Commodores Start First Fall Practice Under Corbin
Vanderbilt baseball coach Tim Corbin took the first steps
toward implementing his new style of play Tuesday, Sept. 17,
with the start of his first fall practice at Hawkins Field.
Throughout the three hour session Corbin emphasized fundamentals,
attitude and hustle.
“It’s my first look at the players,” Corbin said. “They
were a little tight. But while they’re trying to figure out
my coaching style, I’m trying to familiarize myself with them
and trying to figure out their playing abilities.
“More than anything I want them to learn how to compete.
I want the players to understand that they have to concentrate
on every play, at every at bat. I want their uniforms soaking
wet at the end of each day because we need to get all we can
out of every minute of practice.” Corbin and his new staff
welcomed a squad that features six upperclassmen and 16 newcomers.
Vanderbilt’s lone senior, John Kaye, tops the short list Commodores
returners. The outfielder/first baseman ranked second on the
2002 squad with nine home runs while knocking in 33 RBI (third
on the team). T he four other starters returning from last
season include, infielders Cesar Nicolas (six home runs, 35
RBI in 2002) and Tony Mansolino (three home runs, 20 RBI),
catcher Jonathan Douillard (one home run, 15 RBI and no errors
behind the plate), and outfielder Worth Scott (one homer,
17 RBI). Sophomore left-hander Jeremy Sowers returners after
earning Freshman All-America honors a year ago. He finished
four in the Southeastern Conference with 85 strikeouts and
picked off a league-best 12 baserunners while posting a 6-5
record and 4.37 ERA in 101.0 innings on the mound.
Other returning hurlers include right-handers Robert Ransom
and Jeff Sues and left-handers John Scott and Worth Scott.
Freshman shortstop/outfielder Warner Jones from Montgomery
Bell Academy in Nashville and freshman right-hander Jenson
Lewis from Anderson High School in Cincinnati rank among the
Commodores top newcomers. Jones and Lewis were both named
the top baseball players in their home states. First-year
players with Tennessee ties include freshman catcher Matt
McGraner (Germantown), freshman right-hander Blake Owen (Cross
Plains), freshman left-hander Ryan Mullins (Nashville) and
freshman right-hander Nick Pilkington (Brighton).
“The team is excited to start practice,” Kaye said. “A lot
of people have been showing up early and staying late in preparation
for this fall. We’re beginning to learn his style. It’s a
hard-nosed style of play. Everything is very structured.”
The Commodores will practice every day of the week except
Mondays. The squad will train from 3-6 p.m., Tuesdays through
Fridays. Saturday practices begin at 10 a.m., while Sunday
sessions start at 1 p.m.
Fall practice culminates in the annual Black-Gold three-game
series Oct. 10, 11 and 13. Game times will be announced. The
practices are open to the public.