Vanderbilt To Face East Carolina In The NCAA Baseball Super Regionals

Kumar Rocker. Photo: Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics

The Vanderbilt Commodores are set to face East Carolina in Game one of the NCAA Super Regionals in Nashville on Friday. It is a best of three series with the winner advancing to the 2021 NCAA College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.

Vandy clinched their berth after sweeping through their regional field at home with a perfect 3-0 record this past weekend. The Commodores took out Presbyterian in their first game with a 10-0 victory. They then faced Georgia Tech twice beating them 4-3 in the first game and again in an 11 inning 14-11 game.

Vanderbilt is making its fourth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Super Regionals, while hosting for the third consecutive postseason. This matchup between the Commodores and the Pirates will prove to be a challenge as East Carolina has shown to be one of the best teams in the country, ranked No. 11 nationally.

However, Vanderbilt pitching phenom Jack Leiter will be hard to beat, especially after his stellar performance against Georgia Tech. Leiter threw six innings earning only one run on three hits while striking out 11 batters. The Commodores veteran starter Kumar Rocker threw seven innings in the teams shutout win against Presbyterian, giving up only two hits and two walks while striking out nine.

The two teams will open the best-of-three set on Friday morning at 11 a.m. CST airing live on ESPN2. Game 2 of the weekend is scheduled for another 11 a.m. first pitch on Saturday, also on ESPN2. Sunday’s if-necessary matchup is set for 2 p.m. CST.

TSU Athletics Legend Teresa Phillips To Be Inducted In OVC Hall Of Fame

Teresa Phillips

Former Tennessee State University women’s basketball coach and athletic director Teresa Phillips will be inducted into the Ohio Valley Conference Hall of Fame. Phillips was the first African-American female student-athlete at Vanderbilt and went on to win the Lady Commodore Athlete of the Year. She graduated from Vanderbilt in 1980.

As head coach of Lady Tigers basketball program from 1989-2000, Phillips guided the team to back-to-back OVC regular season and tournament championships in 1993-94 and 1994-95. During this time, she was also named OVC Coach of the Year twice. The 1993-94 squad won the OVC regular season and tournament crown and made its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Overall she won 144 career games as head coach.

Phillips transitioned into the role of Associate Athletics Director in the 1999-00 season before being hired as the full-time Director of Athletics in April 2002. During her tenure, Tennessee State won 12 OVC Championships–five indoor track and field championships, three outdoor track and field championships, two volleyball titles and one women’s basketball championship.

She also had the distinction of being the first woman ever to coach an NCAA Division I men’s basketball team en route to being named one of the 101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports by Sports Illustrated in 2003. During the 2014 Women’s Final Four, she was named as a one of 10 Legends in Women’s Basketball in Tennessee. Philips was recognized as the Second Most Influential Woman in Sports in Tennessee by The Tennessean newspaper.

Phillips announced her retirement in October of 2019 and stepped away from her duties in June of 2020.

College Corner: Vanderbilt’s Taiya Shelby, Trevecca Baseball, Blue Raider Blitz

Vanderbilt’s Taiya Shelby To Participate In The NCAA Championships

Taiya Shelby. Photo: by Todd Drexler/Vanderbilt Athletics.

Sprinter Taiya Shelby will represent Vanderbilt’s track & field team at the 2021 NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

Shelby will race in lane two of the second heat in the NCAA semifinals of the 400 meters at 7 p.m. CST on Thursday, June 10, on ESPN2. The top two from each of the three heats and the next three best times will qualify for the finals at 6:02 p.m. on Saturday, June 12.

In the NCAA East Regionals in Jacksonville quarterfinals, Shelby became the second Commodore in school history and first in 24 years to break 52 seconds in the 400 meters. The top three in each heat automatically advanced to the semifinals and Shelby was fourth, but with the second-fastest finish in school history at 51.84, she punched her ticket to the national meet with one of the three best at-large times—ranking ninth overall among the field of 24.

Shelby, a Kansas City, Missouri native, is earning a double major in economics and medicine, health and society. She was a 2020 USTFCCCA All-Academic honoree and a school record holder in the 4×100 relay. She also ranks second in school history in four other events and, in all, ranks among Vanderbilt’s all-time top 10 in 11 different events.

 

 

Trevecca’s DII College World Series Run Ends

Courtesy of Trevecca Nazarene University Athletics.

Trevecca Nazarene University’s historic DII College Baseball World Series run has come to end after losing 9-3 to Northwest Nazarene University on Monday, June 7. The Trojans, 36-13, dropped their first World Series game to the University of Tampa 7-6 on Saturday. This was the programs first ever trip to the College World Series.

The teams historic run was lead by second year head coach Chase Sain. Trevecca kicked off this run by winning  the 2021 Great Midwest Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament title. Trevecca swept through the tourney defeating Malone 4-1, Kentucky Wesleyan 6-5, Hillsdale 9-1, and Tiffin 7-6.

Trevecca advanced to the 2021 NCAA Division II Midwest Region which was their first trip to region play in the NCAA Era. The Trojans won the region, going 4-1 at Lou Brock Sports Complex in St. Charles, Missouri.

The Trojans entered the region championship on an 11-game win streak but Davenport University upended the Trojans 6-2. This forced an if-necessary game which the Trojans won 11-9 for the championship and their trip to Cary.

 

 

Blue Raider Blitz Set For July

Middle Tennessee State University’s 2021 Blue Raider Blitz is set for this July with events starting on July 21 until July 29.

Fans and alumni will have a chance to meet and hangout with head coach Rick Stockstill and some of his coaching staff which include Nick McDevittJim TomanTayo Bailey-Duvall, Jimmy Borendame, football coordinators Scott Shafer and Brent Dearmon, and others.

The Blitz will include seven stops in Middle Tennessee cities over four days in Murfreesboro, Mt. Juliet, Shelbyville, Franklin, Nashville, Columbia and Smyrna. Posters for 2021 and promotional items will be available, and tickets and other items will be given away to some lucky fans. Ticket representatives will also be on hand to answer any questions about season and single-game tickets for the upcoming season.

Belmont Athletics Hires Tommy Henry As Director Of Sales And Sponsors

Belmont University has announced the hire of Tommy Henry to the position of Director of Sales & Sponsorships.

Henry will take a lead role in growing corporate sponsorship revenue and will support Belmont’s basketball season ticket and group sales efforts.

Henry, a North Carolina native, spent the past three years at Winthrop University. As development coordinator, Henry spearheaded fundraising campaigns for Winthrop’s athletic development organization, the Eagle Club. Among Henry’s notable accomplishments while in Rock Hill, he helped increase major donors by 229 percent, grew group ticket sales by 137 percent and created premium-level seating for basketball and baseball.

Henry has also worked as assistant director of admissions at Belmont Abbey University and as a group and corporate sales representative for the Charlotte Knights, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. He also worked as sales director for the Washington Football Team.

Henry graduated from Xavier University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in business. He is completing a master’s degree in business administration from Winthrop University.

Nashville And Knoxville To Host NCAA Baseball Regionals

Jack Leiter. Photo: Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics

After a contentious SEC Baseball Tournament last week, the cards are now set for the NCAA Baseball Regionals, and both Vanderbilt and the University of Tennessee will be hosting games.

The Commodores, the No. 4 seed, will host a regional at Hawkins Field for the eighth time in program history. Vandy finished the season with a 40-15 overall record. They are making their SEC-best 15th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and hosting a regional for the sixth time in the last eight seasons.

The ‘Dores will host Georgia Tech, Indiana State and Presbyterian College in the NCAA Regionals.

Dates and times for Nashville regional at Hawkins Field from Vanderbilt Athletics:

 

A small number of outfield tickets remain available for regionals. Outfield all-session tickets are $70 and individual game tickets are $10.

Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased online or by calling the Vanderbilt Athletics ticket office at 615-322-4653 during business hours.

Tennessee is coming off one of their best seasons in 20 years, being named the No. 3 seed and hosting a regional for the first time since 2005. The Volunteers finished their year with an overall record of 45-16 and a home record of 26-9.

The Vols will face Duke, Wright State and Liberty at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in the Knoxville Regionals.

Dates and times for the matches:

Friday, June 4
Game 1: Duke vs. Liberty | 12 p.m. | ACC Network
Game 2: Tennessee vs. Wright State | 6 p.m. | ESPN3/WatchESPN

Saturday, June 5
Game 3: G1 Loser vs. G2 Loser | 12 p.m.
Game 4: G1 Winner vs. G2 Winner | 6 p.m.

Sunday, June 6
Game 5: G3 Winner vs. G4 Loser | 2 p.m.
Game 6: G4 Winner vs. G5 Winner | 6 p.m.

Monday, June 7 (If Necessary)
Game 7: G6 Winner vs. G6 Loser | 1 p.m.

Tickets for this weekend’s Knoxville Regional are on sale now. Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics Danny White and Tennessee Athletics has announced that 300 students will receive free admission to the 2021 postseason games hosted in Lindsey Nelson Stadium while supplies last.

Vanderbilt Football Announces Full Capacity For 2021 Season, New Kickoff Times

Vanderbilt Stadium. Photo: by Daniel Dubois/Vanderbilt Athletics

Vanderbilt Athletics has announced that it will allow 100% capacity for its football games during the 2021 season. The university also announced the kickoff times for three games for the 2021 campaign.

The Commodores first home game of the season will be on Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. CST against East Tennessee State on the SEC Network+. Vandy will travel to Colorado State on Sept. 11 9 p.m. for a clash televised by CBS Sports Network which will mark the first between the two programs. Vanderbilt also announced the third game, its second at home, will feature a visit from Stanford on Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. televised by ESPNU. This game will also be the first in series history.

Following revised CDC recommendations  indicating that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or physically distance, Vanderbilt updated many of its protocols including lifting gathering  size limits for  outdoor gatherings. Vanderbilt will continue to monitor public health guidance and rely on experts, including the CDC, Nashville Metro Public Health and leaders at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the School of Nursing.

To learn more about football season tickets, including a seating chart and parking map, fans can visit the Vanderbilt Athletics website.

New Date Set For TransPerfect Music City Bowl

The TransPerfect Music City Bowl has announced that it will be played on Dec. 30 at 2:00 p.m. CST inside Nissan Stadium.

“Our excitement for the 2021 TransPerfect Music City Bowl is off the charts,” says President and CEO of TransPerfect Phil Shawe. “Not only for the game itself but also for the associated in-person events we hope to host in Nashville. The Music City Bowl staff has our sincere appreciation for overcoming the adversity of last year and setting the stage for a successful return in December.”

The 2020 Music City Bowl, which was scheduled to take place between the University of Missouri and the University of Iowa, was cancelled after an increase in positive COVID-19 tests among its student-athletes, coaches, and staff.

“We’re excited to have a kickoff date and time for this year’s game,” says Scott Ramsey, president & CEO of the TransPerfect Music City Bowl. “After last year’s unexpected cancellation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we look forward to Nashville’s holiday tradition returning to Nissan Stadium. We’re thankful for the support of our new title sponsors, TransPerfect, ESPN, Tennessee Titans and Nissan Stadium officials along with the Metro Nashville Government.”

Tickets and additional game information will be released at a later date. For more information, visit MusicCityBowl.com.

Belmont Unveils New Crockett Center For Athletic Excellence Practice Facility

Members of the Belmont Board of Trustees joining Belmont Athletic Director Scott Corley, University President Bob Fisher with his wife Judy and the head coaches of men’s and women’s basketball teams, tennis team and volleyball team. Photo: By Sam Simpkins/Courtesy of Belmont University

Belmont University has officially opened its new practice facility on Thursday, May 27, now named the Crockett Center for Athletic Excellence, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebration.

Outgoing Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher, Director of Athletics Scott Corley and Board of Trustees Chairman Marty Dickens welcomed and addressed a gathering of Belmont student-athletes, alumni and guests.

“This is a historic day for our University and athletic program,” Fisher says. “The Crockett Center for Athletic Excellence serves as a magnificent centerpiece to bridge the proud history and exciting future of Belmont Athletics. Dan is a visionary who understands and values how college athletics can shape a young person’s character and empower them with the drive, persistence and discipline needed to succeed in any chosen career. I am so honored and grateful for Dan’s continued generosity to Belmont, this being the latest example in providing student-athletes resources to thrive academically, athletically and spiritually.”

Pictured (L-R): Caleb Hollander, Grayson Murphy and Tate Pierson of the Belmont men’s basketball team. Photo: by Sam Simpkins/Courtesy of Belmont University

The new Crockett Center for Athletic Excellence will serve as the primary training home for Belmont’s nationally-regarded men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball programs, and complement the existing game day facility at the Curb Event Center. In addition to housing two full courts for basketball and volleyball, the two-story, 45,000 square-foot facility features athletic training and strength and conditioning space, a video room with theatre-style seating, locker rooms, coaches’ offices, conference rooms, equipment rooms and team lounge areas.

The Center, named for local businessman and former owner of Franklin American Mortgage Dan Crockett, connects to the University’s recently-opened tennis facility and serves as the latest example of Belmont’s meteoric rise within NCAA Division I athletics.

Belmont women’s basketball head coach Bart Brooks with his wife and two children. Photo: by Sam Simpkins/Courtesy of Belmont University.

“This is an incredibly special day for me since Dan has been a good friend since we were 13 years old playing baseball on the same Little League team,” says Corley. “Whether in sports or business, he developed a culture that promoted a team-first mentality while pursuing excellence in every detail, which I’m proud to say are also hallmarks of Belmont’s Athletics programs. Having his name on the Crockett Center for Athletic Excellence will remind our student-athletes on a daily basis of our continued commitments to these tenets.”

After being a successful two-sport athlete in football and baseball at Lambuth University, Crockett graduated and began a business career at a small, struggling mortgage broker in Brentwood, Tennessee. In 1994, the firm’s owners gave Crockett the opportunity to purchase the company. At 26, he became a business owner, immediately changing the name to Franklin American Mortgage and establishing a vision to become a Top 20 lender. In 2018, Franklin American sold to Citizens Financial Group. A former member of Belmont’s Board of Trustees, one of Crockett’s daughters is a rising sophomore at Belmont.

Belmont Bruins mascot Bruiser with members of the university’s cheerleading team. Photo: by Sam Simpkins/Courtesy of Belmont University

“Belmont is a visionary place in its mission to reach young people from all walks of life, not only in the United States but abroad as well,” Crockett says. “The University has grown into a larger institution but still connects on a personal level with its students, and athletics is a means to that end. Athletics teach so much to young people – tenacity, resilience, teamwork, leadership, accountability, respect, patience, and discipline, to name a few. Inspiring our youth with the powerful opportunity of athletics is among one of the many things for which I am passionate, and I truly believe the qualities learned help prepare these young men and women for the opportunities that life will bring post-education.”

This new facility comes months after the opening of the new Tennis Courts and parking garage which is directly next to the Crockett Center for Athletic Excellence.

Pictures of the event can be found on the Belmont Bruins website.