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
May 12, 2004
Commodores Take Roadie from
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
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
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
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
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
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
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).
Lack of Sleep (5/5/04)
in Gainesville (4/28/04)
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)