We played really well last weekend, winning all three of our games against LSU. Our offense really stepped up, scoring double-digit runs in each of the three games. Conrad Gregor was named SEC co-Freshman of the Week after going 8-for-13 with six RBIs. Mike Yastrzemski also had a great weekend at the plate while playing in front of his grandfather, Carl, who came to Nashville for the weekend. I think he used to play baseball, too. With four SEC series remaining, we are tied for the conference lead at 14-4 with South Carolina and Florida.
The past few days, and the upcoming week, will be a very busy time for us. Classes end today, and finals begin on Thursday, so we are all finishing up final papers and presentations and preparing for tests. I know some schools don’t make their athletes do work (kidding…but seriously), but here at Vandy we’re just the same as anyone else on campus, so when we aren’t on the field you can probably find us in study hall or the press box studying. Today also signals the last day of undergraduate classes for our seniors—Curt Casali, Taylor Hill, Bryan Johns, Aaron Westlake and myself. It seems just a few months ago that Curt, Taylor, Westy and I were just moving into our dorms freshman year, and now we’re staring graduation straight in the face. Our coaches always tell us that this is the best time of our lives, and to enjoy every moment of it because it will be over before we know it—and they couldn’t be more right.
One topic we haven’t discussed is our living situation at Vandy. Our freshmen room together at The Commons, a three-year old dorm facility that is unbelievable. They have a cafeteria, weight room, commons rooms—the whole nine yards. As for the upperclassmen, we all live in one of two dorms, Lewis or Morgan House, that are located across from each other and just down the street from the field. These dorms are more apartment-style with three people living in each room complete with a kitchen and bathroom. The rooms are set up for a common room, single bedroom, and double bedroom, but in our baseball rooms one person always lives in the common room so each of us can have our own room.
We usually pick our roommates, but it also depends on who lived in the room from the previous year. For instance, I’ve lived in the same room for the past two years, but I have two new roommates this year because of the graduation of my previous roommates. I now live with sophomore pitcher Keenan Kolinsky and junior infielder Sam Lind. It’s a pretty good dynamic because I’m usually playing video games or watching a movie, while Lind is watching baseball and Keenan is playing some music on his guitar. He’d never admit it but he’s actually really good. He could probably teach Taylor Swift a thing or two when she takes him up on his pass list offer and comes to one of our games.
At a lot of other schools, a majority of the students and athletes live off campus in either apartments or houses. And there’s definitely nothing wrong with that. But living next door to each other is one of the reasons our team is so close-knit. Very rarely do we go straight to our rooms at night—we’re always stopping in another guy’s room to
hangout—and our chemistry shows when we play. There is always someone picking up another guy whether it is at the plate, in the field or on the mound, and I don’t think that is a coincidence.
We play at Western Kentucky tomorrow at 4:00. It took a comeback in the bottom of the ninth to beat them in Nashville at the beginning of the year, so it will be a tough game for us. The University of Tennessee then comes to town this weekend for a three game series. Even though they have struggled the past few years, they have beaten us five out of the last six times we’ve played. It speaks to the strength of the SEC—any team can beat another on any day. And that’s the great part about rivalry games—you never know what might happen.
Until next week—Go ’Dores