Vanderbilt baseball doesn't blame new light pole for dropped fly balls

2022-04-02 05:57:05 By : Ms. Sarah Liu

During the fifth inning of Vanderbilt's 6-2 loss to Tennessee on Friday night, the Commodores' outfielders lost two fly balls in the lights, one that went for a double and one for a triple. Had both the fly balls gone for outs, Vanderbilt could have potentially escaped the inning with just one run instead of the four the Vols eventually scored.

On Friday morning, the Vanderbilt baseball Twitter account put out a video hyping up new lights at Hawkins Field, prompting questions about whether new lights were installed before the biggest series of the year.

According to a program spokesperson, a new light pole was added on the third-base side of the ballpark, above the dugout. The spokesperson that the lights used in the outfield were installed prior to the season and have been in use for the team's prior home games in 2022.

"We just didn't catch the ball," Tim Corbin said. " ... You can't give a good team that many free bases."

Asked whether the new lights may have been a factor in the hits, Corbin said, "No excuses. You gotta catch the baseball. That's all there is to it."

Tennessee coach Tony Vitello said that fly balls hit in certain spots were difficult to see for both teams.

"If it gets above (the lights), our guys were having trouble seeing (the fly balls)," Vitello said. "I can’t speak for their guys. But I assume those were lifted high enough in the air that it was above the lights. It was certainly awkward and for us the comment I made to our guys about that was the baseball gods or karma or whatever, I don’t think you can play the game and have that in the back of your mind. ... While we caught a couple breaks, I think our guys at least had, in part, something to do with that stuff."

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Additional reporting by Mike Wilson

Aria Gerson covers Vanderbilt athletics for The Tennessean. Contact her at or on Twitter @aria_gerson.