The sophomore hurler threw a masterpiece—7 1/3 shutout innings with eight strikeouts—Friday night to advance No. 1 Vanderbilt to the SEC Tournament semifinals.
Beede (14-0), who bounced back from his only no-decision of the season, relied heavily on his fastball to overpower the Aggies. He painted the corners and commanded the strike zone, causing Aggie hitters at times to chase pitches off the plate or in the dirt. "It felt good with my fastball," Beede said. "It was the pitch I could go to the most. When I stayed on it, I got some good swings and misses, and that's what allowed me to go deeper into the ballgame."
"He put the [last game] behind him early," head coach Tim Corbin added. "I liked his plan of attack today. He was good with his fastball and good with his changeup."
Since his previous outing, Beede said he worked on his mechanics, specifically not overthrowing to hitters, instead pitching to contact and trusting his arsenal. It was Beede's night from the start as he kept the Aggies hitless until Chance Bolcerek singled to right with one out in the fifth. "I knew when he came out here in the first inning and had a couple of strikeouts that he was going to be on his game," second baseman Tony Kemp said.
Beede surrendered one more hit, a leadoff double in the seventh to Troy Stein, who advanced to third (the only Aggie to do so in the game) with one out on a sacrifice fly. Beede buckled down in one of his only pressure moments to fan Daniel Mengden with high heat, elevating his fastball exactly where he wanted it, above the letters.
After the strikeout, Beede pumped his fist, later saying the close contest brought out the competitor in him. The next hitter, Bolcerek, flew out to center to end the inning with no damage to keep Vanderbilt's 3-0 shutout intact.
"He took us deep into the ballgame and that was very much needed in this situation," Corbin noted.
And with the victory came history. Beede is the first Commodore pitcher ever to win 14 games in a season. He deflected the attention to his teammates, saying of the record, "It's just a testament to these guys, the way they play, the run support they give me, the defensive plays they make. Credit goes to those guys."
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