Nashville, Tenn. – For the 12th straight year, Vanderbilt is headed back to the NCAA Tournament with a trip to Clemson as part of the Clemson Regional alongside UNC Greensboro and St. John’s, who the Commodores play in the opening round.
The Commodores are into the tournament for the 16th time in school history and 13th time under head coach Tim Corbin, who has led the school to 30 of the program’s 33 NCAA Regional victories. Vandy’s streak of 12 straight tournaments is the longest active streak in the Southeastern Conference. The Dores enter the tournament 33-22-1 after finishing sixth in the SEC. The team will be on the road for a NCAA Regional for the first time since 2012 when VU went 2-2 in the Raleigh Regional at NC State.
Will Toffey leads Vanderbilt at the plate with a .337 average with the junior finishing the regular season in a flurry. Julian Infante has a team-high 62 RBIs with a career-high 11 home runs. Jeren Kendall’s 15 home runs are the most by a Commodore since 2015 and account for nearly one-third of the team’s 47 round trippers so far this season.
On the mound, Vanderbilt features two of the best in the nation in Patrick Raby and Kyle Wright. Raby has been a steady force all year for the Dores, entering the postseason 9-3 with a 2.24 ERA in 14 starts. One more victory for the right-hander will pull him even with Sonny Gray (2010), Jeremy Sowers (2004) and Jack Nuismer (1979) for the eight-most in a single-season at Vanderbilt. Wright closed the regular season in dominant fashion allowing just six runs on 17 hits over 46.2 innings with 62 strikeouts and just eight walks. His 273 career strikeouts already stand eighth on Vanderbilt’s all-time list.
Vanderbilt has played only three combined games against the field of the Clemson Regional. The lone meeting with St. John’s came in 2001 when the Dores beat the Red Storm 7-2 in 10 innings at the Wiregrass Baseball Classic in Dothan, Ala. Vanderbilt associate head coach Scott Brown came to West End after spending 10 seasons as an assistant at St. John’s. Vandy split a two-game series with Clemson in 1986. The Tigers were a part of the Commodores’ NCAA Regional in 2014 but the two teams did not play. Corbin was a long-time assistant coach at Clemson from 1994-2002 prior to becoming the head coach at Vanderbilt. VU has never played UNC Greensboro.
Vanderbilt is set to take on St. John’s Friday at 11 a.m. CT on SEC Network.
— vucommodores.com —