Will the rain cool off Vanderbilt's bats? Illinois must hope so, because nothing else has worked in the NCAA Tournament so far.
The Commodores have outscored their opponents 49-5 in four games, and that includes a 13-0 thrashing of the #6 Illini on Saturday night. Vanderbilt would have had a chance to punch their ticket for a second-straight College World Series on Sunday, but severe thunderstorms washed game two out to Monday afternoon.
The extra day will give Illinois some time to regroup. The Fighting Illini were 25-2 at home before Saturday's starching. They had only lost one game in 2015 by more than three runs. Now, they'll have to take stock of the mistakes they made and reinforce their lineup in order to keep their season alive. A loss on Monday would eliminate the Big Ten regular season champions from the NCAA Tournament.
Vanderbilt will try to keep their momentum in stampede mode to clinch the school's third trip to Omaha. The Commodores won the tournament in 2014 thanks to the play of athletes like Dansby Swanson, Carson Fulmer, and Walker Buehler. Those guys will have a little extra on their mind tonight; they're all projected to be taken in the first round of tonight's MLB Draft, which starts at 6pm. Swanson, in particular, may be a bit distracted - he's favored to be the league's first overall pick.
Today's game gets started at 3pm CST. You can watch it live on ESPN2. We'll be here in the comments to discuss just how badly ESPN and the NCAA botched yesterday's weather management.
Vanderbilt: Philip Pfeifer (4-4. 4.21 ERA, 101 Ks in 77 innings)
Illinois: Tyler Jay (5-1, 0.60, 70 Ks in 60.1 innings)