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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.

LaNeve homers twice in VandyBoys’ fall scrimmage with Wake Forest

The Commodores played 18 innings against Wake Forest at Hawkins Field and outscored the Demon Deacons 11-10.
Josh Rehders
Vanderbilt warming up between innings on Oct. 28, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Josh Rehders)

The VandyBoys played in a fall exhibition Saturday at Hawkins Field, hosting the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. The teams played three six-inning games for a total of 18 innings. Vanderbilt dropped the first game but won the next two and outscored Wake Forest 11-10 overall. The Commodores used 12 pitchers, giving each between one and two innings of work. Most of Vanderbilt’s veteran position players played the first game with newer faces gradually entering throughout the day.

“They’ve got a lot of good players on the field, there’s no doubt about that,” head coach Tim Corbin said of the scrimmage with Wake Forest. “But I think we just played better as the day went on. And we had better at-bats for the most part.”

Wake Forest started the first game off in front. Nick Kurtz hit a solo home run against Vanderbilt’s Greysen Carter, and the visitors tagged sophomore transfer Levi Huesman for four runs in the third inning.

Vanderbilt struck back in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run homer by Troy LaNeve. The graduate senior hit a line shot that just scraped over the left-field wall and into the bleachers.

“Even in the five years he’s been here, he’s been dinged up a little bit shoulder and other injuries,” Corbin said of LaNeve. “So if he can stay out there, he’s gonna help us. He’s a strong kid and he works at it as well and his just approach to hitting is better.”

Junior Matthew Polk, playing right field, was injured in the top of the fifth inning after he attempted to make a sliding catch and crashed into the wall down the first-base line. Polk was tended to for several minutes before limping off the field.

“His knee just got underneath the padding,” Corbin said. “He got stitches in his knee. I think that’s probably it.”

Devin Futrell, entering his junior season, got the nod to start Game 2. Futrell allowed a two-run homer in his first inning of work and another homer in his second.

Calvin Hewett hit a solo homer in the second game that sailed over the monster in left-field. In the bottom of the fifth of that game, Vanderbilt rallied back to take a 4-3 lead. Jonathan Vastine and Alan Espinal walked to lead off the inning before freshman Camden Kozeal singled to drive in the first run. After Hewett walked, Jack Bulger drove the ball down the left-field line to score two more and put Vanderbilt ahead.

Bryce Cunningham and Ethan McElvain also pitched in game two, combining for four shutout innings with two hits. McElvain closed out the top of the sixth with a pickoff to win that game 4-3.

In the first inning of the rubber game, LaNeve hit his second homer of the day to give Vanderbilt a 1-0 lead. Davis Diaz added to the lead with a 2-RBI single in the third. In the bottom of the fourth, Raymond Velazquez hit a towering shot of his own over the left-field wall to put Vanderbilt up 5-1.

On the mound, the Commodores used David Horn, Sawyer Hawks, Andrew Dutkanych IV, Miller Green and Nate Teague contribute in game 3. The group held Wake Forest to just 1 run and 2 hits in the last six innings to secure the 5-1 victory.

Offensive standouts included LaNeve for his two homers and Diaz, who finished the day 4-for-9 with 2 RBI.

The VandyBoys will wrap up their fall series with the David Williams Fall Classic beginning on Nov. 10.

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About the Contributors
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].
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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