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Super Regional Preview/Gamethread: Vanderbilt at #6 Illinois

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Two of the best pitchers in the NCAA will square off on Saturday night when Vanderbilt and #6 Illinois kick off the Champaign Super Regional. Will Carson Fulmer lead the Dores to victory, or will Kevin Duchene hold serve at home?

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Two of the hottest teams in college baseball will square off on Saturday night with a trip to the College World Series on the line. Vanderbilt and #6 Illinois both ripped through Regional play to set up one of the most hotly-anticipated Super Regional showdowns of 2015.

Game one is set to live up to the hype. SEC Pitcher of the Year Carson Fulmer will square off against Illinois ace Kevin Duchene. If Duchene can make it through seven innings, he'll cede the mound to the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, Tyler Jay. The stage is set for plenty of strikeouts at Illinois Field tonight.

Those hurlers will have to deal with two very potent offenses. Vanderbilt ran through the Nashville Regional and scored 12 runs per game along the way. That included a 21-0 curb stomping of Radford that reminded everyone that the Commodores are the defending national champions. Illinois. on the other hand, scored *only* seven runs per game in their 3-0 trip through the NCAA Regional. They're led by first baseman David Kerian. Kerian is batting .376 on the season, reached base nine times in his last three games, and has hit 16 home runs on the season.

Can Vanderbilt prove that their return to championship form was no fluke? Will Illinois shake off the jitters that come with their first-ever Super Regional appearance to play like the team that went 25-2 at home this season?

First pitch is scheduled for 7pm CST. You can watch the game live on ESPNU and, as always, follow along with us in the comments and join the debate over which pitcher looks better in wraparound Oakleys.

Probable Starters

Vanderbilt: Carson Fulmer (12-2, 1.92 ERA, 147 Ks in 107.2 innings)

Illinois: Kevin Duchene (11-1, 1.46 ERA, 86 Ks in 98.2 innings)