On Father’s Day, Austin Martin was Louisville’s daddy.
The All-American sophomore wasted no time making his mark on the game, as he hammered Reid Detmers’ first pitch fastball damn near 400 feet over some fencing they had set up for the occasion.
That’s how you start the party.#CWS | #VandyBoys— Vanderbilt Baseball (@VandyBoys) June 16, 2019
For a while there, that swing seemed like all the offense Drake Fellows was going to get, as though the Commodores worked lead-off walks in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th inning, and had runners on 1st and 3rd with no outs in the 2nd, Louisville LHP Reid Detmers bent, but didn’t break.
Fellows was efficient, in the strike zone, and in control. His 2 seam fastball sat at 93-94mph, he was able to hit his spots, and his slider was a plus put-away pitch. Beyond that, Fellows managed to keep Louisville’s offense largely at bay, save for a tense 5th inning in which he surrendered only one run.
With The Planet, you can tell whether he’s on or off right away. Last week against Duke, Fellows could not find the strike zone. Today, he started the game with a 3 up, 3 down, 8 pitch first. He allowed a single baserunner in the 2nd (on a rare throwing error by SS Ethan “Chili P” Paul) and a single in the 3rd. He lead off the 4th with a HBP, but Clarke erased that with a Howitzer throw from his knees 2 batters later.
In the top of the 5th, however, Drake proved why he is this team’s ace. The 3rd time through the lineup, the Cardinals had finally got Fellows’ fastball timed up. 2nd baseman Justin “Child of Anton” LaVey ripped a 1 out 2B down the left field line, just past the diving glove of Austin Martin. Catcher Henry “Crash” Davis followed that with a single up the gut to tie the game 1-1. Then, in a flash, leadoff hitter CF Lucas “Brooks &” Dunn and 1B Logan “Ben” Wyatt both singled to load the bases with one out.
It was at this point—with the 3 hole and cleanup hitters coming to the plate—that the wheels could have fallen off.
They didn’t. The Planet calmed down, focused, and got both batters to hit it to Chinfante.
Normally, in situations like this, Fellows gets about 8 runs from our offense, and we get to cruise to the finish line.
That didn’t happen, either.
No, once Fellows got through the nail-biter of a 5th inning, he had to continue to put up clean frames, or risk sending the team to the loser’s bracket. Fellows gave up one base runner each in the 6th and 7th, but Louisville never threatened.
His final line was 7 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K in 98 pitches.
In the bottom of the 7th, with this game smelling like extras, Chinfante took out his Boomstick and lined a one out double down the left field line. Austin Martin then came to the plate with a runner in scoring position and the game on the line.
Austin Martin... well... some days the stars are just stars.
Cheat code: Austin Martin.— Vanderbilt Baseball (@VandyBoys) June 16, 2019
Zach King and Tyler Brown shut things down from there, as is their wont.
Vanderbilt won 3-1.
Louisville is going to have to remember to send Austin Martin a card on this day each year, ad infinitum.