This week in Vanderbilt Baseball

Former New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks manager Buck Showalter will serve as the keynote speaker at the second annual Vanderbilt Baseball Leadoff Banquet, February 15, at the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt.

The fundraising event to highlight the upcoming season begins at 6
p.m. It also features a silent auction, refreshments, and an opportunity to
dine with a Commodore baseball player. Items to be auctioned include
baseball memorabilia, golf outings and vacation trips.
Showalter managed the Yankees for four seasons (1992-95), capturing
the American League East Division title in 1995. From 1998-2000 he managed
the Diamondbacks, including the 1999 campaign when his squad won 100
regular-season games and the National League West title. In all, Showalter
posted a 562-505 record in seven seasons as a Major League skipper. Last
year, Showalter served as an analyst for ESPN.
"Anyone attending, especially our own players, will be interested
to hear from someone with the experience of Buck Showalter," Vanderbilt
Head Coach Roy Mewbourne said. "He's a proven winner."
Those interested in attending should RSVP by Feb. 11, by calling
the Vanderbilt Athletic Department at 615-343-6051.

Baseball Begins Preseason Practice
With three weeks remaining before the first pitch of the 2002 season,
the Vanderbilt Commodores began preseason practice today at Hawkins
The Commodores return 18 lettermen from last season, including four
starting position players and seven returning pitchers. Nine seniors
return, including first baseman/catcher Sean Luellwitz who led Vanderbilt
in seven offensive categories in 2001. Outfielder Karl Nonemaker, a first
team All-Southeastern Conference selection in 2000, has fully recovered
from wrist injuries that cut short his junior season.
However, the majority of the 2002 Commodores' roster consists of
underclassmen - 11 freshmen and five sophomores, including 2001 Collegiate
Baseball honorable mention Freshman All-American, Robert Ransom, a
sophomore right-handed pitcher. Ransom led all Vanderbilt pitchers a year
ago with a 4.92 ERA, two saves and 24 appearances.
Ranked as high as seventh-best nationally according to Baseball
America magazine, Vanderbilt's freshman class includes highly touted
pitchers Jeremy Sowers, Scott Shapiro and Jeff Sues and infielder Tony
Mansolino. Sowers and Shapiro declined Major League Baseball Draft
selections from Cincinnati and San Diego, respectively, to play at
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