Postseason in the Palmetto State

Vandy faces Coastal Carolina on Friday

Clemson Regional • Clemson Tigers (41-14), Vanderbilt Commodores (38-21), Coastal Carolina (34-23), High Point (34-25)
Friday, May 31 vs. Coastal Carolina @ 11 a.m. CT    ESPN2
Clemson, S.C. • Doug Kingsmore Stadium

Regional Preview: Vanderbilt makes its 18th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance this weekend, competing at the Clemson Regional as the No. 2 seed against host Clemson, 3-seed Coastal Carolina and 4-seed High Point.

  • Vanderbilt owns the nation’s longest active tournament streak, making every NCAA DI Tournament since 2006.
  • The Commodores will open the regional against Coastal Carolina at 11 a.m. CT Friday on ESPN2.
  • Friday’s meeting will be the first between Vandy and Coastal Carolina. The Dores are 5-2 all-time vs. Clemson and have never faced High Point.
  • Vanderbilt has played in a regional at Clemson twice, in 2017 and 2018, and won the regional both times.
  • In 2017, Vanderbilt beat St. John’s in the opener and then played three consecutive games against the Tigers, winning the final to advance to a super regional.
  • In 2018, Vandy again beat St. John’s in the opener and beat Clemson in each of the next two games to advance. Vanderbilt won the finale 19-6 using nine home runs, tying the NCAA Tournament single-game record. Connor Kaiser tied the NCAA Tournament record with 10 RBIs and homered three times to earn Clemson Regional MVP honors.

Last Time Out: Vanderbilt went 3-1 at the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama, to advance to the semifinals for the fifth time since 2013.

  • Vandy defeated Florida 6-3, top-seeded Tennessee 13-4 and Mississippi State 4-3 before falling to Tennessee, 6-4, in the semifinals.
  • Calvin Hewett was named to the all-tournament team after hitting .429 (6-for-13) with a home run, triple, double, four stolen bases, three RBI and three runs scored.
  • Bryce Cunningham (vs. Florida) and JD Thompson (vs. MSU) each went six innings in their respective starts. Cunningham held the Gators scoreless on five hits with six strikeouts while Thompson allowed just one run on five hits with eight strikeouts.

Golden Spikes Award: RJ Austin was one of 45 players named to the 2024 Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List.

  • Austin leads Vanderbilt in RBI (51), hits (75), runs scored (47) and stolen bases (27).
  • The sophomore from Atlanta was named SEC Tournament MVP last season and has a team-high 23 multi-hit games and 10 multi-RBI games this season.

Johnny V: Vanderbilt shortstop Jonathan Vastine was recently named the No. 18 shortstop by

  • Vastine leads the team in doubles (18) and, after leading Vandy with 18 doubles in 2023, is looking to become the first Commodore since Dansby Swanson to lead the team in doubles in back-to-back seasons.
  • In D1Baseball’s shortstop rankings on May 9, Vastine (No. 18) is the second-highest ranked SEC shortstop behind Texas A&M’s Ali Camarillo (No. 12).
  • According to D1Baseball’s Synergy stats, Vastine’s 11.27 defensive runs saved is good for eighth nationally and ranks first among SEC shortstops.

Getting Hot Down the Stretch: Vandy is 4-1 over its last five games with all four wins coming against NCAA Tournament teams (#1 Tennessee, #2 Kentucky and #15 Mississippi State, Florida).

  • Vandy is averaging 10.4 hits and 7.8 runs over the last five games. The pitching staff has a 3.80 ERA with 44 strikeouts to 15 walks over 45.0 innings.
  • Calvin Hewett (9-18), Braden Holcomb (7-16), RJ Austin (9-22) and Matthew Polk (7-20) are leading the charge offensively with a combined .421 average, two homers, a triple, eight doubles and 14 RBI.

Clemson Connections: Head coach Tim Corbin spent nine seasons on the Jack Leggett’s coaching staff from 1994-2002.

  • Current Clemson head coach Erik Bakich spent seven seasons on Corbin’s Vanderbilt staff from 2003-10.
  • Prior to Corbin taking over the Vanderbilt program, he and Bakich coached together on Leggett’s staff at Clemson in 2002.

Scoring Early: Vanderbilt is outscoring opponents 103-61 over the first two innings this season.

  • The Dores are 17-3 when scoring in the first inning and 25-6 when scoring first.

Veteran Southpaws: Juniors Carter Holton and Devin Futrell have a combined 429 strikeouts over 394 innings for their careers with 39 wins.

  • In four appearances since May 7, Futrell is 2-0 with a 4.30 ERA and 17 strikeouts over 14.2 innings vs. Louisville, #1 Tennessee twice and #2 Kentucky. Vandy won all four games.
  • Holton recorded his 200th career strikeout at South Carolina on March 23. He has registered five quality starts this season. He has 10 or more strikeouts in four starts and eight or more strikeouts in seven starts.
  • Among active SEC pitchers that have pitched their entire careers in the SEC, Futrell ranks third in career wins (20) while Holton ranks fourth in career wins (18), second in strikeouts (249) and third in innings pitched (198.1).