— Vanderbilt Baseball (@VandyBoys) October 14, 2021
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt’s fall training will continue this weekend when the Commodores step out of their comfort zone during a trip to North Carolina to face competition in a different colored jersey over the course of two days.
Vandy departed Thursday for the Tar Heel State where they’ll face North Carolina in Chapel Hill at 2:30 p.m. Friday CT and then Richmond in Cary at 9 a.m. CT Saturday.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for the kids just to get away from campus for a couple days and put a couple lineups out there and see what they’re capable of doing in the short term,” Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin said. “I just want them to have the opportunity to learn how to use a hotel, learn how to travel in an airplane, do the small things that do matter when you’re away from campus and enjoy themselves. The opportunity to travel together is a gift.”
The Commodores began fall training Sept. 16, turning the page from a 2021 season that included 49 wins and a runner-up finish to SEC rival Mississippi State in the College World Series final. Corbin has 18 newcomers on the fall roster and saw the departure of six Major League Baseball Draft selections.
“Everybody is competitive right now. It’s fun, everybody’s just enjoying waking up each day and competing against each other,” Kolwyck said this week. “Just seeing how competitive the younger kids are with the older kids – not looking at classes, not looking at who’s older, who’s younger, just competing against each other.”
Friday’s matchup with North Carolina at Boshamer Stadium will be open – and free – to the public. Saturday’s game with Richmond at the USA Baseball National Training Complex has a $10, cash-only entry fee.
The Tar Heels went 28-27 last season and made the Lubbock Regional where they finished 1-2. Richmond was a 19-17 team in 2021.
Corbin said that while playing outside competition will undoubtedly help the growth of his team, so will the opportunity to spend time together in a team setting away from Nashville.
“The earlier you can install standards of how to operate on the road, it helps you moving forward. More confidence when you travel, too,” Corbin said. “Sometimes when you don’t travel and all of a sudden you do it becomes bigger than it should be. So we try to use these as really good growing experiences for the team.”
Following this weekend in North Carolina, the Commodores will return home to prep for the team’s annual Black and Gold Series. The series will begin at 6 p.m. Oct. 22.
Game two of the series is scheduled for 1 p.m. Oct. 24 while an if-necessary game is tentatively slated for 6 p.m. Oct. 26. Admission will be free for every game of the Black and Gold Series.
Each of the contests will be open to the public and will also include an audio broadcast live on WNSR, the Vanderbilt GameDay App and VUCommodores.com.
— Chad Bishop covers Vanderbilt for VUCommodores.com.
Follow him @MrChadBishop.