Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin and his VandyBoys baseball team are staying in the south region for the 2017 NCAA Tournament as they were selected as the No. 2 seed in the Clemson Regional with games beginning this Friday.
The Commodores will face off against No. 3 seed, St. John's on Friday morning at 11 am Central on the SEC Network. The contest versus the Red Storm will be only the second matchup between each other in school's history. Vanderbilt and St. John's met in 2001 at Wiregrass Baseball Classic in Dothan (AL) where the Commodores defeated the Red Storm, 7-2 in 10 innings.
A small tie brings these two teams together. Vanderbilt pitching coach Scott Brown is a former Red Storm assistant and pitching coach who left St. John's for his current job with the Commodores.
The Red Storm is one of the best hitting teams in the nation and present a big challenge for the Commodores come Friday. Vanderbilt starter Patrick Raby is expected to take the mound for the Dores. While he didn't earn any All-SEC honors, Raby led the VandyBoys in wins (9) and ERA (2.24) and has been steady force on the mound all season long.
The winner between the Commodores and Red Storm will face the winner of No. 1 seed Clemson and 4th seeded UNC-Greensboro on Saturday. Vanderbilt has never played UNC-Greensboro and has only faced off with Clemson twice in school's history. Both teams split a two game series between each other back in 1986.
Clemson is seen as the favorite and of course, the No. 1 seed but the Dores are seen as the dark horse and the team who could end up winning the regional. Focus is on the Red Storm first and jumping into postseason play gives Vanderbilt a new lease on life and a new season of baseball.
This is the 12th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament for Vanderbilt and 13th overall under Corbin. Tickets for the Clemson Regional went on sale this morning and will be available at Doug Kinsmore Stadium, beginning 90 minutes prior to game one.