Posted by Matthew Ruppenthal on Monday, April 3, 2017 in 1010 blog posts, Blog posts.
Vanderbilt Baseball Game
It was a great night for baseball, as the weather was a perfect sunny and 65. The Vanderbilt Commodores set out on their team bus over to east Nashville, where they would take on the the Lipscomb Bison. ÂThis game was played at the brand new Nashville sounds stadium, First Tennessee Park. This gorgeous venue brings an excitement level to the team that is very fun and exciting. As the team is about to hop off the bus and head to the dugout, coach reminds the guys of one last thing. He reminded his players of what a great opportunity tonight was. His message was that it is a great opportunity to protect the state of Tennessee. The Vanderbilt players are well aware of what type of game would be played tonight. Lipscomb has had a strong history against Vanderbilt, and always competes hard. It was just two years earlier that the Bison came into Hawkins field and defeated the Commodores on their own field. The few guys that are still are the team, that witnessed this first hand, and to them it was still personal.
Â Â When the Commodores took to the field for pre game rituals such as batting practice and the pitchers getting their arms loose, the park had that special aroma that only a ball park has. You could smell the beer that had been dripped on the ground last season, that has soaked into the seats. The smell of hotdogs and peanuts also permeated throughout the bleachers. Dozens of young kids stand down by the bullpen, hooting and hollering at the players, begging to get a ball.
Â Â On the mound for the Commodores on this particular night in March, is sophomore right handed pitcher from Granville Ohio, Chandler Day. The long lanky hurler for the Commodores is coming off back to back quality starts, and his record is 4-0 on the year. Chandler has been doing a great job the entire year in the midweek challenges, as coach has praised him heavily for giving the team the face it needs to succeed.
Â ÂChandler took to the mound for the first inning, and it went by without any hiccups. One, two, three and the Commodores went to the offensive side of the ball. After scoring a couple runs in back to back innings, Vanderbilt saw itself on-top of the bison 7-0. With that said, the strong offensive showing wasn’t anywhere near the story line of the game. Fans and players alike, saw themselves staring, no… Glaring at the score board after the bottom of the 8th inning as Chandler walked off the mound after recording the third out. Though the score was not necessarily all that close, there was another category that had everyone’s attention. Hits. The hits category for the bison still flashed 0. A big old goose egg. Meaning Chandler was 3 outs away from the first no hitter in the last 40 year history of Vanderbilt baseball. The bottom of the 8th went relatively quick and Chandler was back out of the mound. Everyone in the dugout at this point was giddy, filled with excitement and nervousness. The entire team wanted this so bad. The dugout lived and died with every pitch that was thrown to the lead off hitter, and the lead off hitter ended up with a walk. There was a runner on first with nobody out, but the no hitter was still intact. The next batter stepped up to the plate, and after 2 pitches the batter swung and hit a low pop up to our shortstop. He was camped under it, and the base runner took off towards second! Kaiser (our shortstop) caught this ball and relayed it to first for the double play! There were two outs in the 9th inning and it seemed as though Chandler was going to accomplish this great feat. As their next hitter got into the batters box, many guys grabbed water bottles, in hopes of dowsing Chandler after the third out was completed. Chandler lifted his leg and started for the plate. This fastball from Chandler is quickly redirected towards center field. It seems as though our center fielder will be able to possibly catch it! But he couldn’t get there in time. Just like that, with two outs in the 9th, perfection is lost. The stadium erupted on both sides for Chandlers performance. It truly was a remarkable outing, and a memory nobody will soon forget.
4 Comments on “Vanderbilt Baseball Game”
A remarkable day that I will remember for a very long time and I feel very grateful to be apart of it. Like Matt said, First Tennessee Park is an outstanding venue and I would highly recommend going to a Sounds game if you haven’t done so.
Achieving a “no hitter” in baseball is a feat that every pitcher dreams of, but few accomplish over their careers or experience through the game of baseball. It was an absolute blast getting to watch Chandler do his thing on the mound, his presence was very confident and the Vanderbilt team could sense his demeanor.
I agree with Matt as he mentioned the Vanderbilt dugout and crowd started to get very giddy around the 8th inning when they realized that Chandler was so close to a “no hitter”, But you never want to bring up the fact that Chandler still had the “no hitter” in tact because it could jinx him or the team. So the team was very energized to do whatever they could to help Chandler achieve this. It was an unbelievable night at a fantastic venue and stage.
Connor Kaiser on April 9th, 2017 at 11:52 pm
In response to Connor Kaiser’s response on this lead essay, I like how he brought up how tough it is to achieve a no hitter. It is important for the reader to understand how seldom this happens. Another interesting point I would like to bring up is how much lower the statistics show, chances of throwing a no hitter in college in comparison to the MLB. MLB has a greater rate of no hitters thrown for multiple reasons, but the main reason being that college pitchers are still learning and growing outing by outing. Pitchers in the MLB are getting paid to pitch, and they understand how to pitch and getting hitters out much more than the amateur does.
Another interesting point that Connor brought up is the fear of jinxing a no hitter. In baseball there are many unwritten rules, and not acknowledging a no hitter sits at the top of the list. To show the power of this rule, I would like to jump into a story. It was 2015 and we were in Omaha playing Texas Christian University. The score was 0-0 and their pitcher was throwing a no hitter through 7 innings. The ESPN on field reporter was interviewing the TCU head coach and asked him what he thought about his pitchers performance so far, saying how impressive it was that he still had not given up a hit. The TCU head coach immediately rolled his eyes, and the next pitch that was thrown was crushed by our first basemen and out of the park. We went on to win the game 1-0. That is just one personal experience with the power of acknowledging a no hitter in baseball.
Matthew Ruppenthal on April 11th, 2017 at 11:55 am
What a day this was as many emotions were in the air! Lipscomb vs Vanderbilt.. A great matchup for the city of Nashville to see. With the smell of ballpark food and a band playing in right field before the game, it was an amazing atmosphere.
I have to agree with Matt that Conner did a good job putting the emphasis on how hard a no hitter is to achieve. The no hitter is very special and when it gets close to happening, you can feel it throughout the stadium. This was the case at First Tennessee Park as all eyes were on Chandler Day. Chandler came up 1 out short but pitched a great game on a special night. This was a memory I will never forgot as Chandler put on a great show for the city of Nashville.
Justin Wilson on April 19th, 2017 at 9:37 pm
I liked how how the crowd was fully engaged because it was an on the edge game for some. Games like this can impact others emotionally and physically.Baseball not only is a performance but it draws a lot of attention because the plays that are involved that may no mean so much turn out to mean a lot at end. Though Connor did a great job of talking about a no hitter
Chassity Carter on April 25th, 2017 at 1:21 pm
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