Monday, March 17, 2008

Baseball Notebook

We may be in the middle of March Madness, but that doesn't mean we can't spend a little time talking about the Vanderbilt baseball team. After taking two of three from No. 8 South Carolina over the weekend, the Commodores (12-4, 2-1 SEC) moved up to No. 5 in Baseball America’s Top 25. BA's Aaron Fitt also mentioned Vandy a few times in his chat and seems to be pretty high on coach Tim Corbin's squad.

"Those young arms are the key — I'm not worried at all about Vandy's offense, especially with (Andrew) Giobbi hitting the way he has," Fitt wrote. "It's guys like (Caleb) Cotham, (Mark) Lamm, (Taylor) Hill, (Russell) Brewer and (Chase) Reid who will determine how far Vandy goes. So far, so good."

If you haven't already, check out my column on Cotham, who picked up the win in his SEC debut yesterday. Another good read is Kendall Rodgers' piece from As he puts it,
"life sure is good for an offense that some expected to fail without (Pedro) Alvarez in the lineup."

A few other odds & ends on the Hawkins Nine...
  • Vandy just played nine straight games against 2007 tourney teams and went an impressive 7-2.
  • The Commodores host Lipscomb Wednesday (4 p.m.) before hitting the road to take on Alabama this weekend.
  • Vandy took the season series from South Carolina for the fourth straight year.
  • Redshirt sophomore Andrew Giobbi continues to rake. He was 9-for-21 (.429) with three doubles, a grand slam (an absolute blast to deep left) and 11 RBI. Giobbi leads the team in batting average (.431), doubles (9) and RBI (19).
  • While sophomore Mike Minor was dominant in Friday night's extra-inning victory, the performances of freshmen Chase Reid and Russell Brewer were equally impressive. They pitched a combined 4.1 innings of scoreless relief to give Vandy a chance to win.
  • Is there anyone more clutch than Ryan Flaherty, whose favorite player is none other than Derek Jeter? On Friday night, the junior shortstop hit the game-tying homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and then had the game-winning hit in the 13th. Flash finished the game 5-for-6.

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