NASHVILLE, Tenn. – JJ Bleday added another entry to his ever-growing resume by copping All-America first team honors Wednesday from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Drake Fellows (second team), Tyler Brown (second team) and Austin Martin(third team) were also recognized by the NCBWA ahead of Vanderbilt’s upcoming College World Series appearance.
Bleday, the SEC Player of the Year and Golden Spikes Award finalist, was selected fourth overall by the Miami Marlins and leads the nation with 26 round-trippers. He enters this weekend’s matchup against Louisville with 20 homers in his past 41 games, and his 69 RBIs are five away from the program record.
Fellows’ NCAA-leading 12 wins this season are tied for third-best in Commodore history, two away from the milestone set by Carson Fulmer (2015) and Tyler Beede (2013). Entering the College World Series, Fellows has not allowed more than two earned runs in seven of his past 12 starts, contributing five-plus innings in 13 of his past 15 outings.
Brown is among six finalists for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award and recently tossed three scoreless innings to earn the win in the SEC Tournament title game against Ole Miss. Brown leads the SEC and ranks sixth nationally with 14 saves, the second-best mark in program history — two away from matching Brian Miller’s program-best established in 2013.
With a sixth sense for crossing the plate, Martin is Vanderbilt’s single-season leader with 83 runs scored and fourth with 100 single-season hits. Martin has posted 19 multi-hit performances in his past 32 games and has scored multiple runs in 15 of his past 31 games.
Vanderbilt begins its title hunt against Louisville at 1 p.m. on Sunday from the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. The contest can be seen on ESPN and heard on WNSR 560 AM/95.9 FM and VUCommodores.com.
The Commodores are making their fourth College World Series appearance in nine seasons and first since 2015. Vanderbilt has matched a program record with 54 wins en route to capturing both the SEC regular season and tournament title for the second time in program history.