"More than anything I want them to learn how to compete. I want the players to understand that they have to concentrate on every play, at every at bat. I want their uniforms soaking wet at the end of each day because we need to get all we can out of every minute of practice."
Corbin and his new staff welcomed a squad that features six upperclassmen and 16 newcomers. Vanderbilt's lone senior, John Kaye, tops the short list Commodores returners. The outfielder/first baseman ranked second on the 2002 squad with nine home runs while knocking in 33 RBI (third on the team).
The four other starters returning from last season include, infielders Cesar Nicolas (six home runs, 35 RBI in 2002) and Tony Mansolino (three home runs, 20 RBI), catcher Jonathan Douillard (one home run, 15 RBI and no errors behind the plate), and outfielder Worth Scott (one homer, 17 RBI).
Sophomore left-hander Jeremy Sowers returners after earning Freshman All-America honors a year ago. He finished four in the Southeastern Conference with 85 strikeouts and picked off a league-best 12 baserunners while posting a 6-5 record and 4.37 ERA in 101.0 innings on the mound.
Other returning hurlers include right-handers Robert Ransom and Jeff Sues and left-handers John Scott and Worth Scott.
Freshman shortstop/outfielder Warner Jones from Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville and freshman right-hander Jensen Lewis from Anderson High School in Cincinnati rank among the Commodores top newcomers. Jones and Lewis were both named the top baseball players in their home states. First-year players with Tennessee ties include freshman catcher Matt McGraner (Germantown), freshman right-hander Blake Owen (Cross Plains), freshman left-hander Ryan Mullins (Nashville) and freshman right-hander Nick Pilkington (Brighton).
"The team is excited to start practice," Kaye said. "A lot of people have been showing up early and staying late in preparation for this fall. We're beginning to learn his style. It's a hard-nosed style of play. Everything is very structured."
The Commodores will practice every day of the week except Mondays. The squad will train from 3-6 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays. Saturday practices begin at 10 a.m., while Sunday sessions start at 1 p.m.
Fall practice culminates in the annual Black-Gold three-game series Oct. 10, 11 and 13. Game times will be announced. The practices are open to the public.
VANDERBILT SETS TIMES FOR BLACK-GOLD FALL BASEBALL SERIES
Vanderbilt baseball coach Tim Corbin has announced the games times for the annual Black and Gold fall baseball series at Hawkins Field. The three-game event that concludes the fall practice season is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 10, Friday, Oct. 11 and Sunday, Oct. 13.
The first and second games of the series begin at 6 p.m., with the series finale starting at 1 p.m. Admission is free and fans can meet Corbin and the 2003 team on the field during batting practice on Oct. 10 beginning at 5 p.m.
"There will be a lot of new faces on the team this season and it's a great opportunity for the fans to meet the players up close," said Corbin who has greeted 16 newcomers to the squad during fall practices.
The Commodores start their first season under Corbin Feb. 14, against Old Dominion in Charleston, S.C