Here are some of the top photos from this past weekend’s matchup between the Vanderbilt Commodores and the Ole Miss Rebels. Vanderbilt swept the three game SEC series to up their record to 29-4 and 11-1 in SEC play while Ole Miss is now 23-9 and 4-8 in conference play.
Battle of the Bump
Pitching was the dominant factor for the Commodores and the Rebels this weekend, with all three games won by only a point or two.
Friday starters Bobby Wahl and Kevin Ziomek both shined in a much-anticipated pitcher’s duel. Ziomek earned the win, allowing only 1 run on three hits, with four walks and three strikeouts in 7.1 innings. Wahl gave up one unearned run on five hits and six walks, recording eight strikeouts in 6.2 innings of work.
Saturday looked a lot like Friday for the pitchers, with both starters looking very consistent and able to get out of jams. Sophomore Tyler Beede earned his eighth win of the season after a sensational outing, allowing only one run on four hits, with five walks and six strikeouts in six innings. Mike Mayers took the loss, but allowed only one earned run on four hits, with six walks and five strikeouts.
VU closer Brian Miller (5-0) picked up the win Sunday night, despite having his first blown save. Miller has 10 saves on the season.
At the Plate
Ole Miss catcher Stuart Turner (.426) was a star at the plate, with one run, four hits, and two walks over the series. Turner was especially vital in Sunday’s extra-innings nail biter, sparking a two-run rally in the ninth with his leadoff single. Tanner Mathis (.335), the Ole Miss senior, kept the Rebel offense going with five walks, one RBI and one run over the weekend.
Junior Austin Anderson (.264) was the first and only to score for Ole Miss on Friday.
Tony Kemp once again dominated in his leadoff spot for Vanderbilt, going 6-for-15 on the weekend, including two doubles, with two runs, one stolen base and one walk. Mike Yastrzemski, Vince Conde and Connor Harrell were huge contributors to the Commodores offense all weekend, raking in three hits each on Sunday. Junior catcher Spencer Navin had a career-high four hits Sunday afternoon, with one stolen base and two RBI.
What to Take Away
Under the command of coach Tim Corbin, Vanderbilt runs like a well-oiled machine. The offense and pitching are spot on most of the time, and when they’re not, they know how to get out of jams. For a team that was a little too green to be on top last spring, this year’s Commodores have grown and improved exponentially. I would be surprised if this team didn’t remain in the top five teams at the end of regular season.
Vanderbilt’s broom may have found Ole Miss, but they certainly put up a fight. Mike Bianco has a great pitching staff, and the lineup is strong. The biggest thing that could be improved upon, at least from looking at this weekend’s series, is their ability to get ahead and stay ahead, and get out of sticky situations.
Vanderbilt plays Tuesday at Tennessee Martin, and Ole Miss will take on Mississippi State on Tuesday for the annual Governor’s Cup game.