Will The Vandy Boys Help Save Baseball in 2022?
No Spring Training, No MLB Opening Day… Owners and Players at a stalemate. The Game losing it’s clout amongst the youth of America. The question is: who’s going to save Baseball in 2022?
I’d like to propose that you turn your eyes towards Nashville, Tennessee and the defending College World Series runner up Vanderbilt Baseball. AKA, the Vandy Boys. Their brand of baseball is Big League-like, with the hype and flair of the college game. They play at one of the best home stadiums in America (Hawkins Field), have won multiple CWS titles in the past 10 years and feature a lot of their guys in the Show.
No Rocker, No Leiter, no problem… right?
I mean… when you are a legendary baseball program like #3 Vanderbilt and you lose your top two starters to the MLB Draft, you just reload… correct?
Well, yes… but…
For Vandy Head Coach Tim Corbin- putting together a rotation and finding the correct spot for each talented arm is going to take some time.
Sunday was the first day to find out how prized Freshman lefthander Carter Holton would respond to the pressure of his first College start, facing the talented lineup of #7 Oklahoma State. He started off by wow-ing the Sunday Nashville crowd by striking out the side in the first inning and putting up 6 K’s thru 3 innings.
Javier Vaz smashed his first long ball of the season to give Vandy a 3rd inning 2-1 lead. The sparkplug in the 9 hole would score 3 runs on the afternoon.
But, Holton had control problems in the 4th- loading the bases and then giving up Vandy’s lead before getting out of the jam. Oklahoma State left the frame on top 4-2.
Vandy was not done, though… Preseason All-American Outfielder Enrique Bradfield Jr. laced a run-scoring double down the right field line to bring the Boys within one.
When State pushed across an insurance run in the 6th, things looked dim. A 5-3 deficit faced the Commodores, going into the 8th inning. But, a comeback awaited…
They strung together two huge runs in the bottom of the 8th, to tie the score at 5 and bring to life the early spring Hawkins Field faithful. Jack Bulger knocked in Vaz with a base hit and then pinch hitter Gavin Casas had a great at bat, tying the score with a deep sacrifice fly to right.
Oklahoma pushed across two runs in the Top of the 9th to secure a 7-5 win and a hard fought 2-1 win in the 3 game series. Both of these ballclubs have a legit shot at the College World Series, so we won’t be hearing the last from them.
This Vandy team has many options and moving parts and will definitely take some time to gel- especially in the starting rotation and closer spots. But, it’s the most entertaining brand of Baseball in America right now and hopefully a lot more eyes will be on Nashville and the Vandy Boys this year!
Vanderbilt is back at Hawkins Field on Tuesday to host North Alabama at 4:30 p.m., with action airing live on SEC Network+.
NASHVILLE LIVE MAGAZINE
MUSIC, SPORTS and ENTERTAINMENT in Nashville and beyond