NCAA leaves Vanderbilt out of tournament

The Vanderbilt baseball team was not selected to participate in the 2005 NCAA Baseball Tournament. After the bad news, Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin and pitcher Jensen Lewis talked to VandyMania about their thoughts on not being selected.

Jensen Lewis

Coach came in and turned the TV off and said "I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we're out." It's really incomprehensible right now. It really came down to one game; we had to win one more game. You could point to anywhere for that game. It's a punch that hits you unlike anything else. It's a feeling that's going to stay with a lot of a people. For some of the guys that won't be back next year and seniors that played their last game it came to a crashing halt.

When we came together on Monday after the sweep on Sunday we just put it aside and said we ought to go on through from here. The only thing we could do was hope and we hoped with all of hearts. It's a shame because we worked so hard this year and for it to come down to one game. But we didn't take care of business when we had chance. Are we one of the best 64 teams? There's no doubt about it. It's going to be tough to go and see some of teams get in there because we feel like we deserve to be there. We respect the committee's decision but it's tough to go and clean out your locker knowing that that's it and that you've got to go from there.

How the decision was made

I'm not a committee member, I'm just a player but I think it comes down to wins. If we had gotten into the SEC tourney or won a game in Arkansas or swept the Alabama series. We just didn't get it done. We've played everybody except for Auburn, and we know everyone will represent us well. We're really happy with the guys that are going to be in there. As much as it hurts we can say that a team that we beat or didn't beat got into the tournament, but it's still tough.


Tim Corbin, Vanderbilt Head Coach

Tim Corbin, The Bearer of Bad News

I knew some people that knew what was going on and then I just sat on it for the rest of the morning until I could meet with the guys. I saw no reason to make them go through that, it's like being punched in the guy when you hear it, although they still had to hear it. I hate being the bearer of bad news but that's my job.

Auburn vs. Vanderbilt

Whether Auburn got in or anybody else has no bearing on us. We had the opportunity to do it ourselves and we didn't do it. It doesn't matter that the other 64 teams got in there, good luck to them, we didn't. We'll work towards doing it again next year.

Realistic Hopes

I felt 50/50. But I did feel good enough to hold the guys over to practice and I was hoping that we would be given the chance. I was hoping because of the RPIs. We're 21-1 in one RPI and 30 in another and that would give you a reasonable idea of where you would stand. I think what got us in the end were upsets in other tournaments. I think that Furman getting in and College of Charleston getting at large, and other upsets. That may not have had anything to do with it, but I feel that it did. Had we had one won more game, that may have been the difference of us being in the regional and us going home.

10 SEC teams?

When you say wow, ‘can we take ten teams from one conference, can we really do that?' I think some people who don't really know the SEC said there's no way you can do it. Regardless of us not being in the regional we're one of the best 64 teams in the country. You guys know that, I know that, my kids know that. It's just tough, it's a sobering thing and lesson and we'll just have to learn from it. 34-21, we had a pretty good year but we raised the bar last year and now 34-21 might not be good enough. But I'd rather have it that way then the other way around. I'm looking forward to getting out on the road recruiting and building the team for next year. I can't wait.

The Draft?

I think what we'll do is talk about that this week and whatever happens, happens. I'm in their corner for whatever they want to do. It would be great to get a couple of those guys back but they all have dreams of playing professional baseball.

New Recruits and the Draft?

It's though, it's like you're playing with monopoly money. You don't know who's coming in you don't know who's going out, it's a difficult sport to recruit to. You've got high school guys you've got to worry about and your own kids. If you were to ask me who was going to play where for next year I would have absolutely no clue right now. I probably won't until the first day of class in August.

Thoughts on the Season

As a coach I thought I put more time in to it this year. I thought we tried to do things differently then last year. I felt as a coach my effort was good. I thought the players effort was good, it just didn't come out that way. And baseball is such a weird sport, it hinges on a play or pitch and though luck. We ran into some tough luck at the end year. We weren't the most offensive team, but at the same time I thought at some point we'd break out. It just came down to a game here and there. No regrets. I'm an optimist, I'm not a negative guy. I'm tough on myself but I'm not negative, I look ahead. We'll continue to grow and we're going to win. There's no doubt about it we're going to win.


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