Vandy to play St. John’s in Opener

Vandy to play St. John’s in Opener

2018 NCAA Clemson Regional

Friday, June 1 • Clemson, S.C. • Doug Kingsmore Stadium

St. John’s (39-15, 15-3 BIG EAST) vs. Vanderbilt (31-25, 16-14 SEC)

CLEMSON, S.C. – Vanderbilt opens the 2018 NCAA Division I Baseball Championships on Friday, facing St. John’s at 11 a.m. CT in a rematch of last year’s Clemson Regional opener from Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

The game will be aired nationally on the SEC Network. Fans can also listen to the game courtesy of the vucommodores app as well as locally on WNSR 560 AM/95.9 FM with Joe Fisher on the call. Pre-game coverage begins 15 minutes prior to first pitch.

Single-game tickets are now on sale for the regional and can be purchased by visiting ClemsonTigers.com. Fans should also take note of the clear bag policy in place and can find more on the website.

Host Clemson and No. 4 seed Morehead State cap the opening day with a 5 p.m. CT tilt. The winners of the two games will square off on Saturday at 6 p.m. CT while the losers will be meet at noon CT in an elimination game.

The No. 2 seed Commodores captured a 13-4 victory a season ago against the No. 3 seed Red Storm en route to claiming the Clemson Regional and advancing to the program’s sixth NCAA Super Regional in the last eight seasons.

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUP

  • FRIDAY:RHP Drake Fellows (6-4, 3.81 ERA) vs. RHP Sean Mooney (11-2, 2.52 ERA)

NEED TO KNOW

Vanderbilt has received a berth in the NCAA Tournament 13-consecutive years — the longest active streak in the SEC.

Vandy captured the 2017 NCAA Clemson Regional, going 3-1 at the event. The Dores batted .336 as a team while posting a 3.50 ERA. Five offensive players and six pitchers on the current roster made appearances in the regional.

Vandy has played error-free baseball 31 times this season. The Dores’ .983 fielding percentage ranks third in the country and first in the SEC. The program record for fielding is .979, set in 2015. Vandy fielded .976 a season ago.

Vanderbilt owns 16 wins against Top 25 opponents including victories against Duke (2x), Houston, UCLA, TCU, Mississippi State (3x), LSU (2x), Georgia (2x), Ole Miss (2x) and Kentucky (3x).

Vanderbilt’s Connor Kaiser was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team. The junior is one of two shortstops nationally (Houston Baptist’s Tyler Depreta-Johnson) with just one error in 200-plus chances. Kaiser enters the NCAA Tournament boasting a .995 fielding percentage and has one error in 209 chances.

The Dores rank 18th nationally and first in the SEC with 94 stolen bases. Vandy has finished first or second in the league four times over the last six years in the category. The Commodores have swiped 40 more bases than a year ago (54).

INSIDE THE MATCHUP VS. ST. JOHN’S

Vanderbilt and St. John’s meet for the second time in as many years to open the NCAA Clemson Regional.

A season ago, Vandy defeated the Red Storm, 13-4, highlighted by a six-run fifth inning. Current junior Patrick Raby picked up his 10th win of the season, allowing three runs on six hits in 7.0 innings.

Vandy pitching coach Scott Brown spent nine seasons with St. John’s (2003-12) in the same capacity. In his final eight seasons, Brown mentored a staff that saw 15 players go on to sign professional contracts.

The Red Storm heads to Clemson on the heels of its ninth BIG EAST Championship in program history. St. John’s boasts a record of 39-15 and an RPI of 27.

The 2018 season marks the program’s 37th NCAA Tournament appearance, tied for eighth-most in college baseball history with Oklahoma and Southern California. St. John’s has qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 10 of the last 15 seasons.

CORBIN RETURNS TO CLEMSON

Vandy head coach Tim Corbin spent nine seasons as an assistant coach at Clemson. During his time there (1994-02), the Tigers had more victories than all but four programs while winning more than 71 percent of their games (434-172).

During Corbin’s time there, Clemson captured two Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season titles, made nine appearances in the NCAA Tournament and reached the College World Series four times (1995, 1996, 2000 and 2002).

Corbin was promoted twice during his tenure with the Tigers. He received the title of assistant head coach in 1998 and in September 2001 became associate head coach and recruiting coordinator.

— vucommodores.com —

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