I know Andrew VU gave a much better recap immediately following this past weekend's series against the Gamecocks, but I figured I would give you a little bit more of a baseball outlook on the weekend. In comparison, my recap will probably resemble something like:
GAME ONE: Vanderbilt 6, South Carolina 3
Thursday, March 31
In an awkward Thursday night game, the 'Dores went head-to-head with the 'Cocks to start off an exciting series in Nashville, Tennessee. The Commodores started the scoring early and Sheffield went a solid seven innings only allowing three runs overall to give Vanderbilt a good lead and a great position to take the game. Vanderbilt scored four runs in the first inning off the bats of Alonzo Jones who hit a two-run double with the bases loaded early on. Jason Delay singled in another run before a double-play allowed the fourth and final run to cross the plate. It ended up being the only runs Vanderbilt needed, as the Gamecocks only scored one off Sheffield in the fourth inning and two more in the seventh before he was removed for Ben Bowden to finish the final two innings.
GAME TWO: Vanderbilt 0, South Carolina 4
Friday, April 1
It would've been a nice April Fools' Prank if the Commodores could come back from a four-run deficit late in the game; unfortunately, the 'Dores were limited to only two hits in the entire game. Those hits came off of Alonzo Jones and Tyler Campbell, while Gamecocks' starter Braden Webb pitched a beautiful scoreless eight innings against Vanderbilt. Kyle Wright started for the Commodores and only allowed two runs on six hits over 7.1 innings, but Collin Snider allowed two more runs, only one earned, in his single inning. It wouldn't matter anyway since the 'Dores bats were silenced early on and throughout the game.
GAME THREE: Vanderbilt 10, South Carolina 6
Saturday, April 2
Vanderbilt came out on top of the 'Cocks in an exciting game three to take the series. South Carolina scored first putting two up in the top of the first inning, and the Commodores returned with only one run in the bottom half of the inning. Nobody scored again until the Gamecocks put up another couple runs in the fifth to give them a daunting 4-1 lead, but the Commodores came back in the bottom half this time with five runs to take the lead 6-4. The lead was short-lived, however, as the 'Cocks tied it up the very next inning scoring two more runs, but that would be all for the Gamecocks this series. The Commodores scored one more in the bottom half of the sixth to take a 7-6 lead, and even though that was all the runs they needed, the bats came alive again in the seventh to put up three more insurance runs. The #3 Vanderbilt Commodores overcame the #5 South Carolina Gamecocks in an exciting series which put the Commodores back on top.
Alonzo Jones and Jeren Kendall each had two hits and two RBI in the series finale but Penn Murfee topped the offensive outputs with three RBI on his multi-hit game. Overall, the offensive output obviously slacked in the Friday night mid-series loss,but returned in full force on Saturday to take the series and that's what really matters right? The only thing that concerns me at all about the weekend was getting two-hit shut-out on Friday, which needs to never happen again. As long as that never happens again, I'm more than happy to be seeing our freshman putting up offensive numbers to contribute to a lead and a victory.
Player of the Week: Alonzo Jones
Alonzo Jones led the team offensively this weekend going 5-for-12 and running in 5 batters to contribute to the series victory. Friday night he slacked along with the rest of the team going , but at least acquired one of the two hits in the game. Other than that., Ethan Paul showed contribution in game one when he had the other multi-=hit gaame on Friday night and ran in a runner to score. The freshmen on this Commodores team are showing promise fo rhte future, near and far.
Pitcher of the Week: Ben Bowden
Bowden came in, once again, for the final two innings of the only two victories this weekend to ensure the Commodores don't come out with another loss. Although Jordan Sheffield struck out nine in his seven innings and Kyle Wright only allowed two in his seven inning start, Bowden seems to only appear in games that need to be won, and eventually, secures that win. Bowden gets these honors once again thanks to stellar relief pitching against a team whose bats are not afraid to come with a bang.
The Commodores play a home game tonight (Tuesday, April 5) against Lipscomb at 6:30 pm before going on the road to take on LSU. The series starts at Alex Box Stadium on Thursday, April 7th, at 6 pm. The Friday, April 8th, game will begin at 7:30 pm, while Saturday, April 9th's game will begin at 2 pm. Thursday night's contest will be aired on SEC Network while Friday night's game will be featured on ESPNU, and those of us lucky enough to get it can catch Saturday's matinee on SEC Network+.