Friday, June 14, 2013
It Was Still A Very Special Season!
The heartbreak and disappointment remains from Vanderbilt's upset loss in the NCAA Baseball Super Regionals. But,as the angst begins to ease, it's clear to see what a special year this was for the Black & Gold, especially when you review the team's post-season recognition honors.
Six Commodores received All-American status on various teams (Tony Kemp, Kevin Ziomek, Tyler Beedee, Conor Harrell, Mike Yazstremski and Brian Miller). That's a school record for a single season. Meanwhile the SEC champion (regular season) Dores tied an overall school record for wins (54) and set an SEC mark for most conference victories in a season with 26.
Vanderbilt's first All-American was our classmate, Jeff Peeples in 1973. It's been 40 years since he threw his last pitch for the Commodores but he still holds the school record for most wins in a career (29) and the lowest earned run average (1.68). Peeples was also named All-SEC all three years he was eligible for varsity competition (too bad freshman couldn't compete in those days).
Another Class of 1973 baseball player who still holds a school record is John McLean. A pitcher/first baseman, John holds a rather amazing single-game mark which has now stood for 42 seasons. On April 9, 1971, McLean helped the Black & Gold beat the UT Vols 12-1. John garnered 13 total bases in the game. The most likely way to achieve that is to hit 3 home runs plus a single. But the record books don't show McLean hitting three round-trippers out in a game during his career. So it must be some different combination of extra base hits to accomplish this feat. I have not been able to find a break-down of what John did at the bat on that remarkable day.
A final Vanderbilt baseball record held by a member of the Class of 1973 is one that may never be broken. On April 21, 1970, righthanded fireballer Doug Wessell struck out 23 batters in a single game against UT-Chattanooga. Since there are only 27 outs in a nine inning game, you can see how amazing that is and how difficult it would be equal or exceeed that record.