Vandy Baseball: The Road to Omaha
So, I’m just a bad VandyBoys blogger. During the month-plus since my last post, the Vanderbilt baseball team has undergone a transformation in which a pitching staff matured and leaders emerged. Gone were the 1-7 and 7-15 starts and the Commodores finished with a flurry, including a 16-4 run down the stretch of the season.
All told, the Dores came up huge winning their last five games (two at LSU and a home sweep of the Rebel Black Bears) to ensure a record over .500 entering the SEC tournament at Hoover. They topped that off by getting to the tournament final undefeated, before being shut out by Mississippi State’s ridiculous pitching staff. It was a stellar run that included two victories over nemesis Florida, who had entered Hoover with a seven game winning streak over Coach Corbin’s boys. So what did we learn and see from this squad?
We saw TJ Pecoraro return early from Tommy John surgery and throw back to back complete games in the last two weekends of the season. We saw Connor Harrell emerge from a slump and start mashing the ball all over the park. We saw Tony Kemp run rampant on the basepaths and single-handedly cause a couple Ole Miss pitchers ulcers. We saw Sam Selman emerge into a legitimate lefty ace. We saw a stuffed animal (oops, sorry, a totally real Canadian beaver that Brian Miller found on the side of the road… completely not a gift from his mom) help inspire fear in the eyes of the Crimson Tide Rally Penguin and Florida’s silly pet goldfish. [You can follow Chance at @VU_RallyBeaver and Alabama’s mascot at @BamaRllyPenguin]
Click through to catch up.
Above all else, we saw Anthony Gomez do this:
We learned a ton about the makeup of the young men on this team who rallied around each other and their coaches in really tough times. We learned that even when there is doubt about the result on the field, you cannot doubt the spirit and will of the VandyBoys.
I concede that I didn’t have time to keep up the blog this spring, but I still followed the team every weekend. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t get together a recap post prior to the start of the Raleigh regional today. That said, I’ve aggregated some preview videos after the link below and do promise to recap the season after it’s done. Additionally, before the draft I will finally post my recruiting overview piece.
First things first, head over to VandySports.com to read up on Chris Lee’s stellar coverage of the teams in the regional.
Second, note that if it’s the postseason, it’s time for Anthony Gomez to break out the #FearTheBeard motif. He’s done that and has been accompanied by Freshman southpaw Philip Pfeifer.
Now on to the previews.