Re-start of Vanderbilt-Fullerton game delayed

The re-start of Vanderbilt’s suspended baseball game against Cal State Fullerton at the College World Series has been moved to 2 p.m. (CDT)

Play was halted Sunday night in the bottom of the sixth inning and originally scheduled to resume at 11 a.m.

The Commodores trail the Titans 3-0 but will have a man on third with two outs when play begins again.

ESPN2 will broadcast the remainder of the contest.

Jun 15, 2015 10:22 AM

Rain delay gives Vanderbilt time to regroup against Fullerton

Update: The resumption of play has been moved back to 2 p.m. Central.

Vanderbilt will have more than 12 hours to try to figure out how to get Rhett Wiseman home from third base.

That’s where the junior right fielder was Sunday night when weather caused the Commodores’ College World Series opener to be suspended at 9:22 p.m. Vanderbilt trailed Cal State Fullerton 3-0 but had Wiseman at third base with two outs in the bottom of the sixth.

Play is scheduled to resume at 11 a.m. Monday (ESPN2).

The delay does mean that Vanderbilt won’t have to face Fullerton starter Thomas Eshelman anymore. The junior right-hander allowed four hits with no walks and struck out eight.

Wiseman hit a one-out double in the sixth and, after Dansby Swanson struck out, moved to third on a passed ball.  That’s when play was called.

Tyler Campbell got to third with one out in the third inning but Vanderbilt failed to get him home.

Jun 15, 2015 7:02 AM

Chicago could see former Vanderbilt stars come and go

One professional athlete with ties to Middle Tennessee is talking about getting out of Chicago. Or at least his wife is.

Another has a good portion of the Windy City talking about the possibility that he might move there in the not-too-distant future.

On balance, many Chicago sports fans probably would trade Jay Cutler for David Price right now but that can’t happen. Price is currently playing for the Detroit Tigers and is under contract for the remainder of the season. Cutler (pictured) recently signed a contract extension with the NFL’s Bears that runs through 2020.

Price talked about a pair of significant connections he has with the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, which had that town’s media immediately connecting the dots.

Price, a 29-year-old, four-time All-Star and the 2012 A.L. Cy Young Award winner, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after this season. His manager for most of the first seven years of his career was Joe Maddon, now the man in charge of the Cubs.

“Joe is a very unique manager," Price said, according to the Detroit Free Press. "He was perfect for our team in Tampa. It's kind of the same way in Chicago right now.

"He does a really good job of making everybody in the clubhouse comfortable, loose and relaxed. When you have young guys, that's what you need.”

On top of his comfort level with the Major League manager, Price knows well the Cubs’ minor league pitching coach, Derek Johnson, who was Vanderbilt’s pitching coach when Price was a college All-American.

“[Johnson] had a big hand in making me the pitcher I am,” Price said. “I still have a lot of stuff from him — you'd call it my staples.

“Coach Johnson was the one who instilled all that stuff in me, and I'm forever grateful for everything he has done for me.”

He certainly sounds like someone who would be comfortable playing in Chicago, if that’s how things work out.

On the other hand, Cutler’s wife, actress Kristin Cavallari, told Elle magazine that the couple can’t wait to bolt that city and establish full-time residence in Nashville, where they recently built a six-bedroom home. Cutler, of course, was a star quarterback at Vanderbilt during the 1990s.

“Jay hates LA," Cavallari told Elle’s website in an article posted this week. "And Chicago's just not home."

(Photo: Getty Images)

Jun 12, 2015 5:10 AM

Former Vanderbilt star keeps hitting, even in Class AAA debut

Tony Kemp extended his hitting streak to 13 games Wednesday – and ended his time with the Houston Astros’ Class AA affiliate.

The 2013 Vanderbilt All-American was promoted to Class AAA on Thursday and immediately made his debut with the Fresno Grizzlies. He led off an went 1-for-4 with a run scored in a 5-4 victory at Salt Lake.

A second baseman, Kemp has played 50 games for the Class AA Corpus Christi Hooks this season. He leads the Texas League in batting average (.354) and on-base percentage (.453) and is tied for fourth with 15 stolen bases. His batting average ranks third among all minor leagues.

During that current streak, Kemp went 20-for-45 (.444) with eight runs, three doubles, one triple, three RBIs, seven walks and five stolen bases.

The promotion maintains a pace that Kemp kept last season, his first full year as a pro. He started 2014 in Class A (advanced) and was promoted to Class AA in late June.

The next step is the last one – the Major Leagues.

The Astros, who drafted him in the fifth round in 2013, are not in need of immediate help. They currently are tied for the most wins in the American League but they have lost seven in a row.

Jun 11, 2015 11:07 PM

Swanson named All-American, National Player of the Year

Dansby Swanson’s swan song has turned into a chart-topper. At last.

Days after the Vanderbilt shortstop was the first player taken in the Major League Baseball draft, named him a first-team All-American and its Player of the Year.

That after Southeastern Conference coaches named Swanson to the All-SEC second team. The first-team shortstop was LSU’s Alex Bregman, who was the second overall pick in the draft. managed to name Bregman a first-team All-American as well – at designated hitter.


Swanson ranks in the nation’s top 20 in home runs, double, triples, slugging, hits and runs. He ranks 21st in RBIs and second in total bases. He’s also put his plus speed to use on the basepaths, where he’s stolen 16 bases in 18 attempts. And he has played brilliant defense at the crucial and demanding shortstop position, regularly making dazzling plays while also fielding a strong .975 in his first college season at the position (he played second last year).

Furthermore, Swanson has played very well when it matters most, helping to lead the Commodores back to Omaha for the second straight year. In five NCAA tournament games, Swanson is hitting .350 with seven runs, four RBIs, two homers and two doubles.

His teammate and close friend, pitcher Carson Fulmer, also was on the first team, which made Vanderbilt one of two schools with multiple first-team selections. The other was LSU with Bregman and catcher Kade Scivicque.

Swanson is certain to turn pro following the College World Series, where the defending champion Commodores open play Sunday.

The final days of his college career, though, have included a steady stream of personal accolades. He also has been named a finalist (along with Fulmer) for the Golden Spikes Award and Dick Howser Trophy.

(Photo: John Russell/Vanderbilt athletics)

Jun 11, 2015 11:49 AM

Vanderbilt eager to 'make more memories' at College World Series

The schedule will come as no surprise to Vanderbilt players and coaches. Most of them, anyway.

The same is true for everything else that comes with a spot in the College World Series, which the Commodores have done for the second straight season and the third time in five years.

“We’re about to hit a big stage now in the World Series and get back to where we were last year,” pitcher Carson Fulmer said. “We’re going to have fun with it. These are 35 of my best friends. I’m just trying to enjoy it with them and make more memories while we’re at it.”

If they are to win their second straight title, they will need to navigate a double-elimination round of pool play that consists of four teams and then a best-of-three championship series between the pool winners. The schedule covers 12 days from start to finish, 11 in the case of Vanderbilt, which opens on Day Two of the competition, 7 p.m. Sunday, against Fullerton State.

“I think there’s a little tranquility with it in terms of understanding the landscape and what’s involved with it and the attention that goes into the kids and how to handle it,” coach Tim Corbin said Tuesday. “For me, it’s just about warning them about what’s going to happen so (they) can just settle down and play baseball. If you haven’t been before there’s some difficulty with the extracurricular activities and the extra responsibilities that take place with being there.”

CWS Schedule

Friday, June 12

Opening Celebration

Saturday, June 13
Game 1: Arkansas vs. Virginia, 2 p.m.
Game 2: Florida vs. Miami, 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 14
Game 3: TCU vs. LSU, 2 p.m.
Game 4: Vanderbilt vs. Cal State Fullerton, 7 p.m.

Monday, June 15
Game 5: 2 p.m.
Game 6: 7 p.m.

Tuesday, June 16
Game 7: 2 p.m.
Game 8: 7 p.m.

Wednesday, June 17
Game 9: 7 p.m.

Thursday, June 18
Game 10: 7 p.m.

Friday, June 19
Game 11: 2 p.m.
Game 12: 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 20
Game 12: if necessary
Game 13: if necessary

Championship Series

Monday, June 22
Finals Game 1: 7 p.m.

Tuesday, June 23
Finals Game 2: 7 p.m.

Wednesday, June 24
Finals Game 3: if necessary

Even when they weren’t sure what to expect, the Commodores have done pretty well at the College World Series. They finished third the first time they made it (2011). Last year they faced elimination twice yet won it all.

This time the only thing they don’t know is what will happen in the games because they have seen and done all the rest.

“I think it’s huge, not only for us but for this program, just setting the standard of excellence, and for this community and Nashville itself,” shortstop Dansby Swanson said. “It’s just awesome to be able to do it for this place. It means a lot. It’s pretty crazy to think about, honestly.”

Jun 10, 2015 6:27 AM

Two Vanderbilt players taken in third round of MLB draft

Vanderbilt University players continue to be drafted in bunches.

Pitcher Philip Pfeifer and Rhett Wiseman were selected in a span of three picks of the third round Tuesday, one day after three Commodores went among the first 24 picks overall.

The five picks already matched the number of Vanderbilt players drafted in the entire 2014 draft. Four of those five went in the fourth round or later.

Pfeifer (pictured) became the second Vanderbilt pitcher drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers, who took the senior left-hander with the 101st overall selection. The Dodgers on Monday used their first choice (24th overall) on right-hander Walker Buehler.

Wiseman, a junior outfielder, went to the Washington Nationals with the 103rd overall choice.

The last time at least five Commodores went in the first three rounds was 2011. That year, pitchers Sonny Gray and Grayson Garvin were first-round choices and four others went in the third round.

The first two rounds of the draft took place Monday. Rounds 3 through 10 are scheduled for Tuesday with the remaining rounds set for Wednesday.

(Photo: Joe Howell/Vanderbilt athletics)

Jun 9, 2015 1:19 PM

Corbin: Road to Omaha more challenging as defending champs

It’s clear now that the final chapter of Vanderbilt’s 2015 baseball season will be written at Omaha.

As far as coach Tim Corbin is concerned, therefore, whatever happens at the upcoming College World Series will be some version of a happy ending for the team that won it all in 2014.

The Commodores are one of three teams among the eight that comprise the 2015 field that also were there in 2014. They got there when they swept their best-of-three Super Regional series at Illinois with a 4-2 victory Monday.

“So very difficult to do coming off a situation like last year,” Corbin said. “It's difficult.  That target is very big and there's a lot of shots that you take. So we're just very thankful that we can get to the point. Storybook ending.”

The other returning teams are Virginia, which lost to Vanderbilt in last year’s championship series, and TCU, which defeated Texas A&M in 16 innings Monday in the decisive game of its Super Regional.

The Commodores’ first game is against Fullerton State, 7 p.m. Sunday.

The prior two CWS champions Arizona (2012) and UCLA (2013) failed to make it back to Omaha the next year. The last school to repeat as CWS champion was South Carolina in 2010 and 2011.

“It's just as great, if not greater, just because of the circumstances that exist throughout the year,” Corbin said. “It's a difficult year to play, there's no doubt about it.  You think about it from the time that we won that National Championship, I can personally say we haven't stopped.  It's been a full blown, 100 mile an hour ride, and it has not stopped up until this point but I'm perfectly fine with it.

“[We’ve tried] to center (the players) in just these small moments that we're involved in and try not to get too distracted by anything, and I think they have done a wonderful job that way.”

(Photo: Joe Howell/Vanderbilt athletics)

Jun 9, 2015 7:13 AM

Scouts rave about character, competitiveness of Vanderbilt first-round picks

It was more than baseball ability that prompted Major League Baseball teams to use top 10 overall picks on two Vanderbilt players Monday, the first day of the 2015 draft.

Executives for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago White Sox raved about the character and work ethic of their selections, shortstop Dansby Swanson, the first overall pick by Arizona and pitcher Carson Fulmer, who went eighth overall to the Chicago White Sox.

A third Vanderbilt player, pitcher Walker Buehler, went 24th overall to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

It is the first time in program history three players went in the first round of the same draft. The first two matched 2007, when pitchers David Price and Casey Weathers went first and eighth overall, respectively, for earliest two Commodores came off the board.

Swanson is the first college shortstop drafted No. 1 overall since San Diego took Bill Almon out of Brown in 1974.

From, here’s what Arizona scouting director Deric Ladnier said of Swanson: “"Major League shortstops are very difficult to find. The other part of it are the intangibles that this player brings to the field every day. He's got the character; he's got the makeup; he's a winner, all things that you want to build an organization with. ... We just thought it was a perfect fit for this organization, where we are, where we're headed, and we fully expect him to continue his journey and be a Diamondback soon."

Fulmer became the ninth Vanderbilt pitcher drafted in the first round since Tim Corbin became head coach in 2003.

From, here’s what White Sox assistant scouting director Nick Hostetler said of Fulmer: "He battles, competes. I would want this kid to start Game 7 of the World Series for me, but also I have two daughters and I hope a guy like that marries one of my daughters. He's that type of terrific kid."

Jun 9, 2015 6:47 AM

One win from return to CWS, Vanderbilt's experience shows

At some point in the last 13 years, it happened.

Maybe it was last year in Omaha. Perhaps it was 2011 and the first trip to the College World Series. Could have been any one of the 10 straight NCAA Regional appearances.

It’s tough to say for sure when. Somewhere along the line, though, coach Tim Corbin turned Vanderbilt baseball into an experienced postseason program.

Now the results show.

The Commodores are one win from a second straight CWS appearance (a third in five years) following a 13-0 victory Saturday in the opener of their Super Regional series at Illinois. Weather issues postponed Sunday’s second game until 3 p.m. Monday (ESPN2).

Obviously, nothing is guaranteed at this point. But the difference between Vanderbilt and Illinois, which is in a Super Regional for the first time, is reminiscent of that between Texas and Vanderbilt in 2004, the first time the Commodores made the Super Regional. The Longhorns, long a CWS participant at that point, swept those games by a combined 25-5 (15-3 and 10-2). Vanderbilt never gained momentum in those games and, thus, never had a chance.

Now, with all that has happened in Corbin’s 13 seasons, it is Vanderbilt that gets to administer hard lessons in what it takes to be a champion. On Saturday, the Commodores scored three runs in the top of the first and never looked back. That, of course, came after a regional-clinching 21-0 victory Monday over Radford, a team in the NCAA tournament for the first time.

“Coach always talks about having a slow heartbeat in games like that, and basically what that is is the ability to slow the game down and not have the game speed up on you,” right fielder Rhett Wiseman said. “I think when you have veteran guys out there who have been in situations like that before, we know how to handle adversity and we know how to attack certain situations, and I think that's what you saw (Saturday).”

The only way to get experience in those situations is to be in those situations. Vanderbilt probably has not seen it all but Saturday’s lineup included seven starters plus a starting pitcher who were part of last year’s national championship run. The program itself has been through a lot in the 61 NCAA tournament games it played under Corbin prior to this season.

“[We] just continued doing the same things we've been doing really all year and that's just kind to keep the guys centered in what they've been doing and really enjoy the moment they have with each other because as I tell them, these moments are fleeting,” Corbin said of Saturday’s rout. “… The games are the most important experiences you can have, and the kids don't take those for granted.

“And I think we do a very good job in the days in between the games. The games take care of themselves if you take care of the training, and the kids do that. They're a mature group.  It doesn't mean that you're going to win the next game, but as I told them, I'm at peace with them. I feel good about who they are and how they handle their business, and that's all that matters to me.”

(Photo: Craig Pessman/Vanderbilt athletics)

Jun 8, 2015 7:18 AM