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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 take two of three from No. 6 South Carolina

The VandyBoys took two out of three from South Carolina to improve their conference record to 13-2.
Lindsey Jorda
Vanderbilt baseball huddles before game three in the series against South Carolina, as photographed on April 16, 2023 (Hustler Multimedia/Lindsey Jorda).

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 16: South Carolina 4, Vanderbilt 6


Tim Corbin

“Devin [Futrell] is just a good mixer and he can pitch,” Corbin said. “He’s not going to throw the ball in the middle part of the plate. He can command several pitches and he competes.”

“It was a hitter’s day against a dangerous team, obviously one of the best teams we’ve faced,” Corbin said. “We kept it in the ballpark. And when we didn’t, it was solo. Solo home runs typically don’t beat you, and we didn’t beat ourselves.”

“Consistency [in the lineup] can sometimes not be good because kids get comfortable,” Corbin said. “That group doesn’t get comfortable, and they’re also very respectful of the position that they have knowing that when you’re in the lineup every day, there’s a respect factor to the people that aren’t playing, and the people that aren’t playing are very good team players and are right behind them. Those starters work hard to stay in the lineup and they’re consistent in what they do.”

Ryan Ginther

“I’m just going out there to compete,” Ginther said. “I’m just going out there to get the first out, and whatever [Scott] Brown has in store for me is what I’m going to do.”

“We have a lot of trust in each other, it’s a brotherhood,” Ginther said of the pitching staff.


The VandyBoys won yet another weekend series as they took two out of three against South Carolina. In the Sunday finale, the Commodores took advantage of several defensive mistakes and walks from the Gamecocks while pitching and fielding very cleanly to secure the win.

Ninth Inning: South Carolina 4, Vanderbilt 6

Ryan Ginther stayed in the game for the ninth inning. LeCroy homered with one out, but that was the only damage. He eventually closed out the Gamecock hitters, recording the win after 3.1 innings of work, no walks and two runs allowed.

Eighth Inning: South Carolina 3, Vanderbilt 6

After Brewer was hit by a Ginther pitch, Ethan Petry drove a double down the left-field line to drive him in. Petry has driven in all three South Carolina runs today.

Enrique Bradfield Jr. led off the bottom of the eighth with his fifth homer of the season on the first pitch, a fly ball that was taken out by the wind to right-center. Schreck then doubled with one out on a fly ball that was misplayed by the Gamecocks’ right fielder. Schreck advanced to third on a Bulger groundout up the middle, but was stranded there by an Austin strikeout. Austin is 0-for-5 on the day, striking out three times.

Seventh Inning:

Ryan Ginther has had a very efficient outing. After coming in with the potential go-ahead in scoring position, Ginther has drawn four straight groundouts on 12 pitches.

Chris Maldonado led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk, but Noland hit into a double play. Defensive replacement Calvin Hewett then doubled down the line with two outs and stole third but was left on third by a Vastine strikeout.

Sixth Inning: South Carolina 2, Vanderbilt 5

After Dylan Brewer led off the sixth with a single, Wimmer hit his second double of the day down the right-field line. Dylan Petry, South Carolina’s offensive leader, hit a sacrifice fly into left to tie the game. After Messina reached a 3-0 count and was intentionally walked, Tim Corbin made a pitching change.

Futrell finishes the day with a no-decision and 5.1 innings pitched, four hits, three walks, seven strikeouts, and two runs (both earned). He’s responsible for the two current South Carolina baserunners, but Ryan Ginther is now in the game. Ginther immediately drew a double-play ball from Gavin Casas to end the threat.

With two outs and nobody on base, Vastine walked and took third on a grounder through the shift by Enrique Bradfield Jr. Jones then hit Diaz with a pitch, leading to a pitching change for the visitors. Cade Austin came in to face Schreck and walked him with the bases loaded, giving Vanderbilt the lead. Jack Bulger then hit a ground ball that should have ended the inning but went through the legs of LeCroy. South Carolina’s eighth error of the series plated two more runs.

Fifth Inning:

Futrell’s second time through the order saw fewer strikeouts but is still pitching well. He’s allowed just two hits with two walks on just 73 pitches so far.

RJ Schreck took a walk to lead off the fifth, and that will end the day for Matthew Becker. Becker is in line for the loss after throwing 4.1 frames, striking out eight, allowing four hits, three walks and at least two earned runs. Eli Jones is now in for the visitors. The Commodores left Schreck on first base though, so the lead is still only one.

Fourth Inning:

Braylen Wimmer led off the fourth for the Gamecocks with a double into left-center field, but Futrell put down the next three hitters in order to end the inning. The fourth inning also saw RJ Schreck take a pop fly in right field off his head, but he seems fine and is still in the game.

Third Inning:

Devin Futrell’s breaking stuff has been excellent today. He struck out six hitters in his first time through the order. That’s especially impressive for someone whose strikeouts per nine innings rate is only 7.3, one of the lowest on the team. While he walked Dylan Brewer with two outs, Futrell subsequently picked off the visiting outfielder to end the inning.

RJ Schreck led off with a bunt that found its way to the outfield, and he then reached second on an errant pickoff throw by Becker. It’s South Carolina’s seventh error of the weekend. Becker loaded the bases on a Maldonado hit-by-pitch and a Noland walk, but Polk struck out to end the inning. They’ve left six runners on base already.

Second Inning: South Carolina 1, Vanderbilt 2

Futrell puts the Gamecocks down in order. Despite the homer allowed to Petry earlier, he’s kept his pitch count down to 29 through the first six outs. The Commodores will want to take pitches here to work deeper into a South Carolina bullpen that’s been taxed this series.

Jack Bulger led off the bottom of the inning with a line-drive double that hit off the glove of shortstop Braylen Wimmer. Two outs later, Parker Noland drove a fly ball off the monster in left field to drive in Bulger and tie the game. Matthew Polk then was hit by a pitch and threw his bat in celebration before Jonathan Vastine hit a bleeder through the hole on the right side to drive in another run.

First Inning: South Carolina 1, Vanderbilt 0

Devin Futrell struck out the first two Gamecocks he faced, but Ethan Petry hit a towering home run deep to left field and onto Memorial Gymnasium to give the visitors an early lead. The top three in the Vanderbilt order went down one-two-three.


It’s the rubber game of Vanderbilt’s series against South Carolina on a chilly Sunday afternoon. Devin Futrell (6-1, 2.21 ERA) takes the mound after two straight excellent starts for the Commodores. He’ll face Matthew Becker (3-0, 3.10 ERA), who’s flexed between the starting rotation and bullpen roles throughout the season. The Commodores named the same lineup as yesterday, the same nine that have started the majority of SEC games.

RJ Schreck and RJ Austin high-fiving on April 15, 2023 (Vanderbilt Athletics).
RJ Schreck and RJ Austin high-fiving on April 15, 2023 (Vanderbilt Athletics).

Saturday, April 15: South Carolina 5, Vanderbilt 8


Tim Corbin

“I thought Greysen [Carter] did a great job dispatching those innings, and I thought Patrick [Reilly] was really good,” Corbin said. “[Reilly] threw a lot of strikes, he was really aggressive, calm, he pitched well.”

“The play in right field, the effort just to go over the fence and stay with it, timing it, that was a big play.”

“[The baserunners] did what they thought they should do,” Corbin said of the odd play that ended the fifth inning. “They felt like the ball was caught, so they went back and stayed at their bases. Knowing that the ball hit the wall, they would just move up. It was a good explanation, they’re good umpires.”

“Emotionally, that’s not the way you want a start a game when you need some energy,” Corbin said. “They just stayed with it, they were pretty calm in the dugout. It felt like if we could just stop them, then we could get into the game someway somehow.”

“I don’t care about that,” Corbin said of planning his rotation for next week’s Tennessee series. “All I care about is tomorrow and Futrell and preparing for the game. That’s all that matters.”

RJ Schreck

“We all went back because we weren’t tagging, Enrique was tagging,” Schreck said about the play that ended the fifth inning. “And we didn’t really see a call on the field, so we just assumed it was out because you don’t want to advance, the ball got in pretty quickly.”

“We’ve had a couple of close calls this year, just trying to get comfortable with that wall in right field,” Schreck said of his catch in the seventh inning. “Every time people make fun of me for going into that wall, I’ve just been practicing for a time when I can actually jump and get into it, and it paid off.”

Patrick Reilly

“I felt good,” Reilly said. “I prepared during the week, and then just trust [pitching coach Scott] Brown’s pitch calling and then just execute pitches.”

“You’ve got to throw your stuff, you can’t really cater to them and expect them to hit home runs,” Reilly said. “You’ve got to trust your stuff.”

FINAL: South Carolina 5, Vanderbilt 8 

Maldonado struck out the first two batters he faced before Wimmer crushed a solo shot to right field. Maldonado ended things with another strikeout as the Commodores completed their comeback bid, overcoming four first-inning runs but pitching eight scoreless frames afterwards. Carter, Reilly and Maldonado were essential for Vanderbilt, allowing just three walks and one hit as the team secured victory.

Eighth Inning: South Carolina 4, Vanderbilt 8 

Nick Maldonado came in for the eighth inning, going one-two-three to put the Commodores three outs away from evening the series at one-apiece.

The bottom of the Commodores lineup struggled as well as South Carolina reliever James Hicks went one-tw0-three as well.

Seventh Inning: South Carolina 4, Vanderbilt 8 

Patrick Reilly with another impressive inning, allowing just one hit and no runs. Two groundouts to third helped, but the highlight was undoubtedly RJ Schreck’s full-extension dive over the first base wall to end the inning with a runner in scoring position at second.

James Hicks took the mound in relief for the Gamecocks hoping to keep the Commodores off the board for a second consecutive inning. This task would not be easy, however, as he had to face the scorching hot top of the Commodores’ order. Bradfield Jr. started things off with an opposite field line out to left. Davis Diaz narrowly reached first after a diving attempt from Mesina saw his feet leave the bag by a tiny margin. Schreck stepped up to the plate and worked the count for another walk, putting runners on first and second with just one out as Jack Bulger stepped into the same situation he was in during the fifth inning. This time, however, he didn’t walk. He ripped a single between third and second base to bring Diaz home to increase the Commodores lead to 6-4. Schreck and Bulger stole third and second, respectively. RJ Austin somehow reached on a bloop hit down the first base line after catching Mesina out of position, and a sacrifice fly from Chris Maldonado brought Bulger in as the Commodores lead jumped up to four. Austin got caught in a pickle to bring the inning to a close.

Fifth Inning: South Carolina 4, Vanderbilt 5

The top of the fifth proved rather uneventful as Reilly produced another one-two-three inning at the mound.

The bottom of the second was not the same, as Vastine opened things up with a lead-off double out of the nine-hole. Bradfield Jr. came in and walked to put runners on first and second with no outs for the Commodores. A nifty bunt from Matthew Polk advanced both runners, as RJ Schreck came in looking to bring both runs in. The Gamecocks made a pitching change, switching from Mahoney to Mike Veach. A wild pitch from Veach brought Vastine home to tie things up. Schreck worked a full count and fouled off a couple pitches before getting hit by a pitch. South Carolina attempted to challenge he ruling to no success. With one out and runners on the corner, Bulger stepped up to the plate and drew a walk to load the bases. Austin absolutely crushed a ball to left center field as it fell less than a foot away from being a grand slam. The umpires remained unsure whether it was a catch off of the wall or a catch before it hit the wall. After nearly a 10 minute review, the umpires failed to announce what actually happened. After nearly 30 minutes and an entire half of an inning played, it was determined that Bradfield Jr. scored after Austin’s shot bounced off the wall, but both Bulger and Austin failed to advance bases and were both called out, ending the inning.

Fourth Inning: South Carolina 4, Vanderbilt 3 

Patrick Reilly takes over pitching duties from Carter, who allowed no hits and one walk in 2.1 innings of action. Reilly wasted no time, striking out the side to put the Commodores back at the plate with a chance to tie things up.

Maldonado popped out to start things off, and Noland followed it up with a groundout to second base. The inning ended quickly as Polk grounded out to shortstop.

Third Inning: South Carolina 4, Vanderbilt 3

Carter stayed hot, forcing Casas, LeCroy and Braswell into back-to-back-back groundouts. Noland made a dazzling play at first to prevent a base hit for the third and final out of the inning, energizing the home crowd.

Jonathan Vastine led off for the Commodores, fouling off three balls before striking out, bringing the top of the order back up. Bradfield Jr. nearly turned a high-hopping grounder into a base hit, but a diving play from Mesina at first just beat him out. Diaz reached base thanks to an error at second base, bringing up Schreck with a chance to make a play. And, as he’s done all season, he delivered, crushing a two-run shot to center field to cut the deficit in half. Bulger followed this up with a bomb of his own as the VandyBoys crawled back within one run. Austin struck out to bring the successful inning to a close.

Second Inning: South Carolina 4, Vanderbilt 0

In an at-bat reminiscient of the first quarter, Brewer turned a full count into a walk. A ground ball from Petry turned into a double play after being played perfectly by the infield, and Carter struck out Mesina to hype the crowd back up.

RJ Austin got jammed on the opening at-bat for the Commodors in the bottom of the second, grounding out, shortstop to first. Chris Maldonado then ripped a single to left field, bringing up Parker Noland, who grounded out but advanced Maldonado to second. Matthew Polk flew out on the first pitch of his at-bat to bring the inning to an end.

First Inning: South Carolina 4, Vanderbilt 0

It was a sloppy first inning from Carter Holton in his return to the lineup. It all started when shortstop Braylen Wimmer worked a full count and drawing ball four and taking his base. Holton followed this up by striking out Dylan Brewer and forcing Ethan Petry to pop out to shallow right field. Cole Mesina ripped a double down the third base line to drive Wimmer home from first to get South Carolina on the board. Vanderbilt transfer Gavin Casas worked a full count walk to reach, prompting a visit to the mound from Jack Bulger. Holton continued to struggle, throwing four straight balls to walk Talmadge LeCroy and load the bases. Two more runs scored as Michael Braswell ripped an opposite field base hit and the throw from right missed home plate by a wide margin. Holton then walked Jonathan French to load the bases again before hitting Evan Stone and walking in a run. The hit ended Holton’s day as the sophomore southpaw finished with a line of two hits, four walks, and four earned runs in 2/3 of an inning. Greysen Carter took the mound for the Commodores in a tough spot with runners loaded up, forcing Wimmer into a groundout to end a rough first inning.

Enrique Bradfield Jr. led off with a double on Jack Mahoney’s second pitch to get the Black and Gold faithful back into the game. Davis Diaz followed it up with a strikeout on an attempt at a checked swing, RJ Schreck flew out to shallow left, and Jack Bulger struck out looking, leaving Bradfield stranded on second base.


The VandyBoys are back at it looking for a rebound victory on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Nashville.  Carter Holton (4-0, 2.58 ERA) will return to the mound at Hawkins field for Vanderbilt after missing his start last week at Missouri due to soreness. Hunter Owen is out due to fatigue. Meanwhile, the Gamecocks will start right-hander Jack Mahoney (3-0, 3.12 ERA).

Friday, April 14: South Carolina 14, Vanderbilt 6


Tim Corbin

“He [Bryce] competed pretty well…when we were able to keep them in the ballpark we really competed.” Coach Corbin said about Bryce Cunningham on his second game 1 SEC series start – the first of which came last week against Mizzou and was a win.

Carter Holton – traditionally Coach Corbin’s Friday starter choice – who had been experiencing some soreness which prevented him from pitching last weekend, and which Corbin had mentioned was being evaluated day to day earlier in the week. Is now ready to be worked into the rotation according to Corbin. However Corbin also revealed that Hunter Owen – traditionally the VandyBoys Saturday starter – would not be pitching this weekend.

“Hunter (Owen) will not be pitching this weekend, Carter (Holton) is fine”

Finally, Corbin felt as if his team was not aggressive enough at the plate against the South Carolina pitching staff.

“We didn’t create enough pressure offensively. We had a couple innings. I thought that they’re pitching beat up on the offense.”

FINAL: South Carolina 14, Vanderbilt  6

The Commodores made a full battery change in the top of the ninth inning when freshman JD Thompson replaced Regen on the mound and Alan Espinal replaced Jack Bulger behind the plate. In one inning of worth of work, Thompson recorded two strikeouts while forcing a groundout.

In the bottom of the ninth, the VandyBoys offense was once again unable to capitalize on offense against the tough pitching staff of South Carolina. To close the game, the Commodores went 0-for-3 at the plate with Bradfield striking out, Diaz grounding out and Schreck striking out swinging.

Eighth Inning: South Carolina 14, Vanderbilt 6

On the mound for the Commodores, sophomore right-hander Colton Regen entered the game to replace Hilboki at the top of the inning. Hilboki ended the night  allowing seven runs on seven hits while striking out one. South Carolina added one more run to their now double-digit total on the night at the top of the eighth inning, scoring one run on one hit, while leaving three on base.

South Carolina also made a pitching change in the eighth with Jerzembeck replacing Jones. Jones ended the night allowing two runs on four hits and recording one strikeout. Jerzembeck forced the Commodores to go three up three down in the bottom of the eighth where Noland struck out swinging, Polk grounded out, and Vastine flew out to left field.

Seventh Inning: South Carolina 13, Vanderbilt 6

South Carolina carried their momentum from the previous inning into the seventh, adding four more runs to their total for the night. The inning started out with Petry gaining first base after being hit by a pitch from. Following this, Vanderbilt got their first out of the inning when Messina hit a fly ball to right field. After a double down the right field line by Casas which advanced Petry third base, LeCroy then singled through the left side to bring Casas and Petry home. To follow Hornung homered to left field. The VandyBoys were able to secure the third out on a groundball back to pitcher Sam Hilboki.

Vanderbilt was able to take a few steps forward in closing the gap that South Carolina lengthened in the beginning of the inning by scoring two runs. The offensive effort started when Bradfield Jr. was able to hit around the shift and get a base hit. Diaz then singled to third – a play which allowed Bradfield. Jr to advance to second and then third. Schreck hit a deep sacrifice fly ball to centerfield which was caught but allowed Bradfield to score and Diaz to advance to second. Next, Bulger singled to right center which brough home Diaz. Following this Austin and Maldonado both grounded out to bring the inning to a close.

Sixth Inning: South Carolina 9, Vanderbilt 4

South Carolina started the sixth inning red-hot on offense with freshman Ethan Petry homering to right field. Following Petry’s homer Messina was walked by Cunningham. Tim Corbin paid a visit to the mound after Messina’s walk to officially end the night for Bryce Cunningham. Cunningham finished the night allowing six hits, five runs (three earned) and seven strikeouts in five innings of work.

Sam Hilboki (5.09 ERA) came into the game to relieve Cunningham, but South Carolina was carrying momentum. South Carolina was able to add a total of five runs to bring their total to nine at the bottom of the sixth. Among which was a home run by freshman Ethan Petry, and three hits total by the Gamecocks.

At the plate, Vanderbilt was unable to close the gap. South Carolina starter Will Sanders ended the night allowing just five hits and recording four strikeouts across five innings pitched.

Fifth Inning: South Carolina 4, Vanderbilt 4

South Carolina added to their score in the fifth inning when Braswell homered, which tied the game at four apiece. Following this Vanderbilt was able to get out of the rest of the inning holding South Carolina to just one run. On the last batter of the inning, Bryce Cunningham recorded his seventh strikeout of the inning.

On the offensive side, the Commodores went three up three down, as Schreck flew out to left field, Bulger lined out to left field and Austin grounded out.

Fourth Inning: South Carolina 3, Vanderbilt 4

Bryce Cunningham struck out South Carolinas Ethan Petry looking. South Carolinas Cole Messina hit his second homer of the night to bring South Carolina within one run. However, the Commodores were able to close out the inning without allowing any more runs.

On offense, the Commodores once again came back empty-handed. Vastine grounded out to shortstop, Bradfield flew out to center field and Diaz grounded out to third base.

Third Inning:

To start the inning Cunningham hit South Carolina’s Stone with a pitch, following this Wimmer flied out, and Brewer grounded to shortstop. The Commodores were able to turn a double play on the ground ball to shortstop, leaving South Carolina with no runs added in the third.

At the bottom of the third inning, both Jack Bulger and RJ Austin grounded out. Maldonado was able to get on base with a single to centerfield, followed by Noland walking. However, the Commodores were unable to capitalize off the runners on base as Polk struck out.

Second Inning: South Carolina 2, Vanderbilt 4

Vanderbilt was able to make quick work with the South Carolina offense in the top of the second as Cunningham added one strikeout to his tally for the day one and forced a flyout to second. Vanderbilt came up on the right side of a challenge after Carson Hornung was originally called safe on a tag by Vastine at second base off a hit, but the challenge determined that he came off the base when the tag was applied.

The VandyBoys offense came alive in the second inning, with Maldonado drawing a walk followed by Polk singling to third base. Vastine brought home both Maldonado and Polk on a hard hit ball over the right fielders head. Off a throwing error by second base, Vastine was able to advance to third. Following this, Bradfield Jr. walked and then stole second base. Diaz was able to bring Vastine and Bradfield Jr. home off of a double down the left field line. South Carolina was able to close the inning by striking out Schreck swinging to secure their third out.

First Inning: South Carolina 2, Vanderbilt 0

Cunningham opened up the game forcing the first batter – Wimmer – to ground out to third base. South Carolina was however to get a man on base due to a fielding error by Vastine on a hard hit ground ball. The Gamecocks were able to capitalize off the extra runner on base when Cole Messina hit a two run homer to left field. Following this, Cunningham was able to close out the inning for Vanderbilt striking out the number 6 hitter looking.

On offense in the bottom of the first, Vanderbilt started off hot with Bradfield Jr. drawing a walk. Shortly after Schreck hit a line drive in the gap between first and second to advance Bradfield Jr. to third, while Schreck remained at first. However, the Commodores were unable to capitalize off of these runners as Bulger grounded to the shortstop and South Carolina was able to turn two to leave Vanderbilt scoreless at the end of the first inning.


The VandyBoys start their T-10 matchup weekend against the South Carolina Gamecocks. Bryce Cunningham (1-0, 3.20 ERA) will faceoff against South Carolina’s Will Sanders (2-1, 4.72 ERA) on the mound. The Commodores are sporting their black and gold pinstripe uniforms for this afternoons matchup.


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About the Contributors
Grace Hall
Grace Hall, Deputy Sports Editor
Grace Hall (‘26) is from Belfast, Maine, and is majoring in public policy studies in the College of Arts and Science. Grace is also the vice-president of the Vanderbilt Club Field Hockey Team. When not writing for The Hustler you can find her watching the Boston Red Sox or Celtics, reading or at a concert. You can reach her at [email protected].
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].
Aiden Rutman
Aiden Rutman, Sports Editor
Aiden Rutman (‘25) is a student in Peabody College majoring in human and organizational development and minoring in communication studies. He formerly produced The Hustler’s sports podcast, Live from West End. In addition to writing and podcasting, 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].
Lindsey Jorda
Lindsey Jorda, Former Social Media Director
Lindsey Jorda (‘23) is double majoring in neuroscience and psychology in the College of Arts and Science. When not working for The Hustler, she loves reading, listening to music, watching movies and playing with her dog. She can be reached at [email protected].
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