Ziomek fans career-high 11 batters for 'Caps

Tigers southpaw allows three hits in seven innings in best pro outing

Kevin Ziomek has won five of his past seven starts for the West Michigan Whitecaps. (Emily Jones/MiLB.com)

By Ashley Marshall / MiLB.com | July 22, 2014 2:57 AM ET

Vanderbilt University has become a breeding ground for Detroit prospects over the past few years and southpaw Kevin Ziomek could be the best of a talented bunch.

The Commodores have sent eight players -- four hurlers and four position players -- to the Tigers since 2011, including six players selected within the first 10 rounds of the Draft and four players taken inside the top 200 picks overall.

With the likes of Aaron Westlake (third round, 2011), Drew VerHagen (fourth round, 2012), Kevin Ziomek (2013) and Adam Ravenelle (2014), the Tigers have been reaping the rewards of the Commodores' surge under coach Tim Corbin in the SEC. And Monday evening, the latter of the college's more recent graduates tag-teamed to help Class A West Michigan best Burlington.

Ziomek struck out 11 batters and limited the opposition to three hits over seven innings and Ravenelle worked two perfect frames in his second pro game in the Whitecaps' 2-0 blanking of the Bees at Fifth Third Ballpark.

Left-hander Ziomek (8-6) threw 63 of 88 pitches for strikes in lowering his ERA to 2.32 before turning it over to his collegiate teammate, who showed no signs of nerves in his Midwest League debut.

Detroit's No. 12 prospect surrendered a one-out double to Angel Rosa in the first inning and consecutive singles to Mike Fish and Eric Aguilera to begin the fourth before retiring the final 12 batters he faced.

Selected by the Tigers in the second round of the 2013 Draft, Ziomek went 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in eight innings in the short-season New York-Penn League last year and he has won eight of his 17 starts in the Midwest League, including five of his past seven.

He has struck out 99 batters over 89 1/3 innings and issued 41 walks while holding hitters to a .207 average.

Under Corbin's guidance, Vanderbilt has sent 79 players to the Minors since 2003. A dozen of these have gone on to play in the Majors, most notably fellow pitchers David Price, Mike Minor and Sonny Gray.

The Commodores won the 2014 College World Series earlier this summer to cap their now-annual deep run in the tournament. They went to the College World Series in 2011, the NCAA Super Regionals in 2013 and 2010 and the NCAA Regionals in 2012 and from 2006-'09.

Ravenelle, a part of that championship team earlier this year, struck out three batters over two perfect innings to earn the save in his second outing in the Minors. He worked a scoreless frame in his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League last Monday.

First baseman Dominic Ficociello and catcher Grayson Greiner plated the only runs of the game.

Burlington's Harrison Cooney (8-5) allowed two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out three batters over six innings.

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AshMarshallMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More