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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

VandyBoys cruise by Austin Peay 12-2 to stop losing streak

The No. 16 Vanderbilt Commodores rebounded after a tough weekend to blow out the Austin Peay Governors 12-2.
Vanderbilt Athletics
Freshman Devin Futrell pitches in a 12-2 VandyBoys win over Austin Peay on Tuesday, August 5, 2022. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

The No. 16 Vanderbilt Commodores (21-7) broke a three-game losing skid on Tuesday night with a 12-2 win over the Austin Peay Governors (10-20). The effort was led by a strong all-around offensive performance and the VandyBoys’ aggressive baserunning.

The game featured several lineup changes from head coach Tim Corbin, as Parker Noland, Calvin Hewett, Troy LaNeve and Rob Gordon all got the nod after sitting out most of the weekend. Freshman lefty Devin Futrell (W, 6-0) made his sixth start for the VandyBoys against Austin Peay’s righty Collin Loose (L, 0-2).

“It’s people that can play out there that haven’t gotten the opportunity, and giving guys an opportunity just to get off their legs and reset,” head coach Tim Corbin said.

Futrell recorded five strikeouts in his first two innings of work. The Governors put together two straight hits with two outs in the top of the second, but Futrell struck out the visitors’ John Bolton looking with a 73 mph curveball.

The VandyBoys led off the bottom of the second with a base hit by Dominic Keegan and a walk by Noland. Hewett laid down a bunt on the first pitch which may have been meant as a sacrifice, but his hustle to first caused the Governors chaos. Loose threw the ball into right field, allowing Keegan and Noland to score. When the throw to third to get Hewett also got away, Hewett was awarded the plate to complete a little-league home run and give the Commodores a 3-0 lead.

“That was weird,” Hewett said. “I just remember putting the bunt down and then I get to first base and see the ball get kicked away. And then I get to second base and then the ball got kicked away again, so I tried sliding into third…it was good, it was funny. Like Little League again.”

The Commodore offense kept things going in the bottom of the third when Enrique Bradfield Jr. opened with a double. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Bradfield Jr. scored on a single up the middle by Davis Diaz. Spencer Jones grounded into a double play, but the VandyBoys rallied again with two outs. After another Keegan hit and Noland walk, Hewett lofted a blooper into right field to score Keegan. The Commodores then scored with the running game with a double steal that made it 6-0.

The VandyBoys added another in the bottom of the fourth. Gordon took a pitch off his jersey, and eventually scored on a double by Diaz, who notched his second RBI of the game to put the Commodores up by seven.

Futrell recorded his career-high ninth strikeout of the game in the top of the fifth before a double by Gino Avros put the Governors on the board. 

In their half of the fifth, the Commodores loaded the bases on singles by Keegan—his third hit of the day—and Hewett and a walk by Vastine. With two outs, Gordon hit a double off the center field wall to clear the bases, recording his first career hit and RBIs and pushing the VandyBoys past 10 runs. The ensuing walk to Bradfield Jr. forced a pitching change. Before throwing his first pitch, Nick Wellman caught Gordon in a rundown. But he proceeded to throw the ball away, gifting Vanderbilt another run.

Austin Peay’s Jack Alexander homered in the top of the sixth to deep left field, the first homer allowed by Futrell in his college career. After recording his 10th strikeout, Futrell was replaced by sophomore Donye Evans in the sixth.

While not quite as dominant as last week’s complete game against Lipscomb, Futrell had another very solid outing, throwing 78 pitches in 5⅔ innings while allowing two earned runs and no walks. He used a steady mix of curveballs and fastballs that the Governors struggled to keep up with.

“Devin’s been really good for us,” Hewett said of his teammate. “He just comes out and gets strike one really often. If you’re a hitter, you know how intimidating it is when someone comes on you and throws a fastball and gets strike one.”

The VandyBoys added another in the bottom of the seventh. Hewett was hit by a pitch for the third time this season to lead off the inning, stole second and scored on a single by T.J. McKenzie to make it 12-2.

Evans’ work was done after 1⅓ innings. The righty allowed one hit and struck out two in his fifth appearance out of the bullpen. Brett Anderson pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning, and graduate Jack Anderson pitched a scoreless ninth in his eighth appearance to secure the win.

“It was important for us just to play baseball and get a positive outcome,” Corbin said of the win.

The Commodores return to SEC play on April 8 for their series opener at the Auburn Tigers.

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About the Contributor
Frankie Sheehy
Frankie Sheehy, Former Deputy Sports Editor
Frankie Sheehy ('24) wrote for The Hustler Sports section and graduated from the College of Arts and Science with majors in economics and law, history and society. He was also the president of the Vanderbilt Chess Club and a superfan of the Chicago White Sox. You can reach him at [email protected].
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