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NCAA Baseball Tournament: Vanderbilt.

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Vanderbilt Commodores

Overall record:

SEC record: 12-17

RPI: 34



Vanderbilt's season was the mirror image of IU's.  While the Hoosiers excelled in conference play and struggle out of conference, Vandy had a losing 12-17 season in the tough SEC but a 19-7 nonconference record and a runner-up finish in the SEC Tournament allowed the Commodores to advance to the NCAA as the Louisville Regional's #3 seed.  Vandy is 2-1 against the other teams in the regional: the Commodores split two with Middle Tennessee State and beat Louisville at Louisville in 10 innings. 

As with the Cardinals, I will start with the all-SEC selections:

SS Brian Harris (first team all-SEC): Harris, a junior from Nashville, hit .308 and 7 HR.  He made only 6 errors at a demanding defensive position. 

OF Steven Liddle (second team all-SEC): Liddle, another local boy (from Nashville suburb Franklin), hit .354 and was tied for the team lead with 10 HR.  He led the team with a .454 OBP.

2B Riley Reynolds (all rookie): Reynolds, from Lee's Summit, Mo., hit .328 and stole 12 bases. 

DH Aaron Westlake (all-rookie): A redshirt freshman from Redding, Cal., Westlake led the Commodores with a .377 batting average and had 8 HR.

While none of Vandy's pitchers won postseason honors, Mike Minor and Caleb Cotham are the top two starters for the Commodores.  Minor, a junior lefty, went 6-4 with a 3.64 ERA, and struck out 103 while walking only 31 in 99 IP.  Cotham, a sophomore righty, went 6-5 with a 4.63 ERA.  He struck out 76 and walked 27 in 70 IP, but did allow 14 HR. 

Here's a column from Joe Biddle of the Nashville Tennessean discussing how Vandy salvaged its season.  The Commodores were only a half-game from missing the SEC Tournament, but after an impressive run find themselves as a three seed.  Minor, according to the article, is expected to be a high draft pick in the June MLB draft.  With Minor, Louisville's Chris Marks and IU's Matt Bashore and Eric Arnett, the Louisville Regional is loaded with pitching talent, and it will be interesting to see how the offenses fare.