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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

Weekend Update: VandyBoys sweep Georgia, win 11th straight and start 9-0 in SEC play

Live updates from the VandyBoys’ weekend series against Georgia at Hawkins Field from March 31-April 2.
VandyBoys+huddle+against+Georgia+on+Sunday+April+2%2C+2023+%28Hustler+Multimedia%2FBarrie+Barto%29.
VandyBoys huddle against Georgia on Sunday April 2, 2023 (Hustler Multimedia/Barrie Barto).

Weekend Update, your new home for recaps of the VandyBoys’ weekend series, is back! Follow along with The Vanderbilt Hustler’s live tracker all weekend, every weekend.

Sunday, April 2: Vanderbilt 4, Georgia 0

Devin Futrell against Georgia on Sunday April 2, 2023 (Hustler Multimedia/Barrie Barto).
Devin Futrell against Georgia on Sunday April 2, 2023 (Hustler Multimedia/Barrie Barto). (Barrie Barto)

WHAT THEY SAID

Tim Corbin

“They’re all different,” Corbin said of the lower scoring game. “What you saying was pitching. Devin [Futrell] pitched about as perfectly as you possibly can…letting the defense play, no walks and just didn’t give up any extra base hits.”

On the 9-0 SEC start: “In the short term, they’re pretty in touch on what they are doing…they’re just mature about what they are doing”

Devin Futrell 

“Wasn’t really until third inning that I settled in,” Futrell said of his performance. “Had a lot of trust in my defense and I just threw the ball over the plate and let the defense take care of it.”

RJ Schreck 

“A lot of it has been the connection of this team,” Schreck added after the win. “I’ve been a part of a lot teams in college baseball; this is the first team in a long time that it truly is 1 through 9 and 1 through 13 in the pitching staff.”

FINAL: Vanderbilt 4, Georgia 0

Vanderbilt wins (23-5, 9-0) wins their 11th straight game and improves to 9-0 in SEC play for the first time in program history. Futrell (5-1) was magnificent on Sunday, limiting the Bulldogs to just three hits. Georgia (15-13, 1-8) dropped their third straight SEC series with the loss.

Top 9: Vanderbilt 4, Georgia 0

Nick Maldonado relieves Futrell and allows just one hit to close the door on the Bulldogs. Vanderbilt cruises to an easy win for the sweep.

Top 8: Vanderbilt 4, Georgia 0 

Futrell elicits three fly outs to get through his eighth inning of the day. The sophomore will likely finish the contest 111 pitches thrown, 77 of which were strikes.

Bottom 7: Vanderbilt 4, Georgia 0

Chris Maldonado leads off the inning with a solo shot that finds the seats out in left field. The freshman’s third hit of the day extends the Commodore lead, 4-0. Vastine reaches on a single, but VandyBoys are sent back to the dugout after a Bradfield Jr. fly out ends the frame.

Top 7: Vanderbilt 3, Georgia 0 

Futrell continues to churn through the Georgia lineup in what is turning into another masterful performance for him. Through seven he’s amassed 7 strikeouts, allowed just two hits and walked none.

Top 5: Vanderbilt 3, Georgia 0 

Futrell works out of a mini-jam after allowing his second hit of the day on a ball that just barely stayed foul down the right field wall. The sophomore has been on cruise control thus far, racking up seven strikeouts in five innings pitched.

Bottom 4: Vanderbilt 3, Georgia 0 

Vanderbilt pushed one more across in the bottom of the fourth after Bradfield Jr. made his way around the bases. The leadoff man started the inning with a walk and Diaz reached via a base on balls as well. Schreck clubbed a shot to right field that was knocked down by the fierce wind at Hawkins Field on Sunday, but both runners advanced. Bulger hit a chopper up the middle that was handled for an out, but allowed Bradfield Jr. to scamper 90 feet from third.

Bottom 3: Vanderbilt 2, Georgia 0 

RJ Schreck got the offense going with a bloop double to left field that fell perfectly into the weak spot of the shift. Bulger shot a ball back at the center fielder to advance Schreck to third with one out. The other RJ, RJ Austin, hit a high-chopper over the head of Georgia’s shortstop Murillo to bring Schreck in and get the Commodores on the board, 1-0.

Maldonado secured his second hit of the day with a hard dribbler through the right side of the infield that brought Austin to third and gave Vanderbilt runners at the corners. Parker Noland laid down a sacrifice bunt along the first base line to bring in Austin and make the score 2-0 Commodores.

Polk was again hit by a pitch to give Vanderbilt runners at first and second with Jonathan Vastine coming to the plate. It was the fourth and final batter that Bulldog starter Matthew Hoskins hit as he was yanked from the contest after getting through just 2.2 innings. Bulldog reliever Charlie Goldstein struck out Vastine to get out of the inning.

Top 3: Vanderbilt 0, Georgia 0 

Futrell allowed a hit to Georgia’s Sebastian Murillo, but struck out the other three batters he faced in the inning. The lefty has racked up five punchouts through his first three frames of work.

Bottom 2: Vanderbilt 0, Georgia 0

Vanderbilt loaded the bases after a Chris Maldonado shot through the right side and HBP’s for both Matthew Polk and Enrique Bradfield Jr. Diaz worked a full count but popped out to right field to end the inning and leave three more VandyBoys aboard.

Bottom 1: Vanderbilt 0, Georgia 0 

Davis Diaz poked a single over the infield to reach base and RJ Schreck moved him over to second after being hit by a pitch. Jack Bulger flied out and RJ Austin lined out, both to right field, to end the inning and strand two runners for the Commodores.

Top 1: Vanderbilt o, Georgia 0 

1-2-3 for Devin Futrell to start. Vanderbilt’s infield recorded all three outs as Futrell worked a quick inning.

Pregame:

The VandyBoys will go for the sweep and a 9-0 start to SEC play for the first time in program history on Sunday. Devin Futrell (4-1, 3.55 ERA) will face off against Georgia’s Matthew Hoskins (1-1, 3.38 ERA) on the mound. The Commodores are sporting their Sunday ‘Salute to Service’ uniforms.

Saturday, April 1: Vanderbilt 16, Georgia 8

Enrique Bradfield Jr. rounds second against Georgia on April 1, 2023 (Hustler Multimedia/Michael Tung)
Enrique Bradfield Jr. rounds second against Georgia on April 1, 2023 (Hustler Multimedia/Michael Tung) (Michael Tung)

WHAT THEY SAID 

Tim Corbin

“There might be some kids in a situation like that that might get a little bit hesitant but we didn’t think we would get that response. We figured we’d get the response that [Cunningham] gave us.”

“They are playing in unison, they are playing in tandem with one another. They’re doing what they are capable of and not trying to outdo themselves.”

“[Owen] competed, he did a nice job. He didn’t give up too many hard hit balls. That’s a very difficult lineup, it’s a tough lineup to pitch to.”

Enrique Bradfield Jr. 

“We want to come out and make sure our presence is felt one through nine. Some days are gonna be tougher to score but it doesn’t matter, we are still gonna put a lot of pressure on teams.”

“We’re gonna get punched in the face. Guys are going to score runs and get hits. It’s just a matter of how we respond.”

FINAL: Vanderbilt 16, Georgia 8

The Vanderbilt Commodores’ (22-5, 8-0) red-hot offense was too much for the Georgia Bulldogs (15-12, 1-7), winning 16-8 despite a sixth-inning rally from the visiting team. The win marked Vanderbilt’s tenth in a row, and eighth in a row during SEC play. The Commodores accumulated 17 hits on 38 at-bats in an excellent all-around showing. They’ll return to action against the Bulldogs on Sunday, April 2 at 1 p.m. CDT.

Bottom 9: Vanderbilt 16, Georgia 8

Cunningham closed things out efficiently after a shaky sixth inning, going 1-2-3 in the ninth, striking out the last batter he faced and earning the save for the Commodores.

Bottom 8: Vanderbilt 16, Georgia 8

After a Maldonado double and a Noland walk, pinch-hitter Calvin Hewett joined in on the fun with a dazzling bunt to load the bases with no one out. Vastine lined a single into left field to score one run and increase the Commodores’ lead. Bradfield Jr. hit an infield single to score another run, and Diaz brought in another run on a fielder’s choice. Schreck scored another with a single down the right field line as Vanderbilt ran away with it, leading 15-8. Bulger grounded out and RJ Austin singled to score another run but got caught trying to reach second, ending the inning.

Top 8: Vanderbilt 11, Georgia 8

After Cole Wagner struck out swinging, Anderson floated a bloop double into left field. Cunningham found his way out of the inning, however, as Tate flew out and Condon grounded out to first.

Bottom 6: Vanderbilt 11, Georgia 8

Will Pearson took the mound for Georgia, allowing a Bulger single and then hitting Austin. The Commodores had runners on first and second with no outs and a real chance to respond to Georgia’s massive run output just minutes earlier. In a wild turn of events, Maldonado crushed a double off of the left field wall to score Bulger, and an error by the catcher scored Austin as well to bring in another run for the Commodores as Maldonado took third base. Noland hit a single to left field and brought Maldonado home with it for another Vanderbilt run.

Polk struck out, Vastine lined out and Bradfield Jr. grounded out, bringing the sixth inning to a close.

Top 6: Vanderbilt 8, Georgia 8

Owen’s day (6 H, 5 ER, 5 K)came to an end after allowing a single and a walk to the Bulldogs to put runners on first and second with just one out. Murillo followed this up with an RBI double to bring in a run. Bryce Cunningham came in to replace Owen with runners on second and third. LaPlante fouled off a couple of pitches before taking a walk to load the bases for the top of Georgia’s order. Anderson singled to right field to cut the lead to 8-4 and keep the bases loaded as Tate walked up to the plate.

With a 2-2 count, Tate completely crushed a ball to right field, barely sneaking it above the wall and over the outstretched glove of RJ Schreck for a grand slam, tying the game at 8-8. Cunningham’s dreadful day continued as he walked Condon, but he collected himself and struck out Harber for the second out of the inning. Corey Collins flew out to end a six-run inning from Georgia.

Bottom 5: Vanderbilt 8, Georgia 2

RJ Austin opened things up with a groundout before Maldonado and Noland walked, bringing Polk up with runners on first and second and only one out. Polk ripped a single between third and second base to score Maldonado. Vastine went up to bat in the 9-hole spot and crushed a ball down the right field line, scoring Noland and sending Polk to third. While trying to turn the hit into a double, Vastine overshot second base and got tagged out for the team’s second out of the inning.

Bradfield Jr. worked a full count to walk, putting Diaz up to bat with runners on the corners. Diaz ripped another RBI single straight down second base to score Polk, giving Vanderbilt an 8-2 lead. A Schreck groundout ended the inning.

Top 5: Vanderbilt 5, Georgia 2

Sebastian Murillo opened things up with an absolutely perfect bunt for the Bulldogs. After a LaPlante fly-out and Anderson got hit by a pithch, Tate went to the plate with runners on first and second with only one out. Cole worked the count and walked, loading the bases for Condon, who had the Georgia’s only run of the day with a solo shot in the first inning. A sacrifice fly from Condon cut the lead to 5-2 as Harber went up to bat. Owen calmly struck Harber out to avoid disaster for the Commodores and end the inning.

Bottom 4: Vanderbilt 5, Georgia 1 

Georgia made a pitching change as Sullivan’s day ended after just three innings of work. Chandler Marsh took the mound for the Bulldogs in an effort to keep the Commodores’ offense at bay. His first matchup was no an easy one, as he faced Bradfield Jr. (2-2, HR, 2B) at the top of the order. After a near-perfect bunt attempt, Bradfield Jr. struck out swinging. Diaz grounded out, and Schreck walked for Vanderbilt’s sixth walk of the afternoon. The inning ended as Bulger struck out.

Bottom 3: Vanderbilt 5, Georgia 1

Vanderbilt got off to an auspicious start as Schreck doubled down the left field line to bring Bulger up to bat with no outs. Bulger grounded out and Austin walked, prompting a mound visit on Georgia’s end. Maldonado worked the count for another walk to load the bases with Noland coming up, a familiar sight for the Commodores. The senior struck out looking, putting Polk at the plate with two outs, who snuck a ground ball between third base and shortstop to bring in Schreck and Austin for a two-RBI single. Vastine ended the inning with a line-out to shortstop, stranding two runners.

Top 3: Vanderbilt 3, Georgia 1

Mason Plante opened the inning with a fly-out to right field before Anderson hit a single into shallow center. Diaz came in and made an excellent play from third base to get Tate out on the next at-bat, and the top half of the inning came to a close as Condon flied out to center field.

Bottom 2: Vanderbilt 3, Georgia 1

Matthew Polk opened up the bottom of the second with a groundout, and Jonathan Vastine struck out looking before Bradfield Jr. cranked a double to center left field. Diaz followed that up with a walk to bring Schreck up. Diaz got caught attempting to steal second, bringing the inning to a close.

Bottom 1: Vanderbilt 3, Georgia 1

It took almost no time for the Commodores to strike back as Enrique Bradfield crushed the first pitch thrown by Sullivan over the right field fence to knot things up. Davis Diaz popped out to first base before RJ Schreck got himself on base for a walk. Jack Bulger made excellent contact with a pitch, but Anderson made an impressive diving catch in center field for the second out of the inning.

RJ Austin took four straight balls to get on base, and both him and Schreck stole second and third, respectively, with Chris Maldonado at the plate. Maldonado fouled off a couple before hitting an opposite field single to score both baserunners. Parker Noland ended the inning with a deep fly-out to left field.

Top 1: Vanderbilt 0, Georgia 1

Owen opened up the game striking out his first two batters, catching Ben Anderson looking and Connor Tate swinging. On a 2-2 count, however, Charlie Condon completely walloped a ball over the left field fence to get the Bulldogs on the board early. Parks Harber popped up the first pitch of his at-bat to end the top of the first.

Pregame:

We’re back in action at Hawkins Field for Game 2 between the Vanderbilt Commodores and Georgia Bulldogs. Hunter Owen  (3-0, 2.78) will head to the mound for the Black and Gold. He’ll face off against the Bulldogs’ southpaw Liam Sullivan (3-1, 2.57 ERA).

Friday, March 31: Vanderbilt 9, Georgia 2

WHAT THEY SAID 

Carter Holton

“Being able to throw offspeed pitches for strikes early and counts and execute my pitches was key.”

“They fought off good pitches and that makes it challenging. But just executing pitches, getting down to it.”

“They weren’t swinging at [my curveball], so it was just free strikes at that point.”

Tim Corbin

“[Bradfield Jr.] is okay I think. He’s just going to get a little bit of treatment.”

“[Georgia] has a very dangerous lineup, and it was a very dangerous day. The wind was blowing right out to left-center field. So you have to be aggressive, but you can’t throw cookies over the plate, and [Holton] didn’t. I thought it was his best performance to date, probably by a long shot.”

RJ Austin celebrates after launching a home run against Georgia on March 31, 2023 (Vanderbilt Athletics).
RJ Austin celebrates after launching a home run against Georgia on March 31, 2023 (Vanderbilt Athletics).

FINAL: Vanderbilt 9, Georgia 2

Vanderbilt (21-5, 7-0) won their 9th straight game with a seamless 9-2 victory over Georgia (15-11, 1-6) on Friday night. The win marked a 7-0 start to conference play for the Commodores, their best start of the modern era. Carter Holton (4-0) notched the win for the VandyBoys as the offense tagged Georgia starter Jaden Woods (3-2) for 8 runs across 5.2 innings of work. Vanderbilt and Georgia will be back in action tomorrow afternoon as the Commodores go for the series win.

Top 9: Vanderbilt 9, Georgia 2

Sam Hbiloki replaced Holton in the top of the 8th and the right-hander struck out three of the four Bulldogs he faced, allowing a single.

Hbiloki picked up the ball again in the 9th, but surrendered a line drive to the center field wall during the first at-bat of the inning. Bradfield Jr. made a spectacular over-the-shoulder grab to take away a hit, though, before barreling into the outfield wall. Bradfield Jr. got up and remained in the game after the collision. Despite allowing two more aboard, Hbiloki worked his way out of the inning to preserve the Commodore victory.

Bottom 8: Vanderbilt 9, Georgia 2

Pinch hitter Calvin Hewett ripped a single to start the inning and Bradfield Jr. walked to give Vanderbilt two on with no outs. The VandyBoys ran a double steal to perfection with both Hewett and Bradfield Jr. advancing 90 feet. With runners on second and third, Diaz hit a high-hopper to short that brought home Hewett. Schreck struck out to end the inning.

Top 7: Vanderbilt 8, Georgia 2 

Georgia strands one as Holton notches his 10th strikeout of the game to end the inning. The sophomore threw 7 innings of 3-hit ball against the Bulldogs, working in 77 strikes across 90 total pitches. The Bulldogs managed just one hit outside of the second inning.

Bottom 6: Vanderbilt 8, Georgia 2 

The Bulldogs elected to keep Woods on the bump despite the big inning and the Commodores quickly made Georgia. Parker Noland put one up into the wind and his shot carried out just over the fence in left field. The solo shot was Noland’s sixth home run of the season.

Polk kept the momentum going with a chopper to third base that he beat out for a single, but Vastine lined in to a double play to give Woods two outs. Woods hit Bradfield Jr. with a pitch on the ensuing at-bat though, ending his afternoon after 5.2 innings of work, 7 earned runs allowed, 9 hits and 3 walks.

Bradfield Jr. promptly stole second base (his 19th of the year) and then scored via a Diaz single that carried to right field. Schreck crushed a liner to right for another hit, but a diving play on a Jack Bulger laser to left field ended the frame.

Bottom 5: Vanderbilt 6, Georgia 2

After struggling to gain traction against Bulldog starter Jaden Woods, Jonathan Vastine got the VandyBoys offense going with a leadoff triple on the first pitch of the fifth. Bradfield Jr. and Davis Diaz both worked walks to load the bases with no outs for RJ Schreck.

As he’s done so many times this season, Schreck delivered in the clutch. The senior launched a line drive over the head of Connor Condon that brought in Vastine and Bradfield Jr. Diaz snuck home as well after a mental lapse in which Georgia’s middle infield gathered for a conference before the play was over.

Bulger laid down a perfect bunt to make his way aboard as well and Austin brought Schreck home with a sacrifice fly to right. Chris Maldonado grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Top 4: Vanderbilt 2, Georgia 2

Holton has worked through a bit of turbulence after the rocky second inning and a double allowed in the third, but set down the Bulldogs 1-2-3 in the fourth. The lefty has racked up six strikeouts through four innings.

Bottom 2: Vanderbilt 2, Georgia 2 

Jack Bulger started the bottom half of the second with a dribbler through the infield to reach first. RJ Austin put a flyball up into the wind stream on a breezy afternoon that carried out to the left field bleachers. Austin’s fourth home run of the year tied the ballgame at 2 apiece.

Parker Noland kept the inning going with a base on balls and Matthew Polk poked a ground ball through the left side to give Vanderbilt two on with one out. Jonathan Vastine and Enrique Bradfield Jr. both struck out to end the inning and strand the two Commodore runners.

Top 2: Georgia 2, Vanderbilt 0 

Parks Harber led off the top of the second with a base knock to right field and Will David drove him home with a moonshot home run to left field that put the Bulldogs up 2-0. Holton managed two more strikeouts in the inning to work his way out of trouble, halting the damage at two runs.

Bottom 1: Vanderbilt 0, Georgia 0 

Jaden Woods matches Holton through the first frame with a quick inning. Woods needed just 9 pitches to get through the top three in the Commodore order.

Top 1: Vanderbilt 0, Georgia 0

Carter Holton goes 1-2-3 to start the contest. Holton fanned Connor Tate and Charlie Condon, both of whom came into the game hitting over .440 on the season.

Carter Holton will (3-0, 2.59 ERA) will take the bump against Jaden Woods (3-1, 3.90 ERA) of Georgia. The VandyBoys will trot out the same 9-man lineup they have used for much of the season.

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About the Contributors
Bryce Smith, Former Sports Editor
Bryce Smith ('23) is majoring in human and organizational development in Peabody College with a minor in business. Bryce previously wrote for SBNation before joining The Hustler. Hailing from Chicago, Bryce is a die-hard Bears and Cubs fan who is also hoping that the Bulls and Blackhawks may one day rekindle their dominance. He can be reached at [email protected].    
Frankie Sheehy, Deputy Sports Editor
Frankie Sheehy ('24) writes for The Hustler Sports section and is a student in the College of Arts and Science with majors in economics and law, history and society. He's also the president of the Vanderbilt Chess Club and a superfan of the Chicago White Sox. You can reach him at [email protected].
Aiden Rutman, Deputy Sports Editor
Aiden Rutman ('25) is a student in Peabody College majoring in human and organizational development and minoring in communication studies. He was previously the Sports Podcast Producer. In addition to writing, Aiden is an avid New York sports fan, and he loves playing sports, spending time outdoors and trying new foods. You can reach him at [email protected].
Michael Tung, Staff Photographer
Michael Tung ('26) is majoring in computer science. He is currently a staff photographer and is originally from Dublin, Ohio. His interests are photography, engineering, all things aerospace and music. He can be reached at [email protected]
Barrie Barto, Photography Director
Barrie Barto ('25) is majoring in medicine, health & society with minors in communication of science and technology and neuroscience in the College of Arts and Science. She previously served as a staff photographer. Outside of The Hustler, you can find Barrie cheering on the St. Louis Blues or tracking down the best gluten-free food in Nashville. She can be reached at [email protected].
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