will Duff. One inning later, Will Duff lined a sacrifice fly into center for an 8-7 advantage.