Pitching dominates in VandyBoys’ intrasquad David Williams Fall Classic

The Gold team won the VandyBoys’ David Williams Fall Classic in a 2-0 pitchers’ duel featuring a homer off the bat of TJ McKenzie.

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Josh Rehders

The VandyBoys during their David Williams intrasquad battle on Nov. 13, 2022 (Josh Rehders/Hustler Multimedia).

Frankie Sheehy, Senior Staff Writer

On a chilly Sunday afternoon at Hawkins Field, the Vanderbilt Commodores played their annual fall scrimmage, this year renamed the David Williams Fall Classic. Before the game, former VandyBoys second baseman, and current member of the Oakland Athletics, Tony Kemp received the Perry Wallace Courage Award from athletic director Candice Storey Lee and head coach Tim Corbin.

The first four innings between the Black and Gold teams were scoreless thanks to pitching performances by Sam Hliboki and Greyson Carter for the Black team, and Jack Anderson and Cole Regen for the Gold team. Carter went 3 innings allowing just 1 hit, no walks, and striking out 5. Regen matched him with 3 frames and 5 strikeouts, also allowing 1 hit and walking 2. Regen’s command looked shaky at the start of his outing, but pitched his way into the game.

The VandyBoys during their David Williams intrasquad battle on Nov. 13, 2022 (Josh Rehders/Hustler Multimedia).
The VandyBoys during their David Williams intrasquad battle on Nov. 13, 2022 (Josh Rehders/Hustler Multimedia). (Josh Rehders)

Gold threatened with two singles to lead off the fifth, with catcher Alan Espinal reaching third base with no outs. Newcomer Andrew Dutkanych pitched out of the jam, striking out Calvin Hewett to strand the bases loaded and keep the game scoreless.

Outfielder TJ McKenzie finally struck first in the top of the sixth with a two-run homer over the wall in left field off Dutkanych to give Gold the lead. McKenzie had just 18 plate appearances last spring and a disappointing summer, but could be a more regular player in his upcoming senior season.

Lefty Ryan Ginther was one of the standouts on the mound, striking out 7 and allowing no runs in a nine-out hold. JD Thompson was also impressive for Black, pitching 2 shutout frames.

Hunter Owen entered in the ninth for the save, striking out 3 to seal the 2-0 win for Gold.

The VandyBoys will open their 2023 season with the College Baseball Showdown in Arlington, Texas beginning Feb. 17.