Nashville Super Regional Preview

The Vanderbilt Commodores will host the Stanford Cardinal for a best of three series this weekend at Hawkins Field. Look inside for all you need to know about the Nashville Super Regional.

SCHEDULE

Friday: Noon CT (ESPN2)
RHP Tyler Beede vs. LHP John Hochstatter

Saturday: 2 pm CT (ESPN2)
RHP Carson Fulmer vs. RHP Cal Quantrill

Sunday: 2 pm CT (ESPN2)
TBA vs. LHP Logan James

HOW THEY GOT HERE

Stanford trudged through an up and down season. They opened the season with three consecutive series losses to Rice, Texas and Vandy. The Cardinal then managed a 2-1 series win over Kansas before embarking on the Pac-12 campaign. The Cardinal had series wins over Oregon (2-1), Arizona State (2-1), UCLA (2-1), Arizona (2-1), Washington State (2-1) and Utah (3-0). The Cardinal was swept at Oregon State and lost a series to Washington (2-1) The 3-game sweep at Utah was likely what kept the Cardinal from being left out of the NCAA field. Stanford finished its regular season with an unimpressive 30-23 (16-14 Pac-12) record. The Pac-12 does not have a conference tournament so the Cardinal had a few days to rest before the Bloomington Regional. In that event the Trees beat Indiana State 8-1 but lost to Indiana in the second game, 4-2. In an elimination matchup the Cardinal defeated Youngstown State 12-4. Stanford was then faced with the mammoth task of beating National Seed Indiana in two consecutive games. On Sunday the team called "Indians" until the early 1970s beat the Hoosiers 10-7. Then on Monday the Cardinal needed some ninth inning magic to best Indiana. Trailing 4-3, Tommy Edman hit a walk-off two-run home run to turn a one-run deficit into a 5-4 win. The win allowed Vanderbilt to host a Super Regional for the second year in a row.

Vanderbilt won seven straight games including series sweeps over Long Beach State and Illinois-Chicago to start the season. The Commodores lost two straight to Western Kentucky and Evansville but responded by winning nine games in a row including a sweeps of Stanford and Winthrop in Nashville. After an opening SEC opening, 2-1 home series win over LSU the 'Dores dropped a 1-2 series at Mississippi State including an ugly 17-2 Friday night loss. Vandy then pulled off a 2-1 series win over Kentucky before hitting a conference lull with consecutive 1-2 series losses to Tennessee, Texas A&M and Arkansas. The Commodores then pulled off back-to-back sweeps over Georgia and lowly Missouri by a combined score of 44-22. Vandy won a series at Florida before ending the regular season with a 1-2 series loss at home to South Carolina. In the SEC Tournament, Vandy won the opening game against rival Tennessee but then fell to LSU and Ole Miss back-to-back to end the Commodores tourney run. In the NCAA Nashville Regional, Vandy downed Xavier 11-0 before beating Oregon 7-2 and 3-2 to win the regional.

THE ARMS

Freshman righty Cal Quantrill (7-5, 2.69 ERA) is the Cardinal's top pitcher but will pitch on Saturday due to pitching on Monday night in Bloomington. He pitched nine innings in Stanford's opening win over Indiana State on Friday and then pitched 2 1/3 innings on Monday striking out three to earn another win. Quantrill has 93 strikeouts on the season against just 31 walks. In a 4-2 loss to Vandy in March Quantrill gave up four hits, four walks and one earned run in five innings. He was drafted in the 26th round of the 2013 MLB draft by the New York Yankees. His father, Paul, pitched 13 seasons in the major leagues. Junior left-handed pitcher John Hochstatter (10-2, 2.84 ERA) will pitch on Friday. He pitched the Cardinal's Saturday loss to Indiana. In that game Hochstatter gave up nine hits and four earned runs in 7 1/3 innings. Hochstatter, who has 36 strikeouts and 29 walks in eight starts and 14 total appearances, did not pitch during the series at Vandy. Lefty Logan James (3-3, 4.77 ERA), will start on Sunday if that game is required. He pitched three innings in a relief role in the Friday night game in March against Vandy. In that game he stuck out three and walked two while allowing two hits and two earned runs. On the season he has 42 strikeouts while allowing 32 walks in 60 innings pitched. Righty Brett Hanewich (4-4, 3.42 ERA) should see action sometime this weekend. He pitched the Cardinal to a 12-4 win over Youngstown State on Sunday. In seven innings during that game Hanewich struck out nine while walking three and allowing just one run. In March in game one of the series against Vandy, Hanewich pitched five innings allowing six hits, walking two and giving up three earned runs. AJ Vanegas (3-3, 2.33 ERA) has seven saves this season for the Cardinal.

Vanderbilt's three starting pitchers for the recent Nashville Regional allowed four runs on 13 hits with 27 strikeouts while picking up all three wins to advance Vandy to the Super Regional. Right-hander Tyler Beede (8-7, 3.20 ERA) is Vanderbilt'S Friday starter. Beede, who was the 14th pick (Giants) in yesterday's MLB Draft struck out 14 batters against Xavier in his most recent outing. On Friday night of the March series versus Stanford, Beede pitched five innings and gave up four hits, two walks in allowing three earned runs. Righty Carson Fulmer (6-1, 1.42 ERA) pitched eight strong innings on Saturday against Oregon allowing just three hits while giving up two walks and striking out five. Fulmer pitched the final two innings of the Friday night game versus Stanford in March striking out three with no walks or runs allowed and one hit. On the season Fulmer has struck out 72 while walking 31. The starter for a possible Sunday game has not been revealed yet but it will likely be either Tyler Ferguson (7-3, 2.60 ERA) or Walker Buehler (11-2, 2.27 ERA), both right handers. Buehler started the Sunday, regional clinching win over Oregon. In that game he went nine innings and struck out six while scattering six hits, one walks in allowing two earned runs. Buehler has 97 strikeouts and 29 walks in mostly mid-week action this season. Ferguson has been Vanderbilt's regular Sunday starter throughout the season. In his most recent outing he walked three over five innings in a no decision against South Carolina. In action against Stanford in the Sunday game in March, he pitched six innings and struck out six while allowing five hits and two walks. Both Bueler and Ferguson do a good job of holding down their number of walks. Junior righty Brian Miller (1-1, 1.97 ERA) is Vanderbilt's closer. He's struck out 28 while allowing five hits this season and has five saves this season. Miller has 26 saves during his career which is a school record. Righties Adam Ravenelle (3-1, 1.31 ERA) and Hayden Stone (1-1, 1.87 ERA) are the Commodores' two other key relievers.

THE BATS

Austin Slater (.352, 40 RBI) leads Stanford in hits (76) and doubles (17). Zach Hoffpauir (.332, 33 RBI) has a team leading five triples along with seven home runs. Alex Blandino (.312, 42 RBI) leads the team in homers with 12. Danny Diekroeger (.307, 22 RBI) has stolen successfully on 8-of-10 attempts this season. Dominic Jose (.202, 12 RBI) had one of the home runs in the Cardinal comeback win on Sunday against Indiana. Tommy Edman (.258, 18 RBI) hit the much publicized walk-off home run to get Stanford back to Nashville.

Vanderbilt's Dansby Swanson (.335, 32 RBI) has 24 doubles this season. Bryan Reynolds (.326, 49 RBI) leads the team in RBIs and was recently earned freshman All-America honors. Junior Vince Conde (.301, 44 RBI) has four homers his season. Xavier Turner (.284, 33 RBI) and has stolen successfully on 13-of-20 attempts. John Norwood (.275, 21 RBI), Zander Wiel (.270, 38 RBI) and Rhett Wiseman (.269, 26 RBI) round out the Commodores' key batters. Ro Coleman (.218, 13 RBI) also certainly deserves mention. The tiny freshman had the ninth inning walk-off hit that allowed Vanderbilt to avoid a Monday game with Oregon.


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