football Edit

Bats fail Commodores in Fridays loss to Kentucky

For the first time since May 2012, Vanderbilt baseball lost the Friday night game in three consecutive weekend series.
Tyler Beede couldn't make it out of the sixth inning, and the Vanderbilt bats fell silent as the Commodores lost 4-2 to Kentucky in front of a crowd of 2,545.
Although his outing was an improvement over last week's loss at Mississippi State, Beede struggled with his command towards the end of his start. The junior All-American pitcher gave up five hits, issued three walks, and hit three batters over five plus innings.
"Obviously too many free passes leads to some runs, and that's kind of what happened in the sixth," said Beede. "A hit-by-pitch and a walk led to a couple runs, so that's definitely something as a staff we need to limit-personally as well. My command's definitely not where I want it to be, but I've just got to continue to improve."
Beede's command started to fade in the fourth inning, when he allowed back-to-back singles to Max Kuhn and A.J. Reed, despite having two strikes on both of them. Although Beede retired the next three batters on fly outs, he allowed Kuhn to score on a wild pitch.
Things started to uncoil in the fifth inning, when Beede allowed a leadoff four-pitch walk, a problem he had all night. He allowed the leadoff hitter to reach base in five of his six innings, including two by walks and a hit by pitch.
Later in the inning, Beede hit his second batter of the game and allowed an infield single but was able to get out of the jam by striking out Reed.
However, Vanderbilt would not able to get out of a jam in the sixth.
Beede started off the inning with yet another hit by pitch, and after a four-pitch walk, that would be enough for head coach Tim Corbin to pull him. Freshman Hayden Stone came into the game, but he immediately allowed back-to-back singles, and Austin Cousino's single three batters later would bring the score to 4-2.
Vanderbilt's couldn't surmount that two-run deficit, as the offense couldn't muster anything after the fourth inning. This has been an ongoing problem for the Commodores; they've only scored five runs once in the past five games.
Corbin continued to shuffle the lineup, most notably moving Dansby Swanson back to the leadoff spot after three straight games either hitting second or third. But the change didn't spark any different results.
"I just think it's a matter of stringing some at-bats together and developing some momentum within the lineup and getting some rhythm within the lineup," Corbin said. "That's tough to find right now. We're searching for it. At some point it'll happen. We've got some competent kids in the middle of that lineup.
"Offense is very much about confidence, it's about a mentality, and it needs to happen first before kids start feeling good as a unit. Right now we're digging a little bit, but we'll get it at some point."
Vanderbilt struck first in the first inning when Vince Conde's single to left field scored Swanson. But as has been the problem lately, the team couldn't come through with runners in scoring position; it was just 1-for-4 for the game.
"They had that big inning, and we just didn't punch back like we should have," said Swanson.
Kentucky's starter Reed, who also went 2-for-5 hitting cleanup for them, shut down the Commodores over eight innings. The lefty gave up two earned runs, struck out seven, walked one, and gave up nine hits.
"He stayed down in the zone and mixed up his pitches well," said Swanson. "We were just out a little in front of some a little behind on some. I thought we had a lot of good at-bats for the most part. We hit a lot of balls hard. Vinnie hit two to the right fielder and a couple other balls that got caught. But that happens in baseball."
Losing so many Friday games seems odd after the Commodores went 12-2 on Friday games last year, but this team has been through tough stretches before. The juniors and seniors went through a 2012 season in which Vanderbilt was just 4-10 on Friday games.
"We've been in this situation plenty of times before; a bunch of the older guys have and this year certainly," said Beede. "Jared (Miller)'s going to come out tomorrow and be competitive and pitch a great game; we're going to swing the bats and compete."
· Beede was sitting 94-96 in the first inning and 94-95 for the rest of the game, although he did touch 96 in the fifth inning.
· Beede got two of his strikeouts on curveballs, one on a fastball looking, and one on a changeup swinging.
· Stone was sitting 90-92 for his four innings of work, although he mostly threw his breaking ball, which sat 84-86.
· The Dores jumped on Reed's breaking ball early on. Conde's RBI single and Swanson's second inning double off the left field wall that came three feet short of clearing it were the two the two most notable hits. It's odd for a lefty pitcher to throw breaking balls in key counts to right-handed hitters because the pitches move in towards them, which makes it easier to hit.
· Vanderbilt wasn't charged with any errors, but they had several bad plays. Bryan Reynolds didn't play a fly ball well in the sixth inning with runners on second and third that cost the team at least one run. In the ninth, Swanson ranged to his right to turn a double play, but his throw pulled Conde off the bag, and Vandy didn't get the "in the neighborhood" call at second.
· Jason Delay threw out the only attempted base stealer all night: Matt Freida. He didn't allow a passed ball, although Beede had a wild pitch.
· Delay cost the team a run in the fourth inning when he tried to score from second on a line drive single up the middle by Xavier Turner. He was thrown out at home by over 30 feet.
· "We just saw him up. When it was down we let it go. When it was up we attacked it, and hopefully we can build off that one." - Swanson on the team's success against Reed's breaking ball
· "It doesn't matter. Hitting's hitting if it's one through nine. Just got to be aggressive and square some balls up." - Swanson on the lineup changes
· "That's definitely what you want to do: go as deep into the ballgame as you can. When you can't do that, it definitely frustrates you, but you have confidence in the bullpen, especially ours, to come in and shut it down and control the inning and finish out the game strong. Obviously you want to keep going, and I wanted to, but Stoney came in and pitched just fine." - Beede
· "Well I think the thing that got him in trouble tonight is that a lot of the leadoff hitters got on in the six innings he went out there. Five guys got on. He pitched out of one big jam in the fifth, I just think in the sixth he hit a batter and the unforced walk put him in a tough position. I felt we needed to go to Stone at that point. I'd love for Tyler to go longer, but we were just in a situation there where I didn't think we could. He'll rebound. He's a real good pitcher, and he'll in a good way." - Corbin