Vanderbilt baseball back on top in more than one national poll

Monday, March 28, 2011 at 11:07pm
Staff reports

For the first time in four years, the Commodores are ranked as the country’s top team by Baseball America, the magazine released on Monday.

Vanderbilt (22-3, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) moved up after spending the last four weeks ranked second. The Commodores took over for Florida (21-4, 4-2, which slipped to No. 4 after two losses over the weekend to defending national champion South Carolina. The Gamecocks climbed one spot to No. 3.

Two weeks ago VU was ranked No. 1 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) but dropped to second — behind Florida — after it won two of three against Mississippi State. It regained the top spot in those rankings on Monday as well.

The Commodores remained No. 2 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll as last week's Nos. 1 and 3, Florida and Virginia, swapped places with Virginia the newest No. 1.

The SEC has as many as six teams among the top 25 in any of those three rankings.

Vanderbilt is coming off a road series against Arkansas in which the Commodores took two of three in Fayetteville. After losing the opener 2-1 on Friday despite a complete-game, 12-strikeout performance from Sonny Gray, Vanderbilt bounced back with a 4-1 victory on Saturday and a 2-1 triumph on Sunday.

On Saturday, starting pitcher Grayson Garvin allowed just one run on two hits in eight innings. He struck out six and walked two to improve his record to 4-1 this season.

The SEC named Garvin, a junior, the conference Pitcher of the Week on Monday.

Vanderbilt returns to action at 6 p.m. Tuesday with a midweek, non-conference game against Tennessee-Martin at Hawkins Field. The Commodores will hit the road again this weekend, playing a three-game series at Auburn, beginning on Friday.