The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

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 rub elbows with Nashville Predators, raise money for charity in inaugural Smashville Showdown

Comprised of a home run derby and a mixed-team game, the Smashville Showdown created buzz around Hawkins Field and allowed some of Nashville’s most prominent athletes to showcase their softball skills.
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Josh Rehders
Sacha Washington competes in the Home Run Derby in this year’s Smashville Showdown. (Hustler Multimedia/Josh Rehders)

To prepare for this year’s title run, the VandyBoys employed the help of the Nashville Predators and other notable Vanderbilt athletes in the inaugural Smashville Showdown. The charity event assembled an all-star squad of athletes, including Predators Roman Josi, Ryan McDonagh, Matt Duchene, Juuse Saros and Filip Forsberg; Vanderbilt athletes Marcella Cruz, Sacha Washington, Ken Seals and Jordan Wright; and VandyBoys Jack Bulger, Parker Noland, Calvin Hewett and Enrique Bradfield Jr., among others. 

The matchup brought a sizable crowd to West End to raise money for the Vandy United Fund, the Predators Foundation and several local charitable organizations. 

“This is a great team bonding event—just to be all here together and get to talk to each other,” VandyBoys pitcher Nick Maldonado said before the showdown. “It’s going to be a great time and we’re all really excited.”

The first contest of the night was a home run derby. Two teams, Team Smash and Team Ville, competed against one another in a battle of softball supremacy. Team Smash was made up of Colton Sissons, Michael McCarron, Bulger, Cruz, Seals, Duchene and Noland, while Tanner Jeannot, Forsberg, Hewett, Wright, McDonagh, Washington and Bradfield Jr. rounded out Team Ville. 

Noland and Hewett ultimately represented their teams in a final home run derby showdown, with Hewett narrowly topping Noland on a last-second moonshot.

After an exciting first event, the two teams moved on to compete in a friendly softball game that brought together two mixed Predators-VandyBoys rosters. After the lively matchup, the Predators Foundation auctioned off items worn in the event for charity.

With fun and goodwill all around, the first Smashville Showdown was a huge success. As for the VandyBoys, they’re gearing up for a big bounceback season this spring.

“Looking forward to it,” Maldonado said of the upcoming campaign.

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About the Contributors
Sam Curtis
Sam Curtis, Former Deputy Sports Editor
Sam Curtis (’24) is from Wallingford, Conn., majoring in human and organizational development and French and minoring in data science in Peabody College. He was previously Assistant Sports Editor and Sports Copy Editor. When not writing for The Hustler, he cheers on the Philadelphia Eagles, the 76ers and Leeds United. Outside of sports, he enjoys traveling and learning about history and philosophy. He can be reached at [email protected].    
Josh Rehders
Josh Rehders, Former Photography Director
Josh Rehders ('24) is from Houston and is studying computer science in the School of Engineering. When he is not shooting for The Hustler, Vanderbilt Athletics or freelancing, he enjoys finding new music and good food. He can be reached at [email protected].
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