Vanderbilt is completely focused on playing Monday afternoon, especially after being forced to by the Tigers. After facing elimination earlier in the day, Clemson continued their path to winning the regional after defeating the Commodores last night, 6-0.
It was a game the VandyBoys are wanting to forget but must to as well. The Commodores couldn't get anything going from the plate against Tigers starting pitcher Tyler Jackson. The Tigers regular season mid-week starter had Vanderbilt off balance all night and even when the Dores would hit the ball hard, it went immediately at a Tigers defender.
It was a frustrating game for Vanderbilt, even when you consider starting pitcher Drake Fellows had probably his best overall performance from the mound on the season. Fellows allowed an earned one in the 1st inning but settled down nicely after that. He ended up throwing six plus innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits while striking out six Clemson hitters. Fellows did his job keeping the team in the game but he never received any support from his offense.
No offensive support came by the right arm of Jackson. The Clemson starter pitched a complete game shut out and did exactly what Tigers head coach Monte Lee wanted him to do. His performance on the mound was outstanding and it gave the Clemson bullpen a breather and the ability to be completely fresh come Monday.
The big blast that separated the two teams on Sunday came off the bat of Clemson outfielder, Weston Jackson. The Presbyterian transfer launched a two strike curve ball over the left center field wall to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead and that appeared to be enough cushion for Clemson to come away with the win.
The Tigers went on to score four more runs over the last final innings to put the game away and force a game three, winner takes all game on Monday afternoon. It is unknown right now as to who will start on the mound for either teams.
Vanderbilt very easily could go with sophomore Chandler Day or consider junior Matt Ruppenthal. Neither guy has pitched yet in the regional, so both arms should be fresh, ready to go.
Game three between the Commodores and Tigers is set for 3 pm Central and will be aired on either ESPNU, ESPN2 or the SEC Network. Winner of today's game moves onto the Super Regionals where they will face the National No. 1 seed, the Oregon State Beavers.