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
March 9, 2004
Sweep of the Bearcats
Friday, March 5
Today, we were supposed to play Cincinnati at 4
p.m., but it was cancelled due to rain. This is frustrating because I really
thought we would play, despite the pessimistic forecast. Instead we’ll play a
doubleheader on Saturday. This will be a difficult task because it will consume
most of the day, and will challenge our team physically and mentally.
Nonetheless, it will be exciting.
Saturday, March 6
With significantly better (although colder)
weather, we were able to sweep Cincinnati in a doubleheader 8-2 and 9-1. I
pitched in the first game and threw seven scoreless innings, but was cast in the
shadow of Jensen Lewis, who had 11 Ks in the second game.
Although our bullpen issued too many walks, our
offense ensured a victory with 17 runs on the day. In both games we were able to
score early and often, making the pitching easy. Our defense also played
exceptional, turning several double plays and making all the routine plays.
Sweeping doubleheaders is a hard task,
regardless of the competition. We came to the field prepared to play seven hours
of baseball, and through that mindset we maintained constant focus and mental
toughness. To be able to put together 18 innings of quality baseball is a
tribute to our preparation and conditioning during the off-season. All of our
mentally and physically exhausting fall/spring workouts have enabled our team to
handle these tough situations.
Now we must be in bed early tonight, get lots of
sleep, and be ready to seal the three-game sweep tomorrow. Although I am not
pitching, I’ll be waking up early to cook breakfast with a few of my teammates,
then go to the field to complete my post-pitching workout. Even though it won’t
be for another six days, I need to rejuvenate my body as quickly as possible to
prepare for the Baylor series next week in Waco, Texas.
Sunday, March 7
Thanks to six runs in the final two innings, we
were able to complete the sweep of Cincinnati, 11-2. Ryan Mullins gave a solid
performance, and home runs were hit by Cesar Nicolas and Mike Baxter.
The game was close for the first six innings,
and we failed to execute on several opportunities to advance our lead. But, we
continued to play quality defense and make quality pitches.
Overall, the weekend was a success, and a great
confidence builder for our team. Now we must turn our focus to Austin Peay. We
play them on Tuesday. This is our first away game, so it will be important to be
prepared. The game will be a good introduction to playing on the road, before we
travel to Waco, Texas, to play a highly-talented Baylor team.
(photo courtesy of Vanderbilt Media Relations Office)