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.

Vanderbilt tops Eastern Michigan 6-2 to earn Tim Corbin’s 1,000th career win

Two home runs and strong pitching highlighted another milestone for Corbin.
Barrie Barto
Coach Corbin looks out over the field, as photographed on Feb. 21, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Barrie Barto)

In his 22nd season as Vanderbilt’s lead man, head coach Tim Corbin led the Commodores to a 6-2 win over the Eastern Michigan Eagles on Tuesday night, earning his 1,000th career win as a head coach. Following an undefeated weekend at the Astros College Classic, the Commodores continued to roll in their sixth-straight win, using two home runs and six stolen bases to lift them in a game where they had just six hits. 

“I can’t really manage the words for it,” Corbin said. “Being in the same spot for 22 years is important; the consistency of just being here. We’ve had fun with it and enjoyed it.”

The story of the game for Vanderbilt was starting pitcher JD Thompson, who allowed zero runs and just three hits across a masterful six innings pitched. Thompson was in control against the Eagles, striking out a career-high nine batters and walking none. The sophomore’s impressive start was supplemented by bullpen appearances from freshmen Alex Kranzler and Brennan Seiber to close out the game.

“JD Thompson pitched really well,” Corbin said. “I liked what he did; being able to give us Tuesday night pitching and going deep into a ball game.”

At the plate, the Commodores struggled to generate much traction against a platoon of six Eagles’ pitchers. Aside from a pair of two-run home runs from Logan Poteet and Davis Diaz, Vanderbilt was able to generate just four hits and left ten runners on base on a frustrating offensive night where it was outhit by Eastern Michigan, 7-6.

The Commodores jumped out to an early lead and never looked back on Tuesday evening. After a dominant start from Thompson, who struck out three of Eastern Michigan’s first six batters, the Commodores used a four-run second inning to get ahead of the Eagles. 

First, it was a two-run homer from catcher Logan Poteet in just his second plate appearance of the season. After a well-worked walk from Troy LaNeve, Poteet stepped up and smashed the first pitch he saw for the first home run of his career. 

The Commodores continued to pile it on in the second, doubling their lead to 4-0 shortly after. Following a Matthew Polk single and a Jonathan Vastine walk, center fielder Calvin Hewett poked a single into left field to clear the bases and double Vanderbilt’s lead. 

Following another dominant two innings of work from Thompson, Vanderbilt found themselves in a prime position to extend their lead in the bottom of the fourth, but came up empty. After a triple from Polk to lead off the inning and walks from Vastine and Austin, Hewett found himself stepping up to the plate again, this time with the bases loaded and no outs. Eastern Michigan’s Isiah Lindsey was able to work himself out of the jam beautifully, though, striking out Hewett with a 3-2 fastball before forcing Cam Kozeal into a double play to end the inning scoreless. 

Vanderbilt found itself in a bit of trouble during the top of the fifth inning, but a smart defensive play from Thompson kept Eastern Michigan scoreless. Following a double from outfielder Kyle Schroedle and Thompson hitting a batter, the Eagles found themselves with two on base and two out. After Thompson allowed a short single to left, Schroedle had thoughts of heading home, but was caught out after Thompson cut the throw home short and caught Schroedle out trying to return to third. 

Nothing was stirring for the Commodores’ offense in the fifth or sixth innings, but another dominant frame from Thompson kept the Eagles scoreless heading into the top of the seventh, where reliever Kranzler entered for Vanderbilt. The freshman allowed two singles to the first two batters he faced, but forced a lineout and GIDP to end the inning without any blemishes on the scoreboard.

After being kept scoreless for four innings, the Commodores tacked on two more in the bottom of the seventh thanks to the long ball. After Kozeal got on base with his first hit of the game, Davis Diaz lifted a ball over the left field wall to clear the bases and move Vanderbilt’s advantage to six runs. 

Kranzler again found himself in a bit of trouble in the top of the eighth, but this time was unable to escape. After hitting the second batter he faced, Kranzler left a ball too high in the zone, and paid the price as Eastern Michigan’s Logan Hugo popped the ball over the left field wall to drive in two runs and cut Vanderbilt’s lead to 6-2. 

Vanderbilt was able to load the bases in the bottom of the eighth, but a strikeout from Jayden Davis left the runners stranded to end the inning. On the other side, Seiber was able to retire the side seamlessly to close out the Eagles.

Vanderbilt will look for its seventh straight win when it begins a weekend series against Illinois State on Friday, March 8 at 4:30 p.m. CST.

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About the Contributors
Anish Mago
Anish Mago, Former Deputy Sports Editor
Anish Mago ('24) is from West Windsor, N.J., and is studying economics and political science in the College of Arts and Science. He previously served as a staff writer for the Sports section. When not writing for The Hustler, Anish enjoys playing basketball and rooting for all Philly sports. He can be reached at .
Barrie Barto
Barrie Barto, Editor-in-Chief
Barrie Barto ('25) is majoring in medicine, health & society with neuroscience and communication of science & technology minors in the College of Arts and Science. She previously served as Photography Director. When she's not strolling around campus with her camera, 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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