Sowers, the Commodores left-handed ace, allowed a single to the game's first hitter (Matt Maropis) then retired 22 of the next 24 batters and struck out a season high 11 in Vanderbilt's third consecutive shutout. Maryland's Anthony Buffone reached base on a fielder's choice forcing Maropis out at second base and Dan Melvin reached base on a Commodore error but was then picked off by Sowers. The one-hitter is the fewest hits Sowers has allowed in a start in his career-- the previous mark was three in the 2003 season opener against Old Dominion (eight innings) and vs. Iowa in 2002 (seven innings). He did allow one hit in a two-inning appearance at Georgia last season.
"He was very good - a typical Jeremy," Vanderbilt Head Coach Tim Corbin said about Sowers. "He established his fastball and then his breaking ball was as good as I've seen him throw. There's not too many days where he doesn't throw a lot of strikes-– he just pounds the strike zone continually and then challenges hitters. His velocity never ceases to change."
Sowers faced 25 batters and numbered 103 pitches in the one-hitter. In his first appearance of the season, he picked up the win in a 12-6 decision over Southern Illinois where he faced 25 batters and totaled 70 pitches with six strikeouts in six innings of play.
"I was pretty fortunate to throw 14 pitches in the sixth and seventh innings and they let me go out in the eighth," Sowers said. "You catch a couple of breaks and the game becomes simple.
"I threw four curve balls and with the exception of one of them, they were the first pitch," Sowers added. "My slider was a little bit better tonight and I did a good job of keeping that down - they were chasing it all night and that's a pitcher's dream. I give credit to Coach (Derek) Johnson – he did a very good job of scouting this team and he learned a lot about them in batting practice and usually the first time through (the batting order) you learn a lot anyway."
After two scoreless innings, the Commodores scored first in the bottom of the third. Jonathan Douillard (6-0, 190, Sr., C, Acworth, Ga.) singled up the middle to open the inning and advanced to second on a balk. He then advanced to third on an Aaron Garza (6-0, 179, Fr., LF, Austin, Texas) groundout to first. With two away, Antoan Richardson (5-8, 165, Jr., CF, Nassau, Bahamas) drew a walk and both Douillard and Richardson scored on a Warner Jones (5-10, 160, Soph., 2B, Nashville, Tenn.) double to deep left field.
The Commodores added four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Garza reached on an infield single and Klosterman reached base when he was hit by a pitch. Richardson drew a walk loading the bases for Jones. Jones hit another shot into deep left field scoring Garza and Klosterman. After a double steal by Richardson and Jones, Cesar Nicolas (6-4, 225, Sr., 1B, Miami, Fla.) reached base when Maryland's second baseman dropped a fly ball to load the bases for Mike Baxter (6-0, 169, So., DH, White Stone, NY). Baxter singled up the middle scoring Richardson and Jones. Tony Mansolino singled to right loading the bases for the third time in the inning. The Terps made a pitching change with Chris Bowen who came in and retired the side striking out two and assisting on the final out.
The Commodores added a run in the sixth and seventh innings for the 8-0 score. Kevin Hart picked up the loss for Maryland giving up seven hits and six runs - all earned - in four innings of play.
Jones added five RBIs in the contest to bring his season total to 16 in five games. Last season, Jones totaled 25 RBI in 55 games.
"I'm just getting good situations," Jones said. "I'm pretty good at making contact so if there are people in scoring positon it's just eaiser for me to get the ball in the air and put it somewhere where I can get some people in."
"He's a good hitter - he has great hand/eye coordination," Corbin said. "You may get him once, but your not going to get him often because he makes good adjustments at the plate. And he's uncanny about getting the barrel to the baseball and there are a few guys who are like him who are playing college baseball. He took off at the end of last year and then got into the Cape (Cod League) and just rolled. He had a good summer making contact with wood. He's been hitting here since the Fall and he just has a lot of confidence with the bat – he's just a good hitter," Corbin concluded.
Vanderbilt hosts Arkansas State Saturday at 2 pm at Hawkins Field.
WP: Jeremy Sowers, 2-0
LP: Kevin Hart, 0-3
Score by Innings:
Maryland 000 000 000 - 0 1 1
Vanderbilt 002 041 10x - 8 11 1