Austin Martin’s performance at the plate during Vanderbilt’s 3-1 win over Louisville garnered a spotlight in Sunday’s College World Series opener.
But the Commodores’ got another solid performance out of their guy on the mound, Drake Fellows.
Fellows, Vanderbilt’s Friday starter for the entire season, allowed just one run and struck out six in seven innings pitched against the Cardinals. With the win, the right-handed junior from Plainville, Illinois, improved to 13-1 on the year. Fellows’ 13 wins lead the nation in that category.
“That was a well-pitched game by both sides, but certainly our guy was very good,” Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin said. “I thought he threw a lot of strikes at the beginning of the game and continued to pound the zone, make it tough on a very good hitting team, a very offensive team that does not strike out, that does not give up.”
Fellows managed to kick off Vanderbilt’s stint in Omaha with a solid outing. He recorded the win opposite Louisville’s Reid Detmers, the ACC Pitcher of the Year, who allowed just one run in 5.2 innings while fanning five. Now Fellows has not allowed more than two earned runs in eight of his last 13 starts.
“I feel like the plan was just to go out there and attack the hitters and just getting all my pitches over for strikes, especially the fastball command wasn’t really there last week,” Fellows said, “and I think that was just the plan of attack, to just keep the location down and attacking the zone and not getting too wild.”
More notes from Omaha:
What can Brown do for you?
All-SEC and All-American reliever Tyler Brown entered the Louisville matchup in the eighth inning and went on to make his SEC-pacing 15th save this season. Brown fanned one batter in the final 1.2 frames and is now just one shy of Brian Miller’s program-best 16 saves set in 2013.
55 and alive
Vanderbilt has ascended to college baseball’s upper-echelon under Corbin, and while this season’s final chapter remains unwritten, the Commodores have already made history.
Sunday’s win over Louisville marked the program’s 55th victory of the season, setting a new Vanderbilt single-season record. The Dores improved to 55-11 on the season and have now won 31 of their last 34 games overall.
Next up? OmaDawgs
The Commodores will go from one familiar opponent (Louisville) to another in Omaha. Vanderbilt next faces SEC foe Mississippi State in the winners bracket on Tuesday at 6 p.m. CT at TD Ameritrade Park.
The Dores met the Bulldogs just once this season in a 1-0 Vanderbilt victory at the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama. Julian Infante’s two-out RBI single in the second inning served as the game’s lone run. Fellows, meanwhile, kept the Bulldogs at bay by allowing hitters to go just 1-for-12 with runners on base.
In all, Vanderbilt has faced four of the other seven teams in Omaha this season: Arkansas, Auburn, Louisville and Mississippi State. With the win over the Cardinals, the Dores improved to 9-1 against those four teams in 2019. A 14-12 loss to Arkansas on April 14 represents the lone setback.