Preseason Honors Bode Well for Season
Vanderbilt baseball once again rates high in the national spotlight. Baseball America had the Commodores ranked No. 1 in the nation at press time. Sonny Gray and Jason Esposito were named preseason All-Americans by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Gray, a junior pitcher, was named to the second team. Esposito, a junior third baseman, was named to the third team. In the coaching ranks, associate head coach/pitching coach Derek Johnson was named the ABCA/Baseball America Assistant Coach of the Year for 2010.
Trio Named to SEC All-Freshman Team
Three freshmen were named to the Southeastern Conference Coaches’ All-Freshman team in December: offensive lineman Wesley Johnson, safety Kenny Ladler, and defensive end Walker May. Johnson started all 12 games at left tackle. Ladler accounted for 57 tackles (41 solo), 5.5 tackles for loss, an interception and a forced fumble. May had 29 tackles and 1.5 sacks before suffering a season-ending leg injury against Florida. Two other players, junior defensive back Casey Hayward and junior tight end Brandon Barden, were named to the Associated Press All-SEC second team. Redshirt junior linebacker Chris Marve was named to the SEC Coaches’ All-SEC second team.
Commodores Start in Top 20
After defeating No. 9 Northwestern University to open the 2011 season in January, the Commodores saw their national ranking jump seven places to 19th in the Campbell/ITA tennis poll.
Strong Season Predicted
The Commodores have been picked to finish second in the American Lacrosse Conference in a vote by ALC coaches. They finished second in the ALC last year and advanced to the NCAA tournament. Lacrosse Magazine has rated Vanderbilt No. 11 in the nation. The team is led by All-American Ally Carey, a junior midfielder who is the returning leader in assists, points, ground balls, draw controls and caused turnovers.