Mike Minor did not just make it look easy Friday night. The Vanderbilt junior lefthander made it sound that way too.
“I could tell he was in a zone because in the second inning he came in, just smiled at me and said, ‘This is too easy,’” coach Tim Corbin said. “I knew it was a joke, and I did not respond to it.
“… But I could tell he had a sense that he was feeling pretty good because he never says anything.”
Minor ultimately limited Arkansas to four hits (all singles) in eight innings in a performance that earned him SEC Pitcher of the Week on Monday.
It is the first time in his career Minor has earned the award and makes him the first Commodores’ pitcher since David Price win Week 5 of 2007 to win it. VU has had two players (Aaron Westlake and Sonny Gray) named SEC Freshman of the Week this season.
On the strength of Minor’s performance, Vanderbilt won 9-0 against the Razorbacks, who were ranked as high as No. 1 in some national polls and who were 7-0 on Friday nights this season.
He allowed one single in the fourth, two in the seventh and one in the eighth, and he walked three. He struck out 11.
“(He was) just banging the zone with four pitches,” Corbin said. “… He was really throwing the fastball well – with a lot of intent and where he wanted to … (and) he just commanded all four pitches.”
LSU junior Blake Dean was named Player of the Week. He was 6-for-12 with one double, two home runs, 10 RBIs and two runs scored in a series victory over Alabama.
Florida first baseman Preston Tucker was chosen as Freshman of the Week. He was 12-for-23 (.522) with four home runs, 21 RBIs and eight runs scored in five games (four victories).
Vanderbilt will play two mid-week games at home this week – Tuesday against Middle Tennessee State and Wednesday against Morehead State. Both games will start 6 p.m. at Hawkins Field.