Jeremy Sowers is a junior lefty at Vanderbilt, who chose to pitch for the Commodores despite being the 20th overall pick out of high school by the Cincinnati Reds. Regarded as one of the elite pitchers in the country, Sowers went 7-5 with a 2.50 ERA in 115 innings with 123 strikeouts and 29 walks as a sophomore, going 7-0 with a 2.11 ERA in his last nine starts. A native of St. Clairsville, Ohio, Sowers has a twin brother – Josh – who is a right-hander at Yale. Jeremy will provide a look at Vandy’s quest to reach the NCAA tournament and the ever-tough SEC throughout the season.



March 30, 2004

Get Out the Brooms


Friday, March 26

Home SEC opener against Georgia. Today was completely sold-out, standing-room only. The weather was outstanding, and the game was even better.

After working all week on my tempo, I felt well-prepared. I was ready to get things back on track. During my pre-game bullpen, I was hitting all my spots and seemed to have feel for my four pitches. Tonight was gonna be another SEC dogfight, and we needed to take advantage of the home crowd.

Although my entrance music for my last home start was "Waiting For a Star to Fall" by Boy Meets Girl (cheesy 80s love song) and I threw seven scoreless against Cincinnati, I decided to make a change. After some convincing from assistant coach Bakich, the song was gonna be "Battle Without Honor or Humanity" from the Kill Bill Vol. 1 soundtrack.

It seemed to work. For the first time in a while, I struck out the side. My stuff was working, and I felt confident with everything. Coach Johnson also prepared a wonderful scouting report. Tonight, we were gonna pound Georgia with inside FBs. It was right on the money.

With the help of Warner Jones (big surprise) getting three hits, the offense provided four runs of support in the eight innings I pitched. Unfortunately, I threw too many pitches in the first three innings (about 55). Although I recorded seven Ks in the span, I worked to several three-ball counts and failed to force early contact. As a result, I had 114 pitches after eight innings, and left the game for Matt Buschmann to finish. I would've loved the chance to finish the game, but with so many pitches, it was best I left. So I handed Buschmann a 4-0 lead.

Busch appeared to make good pitches, but Georgia began rallying. Nervously pacing in the dugout, I began thinking "not again" after last week's series. After three runs, Busch was replaced by Ryan Rote. His confidence, although shaken up last week, was back - in full force. And that was all she wrote. Three pitches, all 94 mph, and a K on Josh Smith.

Vandy wins 4-3.

After the game, we got to watch fireworks. And to my surprise, they were great. I'm sure the win had something to do with that feeling.

Saturday, March 27

With one win under our belt, we came out Saturday for the early series win. This one was also close…at least until the eighth inning. Showing his consistency, Jensen Lewis gave us another quality start in keeping the game close. He gave us eight tough innings (getting out of numerous jams) and kept the score tied 4-4 going into the bottom of the eighth. Then, we put the game out of reach. A four-run inning, led by Worth Scott's leadoff double. Rote finished them off in the ninth, and Vandy wins 8-4.

This game was another great example of putting an opponent away. Both teams put everything they had into the first seven innings. In the eighth, we applied the knockout punch. Scoring four runs late in the game destroyed a lot of Georgia's confidence. Now, we needed to come out strong tomorrow and complete the sweep. After losing two tough games, we knew Georgia would be on the threshold of collapsing. If we jumped on them in the early innings, there was a good chance they would give up.

Sunday, March 28

This game didn't go quite as planned.

In a horrible first inning, Georgia jumped on us for a 4-0 lead. Although the runs were scored on errors and a missed DP opportunity, this gave the Bulldogs the confidence they needed. After three innings, Georgia led 5-0. Ryan Mullins was pitching very well, but we still were making some costly mistakes (offensively and defensively). In the bottom of the fourth, we put one on the scoreboard, and garnered some confidence. It was still very early, and we knew we had lots of remaining opportunity. If we could just chip away and hold their offense down, the game could be ours.

The bottom of the fifth was amazing. Georgia's starter - Seth Ruthven - appeared to be getting tired, and they were forced to go to the bullpen. After using a total of three pitchers in the frame, we tallied seven runs in taking the lead 8-4. This momentum destroyed Georgia's hopes, and four more runs in the seventh basically put the game away. However, our bullpen began making us nervous. Taking a six-run lead (12-6) into the ninth, Jeff Sues allowed four hits and two runs before getting a deep fly out for the third out.

Although we swept the series, we still felt like it should've been easier. Several errors and pitching struggles made some people sweat, and we almost repeated Ole Miss.

But the bottom line is we won.

Our pitchers will continue learning and improving, and our defense will rebound. Everyone on our team has tough skin, and will only get better.

Sweeps are great, especially in an SEC series. After losing our last nine games against Georgia, we needed to make a change. Our team came out ready, and with great effort, finished on top. Now we have to focus on Tuesday's opponent - Belmont.

One game at a time.


Jeremy Sowers


Previous Entries

Three Tight Games, Three Tight Losses (3/23/04)

Rough Outing Eased by Series Win (3/16/04)

Sweep of the Bearcats (3/9/04)


(photo courtesy of Vanderbilt Media Relations Office)