NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt begins its highly-anticipated season Friday, taking on Virginia as part of the MLB4 Collegiate Baseball Tournament from Talking Stick, Arizona. The game is set for 6 p.m. CT and will be aired on the MLB Network.
The matchup will be the first of three games for the Commodores at Salt River Fields. Top-ranked Vanderbilt will take on No. 25 Cal State Fullerton on Saturday at 2 p.m. CT and No. 19 TCU on Sunday at noon CT.
Fans can also listen via the VUCommodores app and locally on WNSR 560 AM/95.9 FM with Max Herz on the call. Pregame coverage begins 15 minutes prior to first pitch.
The Commodores are ranked no lower than third nationally in the six preseason polls. Vandy is the favorites to win it all according to D1Baseball, Baseball America and NCBWA. The Dores checked in at No. 2 by USA Today and Collegiate Baseball and No. 3 by Perfect Game.
Friday’s game will offer a rematch of the 2014 and 2015 College World Series Finals. Each member of the four-team field was a participant in the 2015 CWS. That year, Vanderbilt downed Cal State Fullerton and TCU on its way to a second consecutive finals appearance.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
– FRIDAY: RHP Drake Fellows (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. RHP Griff McGarry (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
– SATURDAY: RHP Patrick Raby (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. LHP Timothy Josten (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
– SUNDAY: TBA vs. LHP Brandon Williamson (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
NEED TO KNOW
This weekend marks Vanderbilt’s first trip to Arizona since May 30-June 1, 2008, when the squad competed in the NCAA Tempe Regional. Vandy also began the 2008 season in Tempe, competing against Oregon State, Arizona State and Miami (Ohio).
Vanderbilt has won its opening weekend series six consecutive seasons (2013-present). Vanderbilt has won five of its last six opening day matchups. The Commodores are 11-6 on opening day under head coach Tim Corbin.
Vanderbilt returns eight positional starters and four starting pitchers from last year’s NCAA Super Regional squad. Offensively, 2019 offensive returners contributed 80.5 percent of runs scored and 82.6 percent of hits while returning pitchers contributed 90 percent of starts and 85.7 percent of wins.
Vanderbilt’s freshman class was ranked No. 2 nationally by Baseball America, the publication announced in September. The Commodores’ 14-member class features six pitchers and eight positional players.
Vanderbilt begins a stretch of 15 consecutive games at Hawkins Field when it opens home play next Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. against Evansville. Outfield tickets are priced at $14 not including fees by calling the ticket office at 615.322.GOLD (4653).
The game will be streamed online (SEC Network Plus) and can be heard worldwide courtesy of the VUCommodores app and locally on WNSR 560 AM/95.9 FM.