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.



May 12, 2004

Commodores Take Roadie from Rival


Tennessee Weekend

It may come as a surprise, but this weekend is very important. With nine games remaining in the SEC (six of which are on the road), we need to get as close to 40 wins as possible. As of now we’re 31-13 (10-11 SEC). After the success of the Miss State weekend, we’re looking to climb further up the ladder in the conference.

All this goes with out even mentioning that Tennessee is our interstate rival, whom we would like nothing more than to beat. Last year, we extended our season by sweeping them at home. No doubt they’ve circled their calendars for these three days.

Friday, May 7  

After waking up at 9 a.m. to eat breakfast, I went back to my room and slept until roughly noon. Since the game was not until 7 p.m., I had plenty of time rest. The past two weeks, I had felt better in my command on the mound, and felt more confident. After eating lunch at Burger King, I watched some television (Saved By the Bell) and remained stagnant until it was time to go to the field.

The game was a huge blow to my seemingly happy mood.

When I pitch poorly and get knocked around, it is not too difficult to get over a loss, because it was deserved. Tonight was different. I forced a lot of weak contact and threw lots of commanded strikes. However, all the ground balls seemed to have eyes. A few defensive miscues and some ground-ball singles paved way for a 12-hit, five-run night. We lost the game 5-3.

After the game both coaches (Corbin and Johnson) told me I pitched well, just caught some bad luck. Nothing is harder to get over than pitching well and still getting beat. Looking back, I was only regretful of one pitch - a hanging slider to Josh Alley. Rightfully so, he launched it off the wall for a double. Everything after that was (more or less) a decent pitch.

Hopefully tomorrow, the luck will be reversed, then I’ll be able to forget about Friday night. There’s still two games left in the series, and we’ll be ready to compete.

Saturday, May 8

Instead of the sub-par continental breakfast, I opted for Cracker Barrel. This was a good choice. I went with my stepdad Rob and girlfriend Ashley (who made the trip to watch me play). For the next few hours, I hung out with Ashley in her apartment and played around with a kitten (barn cat courtesy of Jensen Lewis’s girlfriend Kelci). The animal was named Lucky and reminded me of my cats when they were energetic kittens.

Around 1 p.m., I headed back to my hotel to run for 40 minutes, then over to the field for Game 2.

Today’s game was televised on Fox-Sports Net. Anyone watching was treated to a pitchers’ duel between Ryan Mullins (Vandy) and Craig Cobb (Tenn). Unfortunately for Cobb, Mullins was unhittable. In 95 pitches he threw a CG SHO, and we won 2-0.

Mullins forced tons of weak contact, and yielded a lot of soft groundouts. Winning today (especially without much offense) was huge for team morale. Our confidence is likely to trickle over to tomorrow, and hopefully create some offense.

Sunday, May 9

I woke this morning at 8 a.m. for an early lift. I did not want to wait until Monday to get a lift in, so I forced myself awake, only on six or so hours of sleep (I stayed up past 1 a.m. watching Eddie Murphy Raw – one of my favorites). After weights, I went back to the Cracker Barrel for breakfast with Ashley and my stepdad. While waiting for a seat I called my mom,  wishing her a Happy Mother’s Day.

After eating, I went for a 20-minute run, then went over to the field with the team. Time for the rubber match.

Once again, pitching and defense were key. Our offense managed three runs (including a HR by Ryan Klosterman), and the pitching of Matt Buschmann, Jensen Lewis and Ryan Rote held Tennessee to only two runs. We won the series.

The most memorable performance of the day was our closer Ryan Rote. Struggling most of the year, Ryan had been unable to work ahead and throw his slider for strikes. Hitters were sitting on his fastball, and hitting it well. Today he commanded an 84-87 MPH slider that complemented his 91-97 MPH FB. He was dominant, and sealed the deal in the ninth.

Winning the series was huge. Last year, we were unable to win any road series; this year we’ve won two. Next opponent is Samford on Wednesday. We’ll be searching for win No. 34. As of now we stand 33-14 (12-12 SEC).

Jeremy Sowers


Previous Entries

Sweep Worth Lack of Sleep (5/5/04)

Goose Egg in Gainesville (4/28/04)

Hogs Go Wild, but Commodores' Goals Still Within Reach (4/20/04)

Trumping the Tide (4/13/04)

The Invasion of the Gamecocks (4/8/04)

Get Out the Brooms (3/30/04)

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)