Our No.2 seeded Vanderbilt baseball team will play No.1 seed Clemson tonight in the Clemson Regional at 6 on the SEC Network.
Clemson is likely to throw sophomore left hander Jake Higginbotham, who comes into our game with a 6-1 record and a 3.27 ERA. Higginbotham has walked 30 and struck out 62. We have 4 left handed bats in our lineup, so J.J. Bleday, Philip Clarke, Ethan Paul and Stephen Scott need to be locked in at the plate. I'm sure those hard workers will be. Corbs is looking at 2 options that I know of right now for a starter tonight, though neither coach has announced. Patrick Raby is our Saturday Night guy and is 4-5 with a 3.47 ERA, 28 walks and 52 K's. The other option is freshman right hander Mason Hickman who carries a 7-2 record with a 4.96 ERA. Mason has struggled as of late, but his stuff is very good. Raby seems to be coming along now after a stellar year last year.
Clemson's leading hitter is catcher Kyke Wilke who hits .319 with 4 homers and 36 RBIs. Right fielder Seth Beer brings some serious lumber. He hits .313 and has pounded out 21 homers and knocked in 53. Shortstop Logan Davidson hits .293 with 15 homers and 45 RBIs. First baseman Chris Williams is hitting .276 with 17 homers and 66 RBIs. They're only hitting .262 as a team, but they obviously make those hits count. Second baseman Jordan Greene, who hits .256 with 5 hrs 21 RBis, stroked the game winning single last night in the bottom of the 10th in a Tigers 4-3 victory over a scrappy Morehead State team.
The Tigers head into our game at 46-14. We are now 32-25.
So we'll need to pitch. Hoping to have pitching matchups later this afternoon.
I think we also need to hit better. We've struggled recently with the bats with runners in scoring position. We'll need to improve there, our pitchers need to keep the ball in the ballpark, and our defense needs to be stellar. We committed 2 errors yesterday, so we don't need that. Philip Clarke continues to hit well as he had an RBI double in the first inning yesterday to get us on the scoreboard and finished 2 for 3. Philip is hitting .306 for us.
MLB guys excelling once again
Sonny had an awesome night on the hill last night going 6, giving up 1 run on 4 hits, with 0 walks and 6 K's. When Sonny has his control going he is an exceptional pitcher. And he did last night. Sonny threw 90 pitches with 55 for strikes against 35 balls. But he made his strikes count. His fastball hit 94 several times and stayed at 93 and his curve and changeup were tough. Super outing by the man, as the Yankees defeated the Orioles, 4-1. Sonny moved to 4-4 and now has a 5.50 ERA. Really awesome effort by Sonny. He pitches again Wednesday at Toronto.
Tony was called up to the Astros on May 16th to play left field mostly, and he's reached base in 14 of 16 games that he's played in and has also played stellar defense. Maybe Tony has finally gotten the shot he's so richly deserved. The Astros sent down one of their outfielders, who was struggling, and Tony, who was hitting .335 with a 20 game hitting streak part of it at Triple A Fresno, earned his shot. He had a base hit last night into right field when he came in as a replacement late. I really want the Astros to give Tony every opportunity to start for them. They will be happy they did. Here's a play that Tony made from center field a week and a half ago.
As you can see Tony is playing tremendously. Really proud of him.
Mike pitched 5 innings at the Seattle Mariners Thursday Night, he gave up 6 hits, 5 runs, 4 earned, with 2 walks and 2 K's in a 6-1 loss. Mike threw 96 pitches, 56 for strikes against 40 balls. His fastball was hitting 93-94, and his breaking stuff was pretty solid. Got hurt on the long ball once, but had his team seemingly out of the inning when third baseman Isiah Kiner-Faleta made a great stop of a ball that was headed for left field and looked to be able to turn an inning ending double play. But Isiah's throw got away from second baseman Roughned Odor, and a run scored, and that was a tough break for Mike. It was a great stop by Isiah, he just couldn't complete the throw. But, overall, I was encouraged with how Mike pitched. He was pretty solid and looks to be on a good trajectory. He'll pitch again Wednesday against Oakland at Arlington.
David Price goes against Astros great Justin Verlander in a colossal matchup tonight at 6:15 on FOX. The Red Sox are 39-19, a half game in front of the Yankees, and the Astros are 37-22 and 1 game up on the Mariners. David comes in with a 5-4 record and a 4.04 ERA and has posted 2 encouraging starts recently including a complete game victory over the Orioles a week and a half ago. The great Verlander is 7-2 with a 1.11 ERA. So a major assignment for Dave and the Bosox, who have lost the first 2 @ Houston. Maybe Tony will get to start for the Astros. That would be pretty cool.
Walker Buehler squares off with German Marquez of the Rockies at Denver as the Dodgers keep trying to catch up to the division leading Rockies. The Dodgers at 27-30 are creeping their way back in the division after a slow start. The Dodgers are 3 back of the Rockies which stand at 30-27.
Finally, this highlight by Dansby Swanson is a must watch. With the Braves leading just 1-0 in the bottom of the seventh against the great Stephen Strasburg, Dansby faced a 1-2 count with runners on first and third and one out. Here's what Dans did on Strasburg's 103rd pitch. Please click on Dansby link below. There might be a short commercial before it. Hope you enjoy it.
Dansby has a flair for the dramatic. It's just how he rolls. Braves won 4-0 and are now 34-23 and lead the Nats by 1.5 games, as the Nationals are 32-24. Braves are playing superbly right now.