NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Top-seed Vanderbilt makes its 18th NCAA Tournament appearance Friday when it opens the Nashville Regional against No. 4-seed Ohio State at Hawkins Field. First pitch is slated for 6:06 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN2 and heard on WNSR 560 AM/95.9 FM.
The Commodores’ (49-10) current streak of 14 consecutive NCAA Tournaments is the longest in the SEC and second-longest nationally, trailing only Florida State (42). Vandy is 39-21 all-time in NCAA Regional play and has advanced to the super regionals in seven of the last nine seasons.
Ohio State (35-25) is making its 22nd NCAA Tournament appearance and third in four seasons. The Buckeyes became the lowest seed to win the Big 10 Tournament after defeating Nebraska 3-1 in front of 17,503 fans at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska, on Sunday.
All four Nashville Regional participants are fresh off conference tournament titles. No. 2-seed Indiana State (41-16) won its seventh Missouri Valley Tournament championship in program history and No. 3-seed McNeese (35-24) captured its first Southland Conference Tournament title since 2003.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUP
– FRIDAY: RHP Drake Fellows (11-0, 4.05 ERA) vs. RHP Garrett Burhenn (6-3, 3.53 ERA)
NEED TO KNOW
Vanderbilt won the SEC regular season outright and SEC Tournament. It marked the first time the feat has been accomplished since the Commodores did so in 2007. Vandy became the first SEC team to defeat all 13 conference opponents since the league moved to 14 members on July 1, 2012.
Vandy and Ohio State are meeting for the fourth time in the history of the programs and first since 1975. The Commodores are 0-4 in four all-time matchups vs. the Buckeyes with all four coming in Columbus. Friday marks Vandy’s first postseason matchup vs. a Big 10 program since 2015. That season, the Dores defeated Indiana at the Nashville Regional before sweeping Illinois in the Champaign Supers.
The Commodores have won 22 of its last 23 contests and are riding a nine-game win streak. In its last 23 games, Vanderbilt is batted .337 while averaging 9.08 runs per game. Its pitching staff, which ranks fourth nationally with 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings, has posted a 3.74 ERA in that stretch.
The winner between Vanderbilt and Ohio State will play the winner of Indiana State and McNeese on Saturday at 6 p.m. The two losers will face off in an elimination game on Saturday at noon.