Vanderbilt Baseball Drops Full 2023 SEC Schedule

Hawkins Field

Vanderbilt baseball’s 2023 SEC schedule is set, with the Commodores due to play Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Tennessee. 

The 30-game conference slate gets underway March 17–19 when the Commodores welcome the Ole Miss Rebels to Hawkins Field, marking third consecutive season that Vanderbilt will open conference play at home. The Rebels will be making their first trip to Hawkins Field since 2018 when Vandy won the final two games of the three-game set to claim the series victory.

The series with Ole Miss will be the first of back-to-back weekends against SEC West opponents, as Vanderbilt will travel to Mississippi State one weekend later. The Commodores will make their first trip to Starkville since 2018.

Vandy will also welcome Georgia (March 31-April 2), South Carolina (April 14-16), Kentucky (April 28-30) and Arkansas (May 18-20) to Nashville as part of its conference home slate.

In addition to their travel to Mississippi State, the Commodores will visit Missouri (April 6-8), Tennessee (April 21-23), Alabama (May 5-7) and Florida (May 12-14).

The updated schedule replaces the previously announced schedule that was recalled due to an error that resulted in two games appearing on the 2023 Conference slate that were not scheduled to take place until 2024.

The SEC slate is subject to change for television scheduling. The Commodores will release their non-conference schedule at a later date.

Vanderbilt plans to open fall training on Oct. 18. The Commodores’ fall schedule features a pair of exhibitions, including a home matchup against Samford (Oct. 22), and a neutral-site contest against Arizona State in Las Vegas. The team will conclude the fall with the annual Black and Gold Game tentatively scheduled for Nov. 13.

College Corner: Vandy Baseball, TSU Basketball, Blue Raider Hall Of Fame

Vanderbilt Baseball Ranked As Nation’s Top Program By D1Baseball

Photo: Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics

Vanderbilt baseball has been ranked as the nation’s top program in D1Baseball’s bi-annual Top 100 rankings.

The Commodores, led by head coach Tim Corbin, receive their second No. 1 ranking since 2015. They were ranked second in both 2017 and 2019. They are the only team to have been ranked among the top two spots in each of D1Baseball’s lists. Vandy has posted two national titles across the last nine seasons, including four trips to the College World Series finals.

Vanderbilt has advanced to an SEC-best 16 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, including seven NCAA Super Regionals in the last decade. The Commodores are the first school to reach the College World Series finals four times at TD Ameritrade Park and the first to capture multiple titles at the ballpark.

The top four programs on the list hail from the SEC, including Arkansas (No. 2), Mississippi State (No. 3) and Florida (No. 4). Oregon State rounds out the top five, followed by Louisville, LSU, Ole Miss, Texas Tech and Stanford.

 

 

TSU Basketball Finalizes Coaching Staff Ahead Of 2022-23 Season

Tennessee State University (TSU) men’s basketball head coach Brian “Penny” Collins has finalized his staff for the upcoming season, naming alum Brandon Lockridge as the Director of Basketball Operations.

With the addition of Lockridge, Collins also promoted Josh Bone to Assistant Coach after spending the previous seasons as a video coordinator and Director of Basketball Operations. Collins also bumped up Assistant Coaches Russ Willemsen and Jerry Nichols to Assistants.

Lockridge previously served under former head coach Cy Alexander during the 2007-08 season after two seasons as a graduate assistant video coordinator. As a player, Lockridge served as a team co-captain his senior season and was regarded as one of the top 3-point shooters in the OVC. He finished his collegiate career 10th all-time in the TSU record books with 116 3-point field goals. Lockridge has a career night as a junior when he dropped 18 points in 24 minutes, connecting on 6-of-9 from downtown at Ohio State. He finished his junior season seventh in the OVC in 3-point shooting.

His coaching career began in 2014 on Collins’ staff at Columbia State where the duo led the Chargers to back-to-back NJCAA National Tournament appearances, including runs to the Elite Eight in 2014, Sweet 16, and Region 7 Championship in 2015.

 

Blue Raider Hall Of Fame Induction Set For Oct. 14

The Blue Raider Hall of Fame Class of 2022 induction ceremony is set for Friday, Oct. 14, in front of the Emmett and Rose Kennon Sports Hall of Fame at 6 p.m. CT. The ceremony, as always, will be open to the public and will feature refreshments prior to its start.

The Class of 2022 features alumni from four different decades of Blue Raider athletics, with inductees recognized for their on-the-field achievements and for being outstanding representatives of the MTSU community. The Class of 2022 includes:

  • Leslie (Clark) Vance (Volleyball, 2006-09): The volleyball program’s all-time assists leader that led the Blue Raiders to four NCAA Tournament appearances as a setter
  • Krystle Horton (Women’s Basketball, 2003-07): A dynamic two-way player that ranks in the top 10 for both points and rebounds as a Blue Raider, helping MTSU win three NCAA tournament games across her career
  • Kevin Kanaskie (Men’s Basketball, 2006-09): The all-time assists and minutes played leader; he is the only Blue Raider men’s basketball player with at least 1,200 points, 400 assists and 200 3-pointers
  • Sandy (McMillan) Neal (Women’s Tennis, 1973-76): The first female scholarship student athlete at MTSU that played on Court 1 for both singles and doubles, eventually leading the women’s tennis program to three OVC titles as a coach
  • Bryan Peck (Baseball, 1999-2000): A Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball All-American; the two-time All-OVC selection still ranks in the top 10 in career average, home runs and slugging percentage
  • Don Thomas (Football, 1985-88): An Associated Press First-Team All-American; started at linebacker for MTSU for four seasons, including the Blue Raiders’ 1985 11-0 regular season campaign

Nashville Sounds Clinch Division Title For First Time Since 2016

Photo: Courtesy of the Nashville Sounds

The Nashville Sounds are back in the postseason, winning the International League West Division title after beating the Louisville Bats 6-3 in 10 innings on Friday (Sept. 24).

This is the Sounds’ second full season in the International League West Division and first division title since 2016. This title is manager Rick Sweet‘s seventh division title and first since managing Colorado Springs in 2017.

The game was tied 3-3 going into the 10th inning, but back-to-back bunts by the Sounds scored the go-ahead run. Matt Lipka singled on a bunt that put Andruw Monasterio at third. Esteury Ruiz then got a bunt down and Monasterio beat the throw home from the Bats pitcher, making it a 4-3 game.

Brice Turang then gave Nashville a couple more insurance runs, doubling to the left center field gap that brought home Lipka and Ruiz. It gave the Sounds a 6-3 advantage going to the bottom of the 10th.

With three outs to get, Trevor Kelley came out of the bullpen and got the job done. The right-hander walked one, but struck out three-straight Bats to secure the win and begin the celebration in Louisville.

The Sounds record is 89-57 with just three games left in the regular season. Nashville finishes with a three-game home series against the Memphis Redbirds starting tonight (Sept. 26).

After the regular season concludes, the Sounds will play the winner of the International League East Division in a one-game playoff to determine the 2022 league champion. This game is set for Saturday, Oct 1, at 8:05 p.m. CT.

That winner will play the Pacific Coast League champion on Sunday, Oct. 2, at 6:05 p.m. CT to crown the overall Triple-A National Champion.

The Nashville Sounds Drop 2023 Schedule

The Nashville Sounds have announced its 2023 schedule, complete with home and away dates for the 150-game campaign.

For the second consecutive season, the Sounds will begin the season at home with Opening Day at First Horizon Park slated for Friday, March 31 against the Louisville Bats (Cincinnati Reds). The home opener is part of a season-opening three-game homestand.

Following the opening homestand against Triple-A Louisville, the Sounds depart for their first road trip April 4-9 against the Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals).

The Sounds will host 12 homestands to make up the 75-game home schedule at First Horizon Park. Two opponents return to Nashville for the first time since the 2019 season–the Omaha Storm Chasers (Kansas City Royals) from April 25-30 and the Iowa Cubs (Chicago Cubs) from May 23-28.

“As a successful 2022 season at First Horizon Park comes down the final stretch, we are excited to announce the 2023 schedule,” says Sounds General Manager and Chief Operating Officer Adam English. “We look forward to building an exciting and welcoming promotions schedule over the next few months to match our 75-game home schedule.”

Three opponents visit First Horizon Park multiple times in 2023, including the Norfolk Tides (Baltimore Orioles) from April 11-16 and June 20-25, Gwinnett Stripers (Atlanta Braves) from May 9-14 and June 13-18 and the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Miami Marlins) from July 18-23 and Sept. 19-24.

Once again in 2023, the Sounds will have off every Monday, with one exception on Monday, July 3 when the Sounds play in Memphis against the Redbirds.

The Sounds play at home on Mother’s Day (May 14) vs. Gwinnett, Father’s Day (June 18) vs. Gwinnett and Independence Day (July 4) vs. Columbus. Nashville is on the road for Easter (April 9). The team has off on Memorial Day (May 29) and Labor Day (Sept. 4).

The longest homestand of the season is a 12-game, 13-day stretch from June 13-25 when the Sounds play a pair of six-game series against Gwinnett and Norfolk

Nashville has a pair of 12-game, 13-day road trips with the first one set for May 30 – June 11 with stops in Charlotte and Jacksonville. The second multi-city road trip is from Aug. 22 – Sept. 3 against Gwinnett and Durham.

Along with beginning the season at First Horizon Park, the Sounds also close the regular season at home with a six-game series against Jacksonville from Sept. 19-24.

First Horizon Park hosts 39 weekend games in 2023, including 13 games on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Game times for all 150 contests will be announced at a later date. A full 2023 promotional schedule will be released in early March. Individual game tickets will be available for purchase in mid-March.

Nolensville Headed To LLWS U.S. Championship After 7-1 Win Over Texas

Nolensville Little League. Photo: Courtesy of Little League Baseball and Softball

The magical run for Nolensville Little League continues as they punch their ticket to the Little League World Series (LLWS) U.S. Championship after beating Texas 7-1 in the semifinals on Thursday, Aug. 26.

This is Nolensville’s first trip to the championship game in its LLWS history. They are now 4-1 in this year’s tournament with their only loss coming to Hawaii in their first semifinals appearance.

The star of the game was 12-year-old Josiah Porter hit a two-out grand slam in the first inning to give the boys from Tennessee a 4-1 lead.

Pitcher Drew Chadwick helped solidify the win, shutting down Texas’ lineup. After giving up one run in the first inning, Chadwick allowed just six hits over six innings, striking out six along the way.

Later in the game both JF Forni and Wright Martin added a few RBI’s to extend Nolensville’s lead.

Next up, Nolensville will play a rematch against Hawaii in the U.S. Championship. Tennessee fell to Hawaii 13-0 in its first semifinals appearance. The team from Honloulou has been unstoppable thus far, going 4-0 and outscoring their opponents 40-1 in this year’s tournament.

The U.S. Championship game will take place on Saturday, Aug. 27 at 2:30 CT in Williamsport, PA. The winner will face the winner of the International Championship between Taipei City, Taiwan and Curacao in the LLWS Final on Sunday, Aug. 28.

Nolensville Punches Ticket To Little League World Series Semifinals

Nolensville Little League. Photo: Courtesy of Little League Baseball and Softball

Nolensville’s little league team continues to pick up steam in the Little League World Series (LLWS), finding themselves in the U.S. semifinals after beating Indiana 5-3 on Monday, Aug. 22.

Nolensville fell behind early with Indiana going up 1-0, but Trent McNeil went on to pitch five innings for Nolensville, allowing only one run on two hits. Bo Daniel then hit a double just inside the left field line to score a two-out run, giving Nolensville a 2-1 lead in the fifth.

Indiana wasn’t going to go down easily, though, as they struck back to send the game into extra innings. However, Nolensville tallied three runs in the top of the seventh inning to secure the semifinal-clinching win.

The team representing the state of Tennessee is now 3-0 in the tournament, picking up wins against Massachusetts and Utah. They will face Hawaii in the semifinals at 2 p.m. CT on Wednesday (Aug. 24) on ESPN.

This is Nolensville’s fourth trip to the LLWS in Williamsport, Penn., having made the tournament in 2013, 2014 and 2021.

Nolensville Punches Ticket To Little League World Series

Nolensville Little League team. Courtesy of Little League Baseball and Softball

For the second straight year, Nolensville’s Little League team is heading back to Williamsport for the Little League World Series after beating Virginia 5-2 in the Southeast Regional.

Nolensville finishes undefeated (4-0) in the regional tournament after making a late sixth inning comeback scoring four runs after going behind 2-0 in the first inning.

This is the program’s fourth time representing the state of Tennessee at the LLWS making the nationally celebrated tournament in 2013, 2014 and 2021.

Last year, Nolensville fell to Ohio in the first round and played in the loser’s bracket.

The Little League World Series is scheduled to take place Aug. 17-28 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Nolensiville will take on the winner of the New England Regional.

College Corner: Nick Muszynski, TSU, Vanderbilt Baseball

Belmont Basketball Star Nick Muszynski Signs Professional Deal In Poland

Nick Muszynski. Photo: Courtesy of Belmont Athletics

Belmont men’s basketball graduate Nick Muszynski has signed a professional contract with Enea Astoria Bydgoszcz in Poland.

Muszynski just completed one of the most decorated  careers in program history, including being selected to participate in the 2022 NABC Reese’s Division I College All-Star Game and the 2022 Portsmouth Invitational.

Upon completion of his eligibility, the 6-11 center ranked 11th among all active frontcourt players in scoring with 1,886 points. His 105 career double figure scoring games ranked second among all active frontcourt players, trailing only Richmond’s Grant Golden.

The Pickerington, Ohio native was one of only nine players over the last 30 years with at least 1,800 points, 700 rebounds, 250 assists and 200 blocked shots, and joined the likes of Tim Duncan (Wake Forest), David West (Xavier), Nick Collison (Kansas) and John Wallace (Syracuse) to reach the standard.

Posting a career record of 104-25, Muszynski led Belmont to three conference regular season championships, two NCAA Tournament bids and the 2022 Postseason NIT. He joined NBA Champion Ian Clark as the second Belmont player in the NCAA Division I era named all-conference four consecutive seasons.

 

 

TSU Athletics Launch New Mobile App

Tennessee State University is launching the TSU Tigers official mobile app, powered by SIDEARM Sports, to help better connect fans to their favorite teams. Featuring real-time news alerts, schedules, exclusive multimedia content, game day details and more, the new app is free and compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

“As a department, we are always looking for new ways to engage our fans and enhance their game day experience, and this app accomplishes both goals,” says Director of Athletics Dr. Mikki Allen. “This digital platform provides an easy and convenient way for our alumni, fans, and supporters to stay up-to-date with the latest news, scores, and original content surrounding their favorite teams.”

Through the app, TSU fans will enjoy a personalized mobile experience with the ability to manage tickets, shop for official merchandise, receive breaking news, and score notifications for the teams they follow. Additionally, it includes links to video and audio streams of live games, in-game stats, and team social media feeds.

 

 

Commodores Set to Open Next Season At Globe Life Field

Photo: Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics

The Vanderbilt baseball team will open the 2023 season in the College Baseball Showdown at Globe Life Field—home of the Texas Rangers.

This will be the Commodores first appearance in the third annual tournament, which is scheduled for Feb. 17–19 and features six of the nation’s top programs. Vanderbilt will be joined by Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas. The inaugural tournament in 2021 was one of the highest attended college baseball tournaments in the NCAA.

“It goes without saying that these are privileged opportunities for our players, school and university,” says head coach Tim Corbin. “We are grateful to the Texas Rangers and their ownership for their beautiful facilities and inclusion in this event. With Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker’s recent addition to this organization, we hope our team can add favorably with our representation in these games.”

Five of the six programs in the 2023 showdown lineup played in the 2022 NCAA Tournament, with the Commodores making their 16th consecutive postseason appearance.

All games of the 2023 College Baseball Showdown will be streamed live by FloSports, the exclusive broadcast partner for the tournament. Tickets for the 2023 College Baseball Showdown will go on sale later this year.