OK, so I didn't make it out to Vandy today, but I did get free video online again. It might seem like we're in for a long season here, but keep in mind that not only is Vanderbilt an SEC team, but they've also played a few games. This was the first series for the Catamounts and they've just made too many mistakes.
For today's game, I made inning-by-inning notes so readers could get a better preview of the team we'll be following.
1st - Mark Micowski starts the game with a single, but two outs later was caught stealing (on a questionable call!) to end the inning. A passed ball led to a sacrifice fly for Vandy's first run. 1-0 Vandy.
2nd - Nothing going for Catamounts, as a double play ends the inning. The bottom half looked familiar: walk, SB, passed ball, walk, SB, single/error to score two runs. 3-0 Vandy.
3rd - 3-up, 3-down for Vermont. Freshman pitcher Bobby Dean leaves the game after only two innings (4 walks, 2 hits, 3 runs). Gavin McCullough, another freshman, replaces him and strands two runners. 3-0 Vandy.
NOTE - This isn't like watching a game on TV, as there is just one camera behind homeplate. But the few glances I get during foul balls show that there may be more players than spectators sitting in this 35-degree weather.
4th - Commodore pitcher Nick Christiani is looking really good, wih only one hit so far. Freshman James Katsiroubas had to hit the deck when a foul ball flew at him in the on-deck circle. Then his coach threw the ball back out on the field, and it hit Katsiroubas's bat. After the double-assault, he completed Christiani's striking out the side. Things got pretty bad here in the bottom. More walks, then three hits, and five quick runs. Vandy 8-0.
5th - Woo! Tom Jackson drives in our first run (junior Ethan Paquette) with a ball off the shortstop's glove. Greg Lutton comes in to pitch, replacing McCullough (5 earned runs). Walk, SB, SB, sac fly scores a run. Vandy 9-1.
NOTE - This is a pretty young team. A lot of contributors are freshmen and sophomores. Too bad these players will be starting over instead of building a foundation. I wonder if some will be out of baseball altogether?
6th - Katsiroubas, relieved his teammates were not hitting him with baseballs this inning, drilled one to the wall, but it was caught to end the scoreless inning. Vandy's inning very familiar: double, HBP, wild pitch, sac fly, SB... Stealing 3rd against the Catamounts with a 10-1 lead?? OK, big guys, calm down. Vandy 10-1.
7th - With Christiani out, the Catamounts still go 3-up, 3-down. OF/P Tom Kelly comes in to pitch. He, too, does the old "walk and balk." Add a single, HBP, two errors, and a sac fly for two more runs. Vandy 12-1.
8th - Two Catamounts stranded. A walk and a double lead to two more Commodore runs. Vandy 14-1.
9th - 3-up, 3-down. Game over. Vandy 14-1.