Friday, July 12, 2024

Cale Vinson’s hot streak continues in loss to No. 6 Vanderbilt

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Featured photo by Khori Williams

Story by Conner Smith

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NASHVILLE, Tenn – Middle Tennessee baseball struggled mightily Tuesday evening against No. 6 Vanderbilt, losing by a score of 14-1. However, Cale Vinson continued to battle and provide a spark for the Blue Raider lineup.

It was clear from the start that the ‘Dores were going to dominate as they put up seven runs in the first inning. Vinson got his great day started when he produced the only Blue Raider run of the day in the second with his long home run to deep left-center field. From then on, Vanderbilt continued to pour it on, adding seven more runs the rest of the way to add insult to injury for MTSU.

Vinson finished his day by going 3-of-3 at the plate with a home run and a double while flashing some leather at second base. Doing what he did was very impressive as Vanderbilt has one of the top pitching staffs in the nation, boasting a top-10 ERA, WHIP and batting average allowed. That showed as the Commodores held the rest of the MTSU lineup to just one hit. By Vinson doing what he did, he got his team on the board and put them in a spot to get more if they could’ve capitalized.

“Cale gave us some good at-bats, he obviously got three base hits and a home run,” MTSU head coach Jerry Meyers said. “I thought he was very good for us today.”

By no means was this a breakout game for Vinson as he’s been doing it all year. It just opens other people’s eyes to how good he can be. On the year, the second baseman is batting .330 with two home runs, 12 RBIs and a .389 on-base percentage.

He’s been especially good in the last 15 games where he’s batting .352 with both his home runs for the year and five RBIs. Where he’s batting in the lineup affects his opportunities to drive guys home but the average is outstanding. In that stretch, Vinson is top-5 in Conference USA in batting average.

Only being a sophomore, there’s a lot of room to improve, and that’s why he has people around the program excited. He draws comparisons to former MTSU All-CUSA second baseman JT Mabry. And in some areas like batting average, he surpasses Mabry.

With 24 games to go before the CUSA tournament, Vinson will be a must-watch player, as he continues to impress at the plate.

Conner Smith is a sportswriter for MTSU Sidelines. For more news, visit www.mtsusidelines.com, and follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on X and Instagram at @mtsusidelines. Also, sign up for our weekly newsletter here.

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