After a tumultuous season where it was a question whether Vanderbilt baseball would even make it to the NCAA Tournament, the Commodores will host a Super Regional.
Vanderbilt will welcome conference rival Mississippi State to Nashville this weekend with a berth in the College World Series on the line. The ‘Dores earned the opportunity after sweeping through the Clemson Regional as a two-seed, only to find another two-seed waiting on the other side. The Bulldogs battled their way through No. 7 Florida State’s regional to score an upset win and become one of six SEC teams to earn a spot in baseball’s Sweet 16.
That left the NCAA with a choice to make between Vanderbilt and Mississippi State as Super Regional host. While Nashville’s bid was burdened by a smaller stadium and a city beset by tourists for Country Music Association (CMA) Fest, Vandy still wound up getting the nod after an impressive showing in Clemson and a resume that featured 21 wins over top 50 teams.
This could wind up being a bad thing for the Commodores. After all, their best SEC performance of the season came in Starkville when they took three straight games against Mississippi State back in March. That was back when Vandy baseball looked like a top 10 team — a distinction they shed a few weeks later in a roller coaster of a season.
And, because Mississippi State is an SEC school, its fans couldn’t resist saying dumb shit about the fact their team, who again GOT SWEPT BY VANDERBILT AT HOME THIS SEASON, wasn’t chosen to host. Even if that’s not part of the selection committee’s official criteria, it’s certainly bad optics for the NCAA, who also had to take concerns about construction at the Bulldogs’ home stadium into account.
All 1,500 people there will love it— Justus Kowalski (@JustusForAll93) June 5, 2018
This is comical!!!!! Oooo let’s play where a stadium can only hold 3k fans. Way to screw the pooch again ncaa...— Patrick Bullock (@pickledchips) June 5, 2018
3700 capacity, lower RPI, lesser wins against top 25, upset a worse seeded team. WTH?— Clayton (@cl_yt_nw_lt_rs) June 5, 2018
I guess there were too many seats in the stadium, open hotel rooms, available restaurant reservations, and baseball fans in Starkville.— bulldogsociety.net (@bulldogSociety) June 5, 2018
Fake field, 4K max attendance, CMA fest with hotel rooms with a rate more per night than the stadium can hold... but then again, I always said the NCAA was going to “be the NCAA” and roll with another non-brain decision. People working there do not have a functioning brain.— Heath Sellers™ (@CoachSellers) June 5, 2018
You want to host a Super Regional? Maybe don’t plan construction for the week of said Super Regional. And definitely don’t get swept by the other 2-seed in the pod you’ll eventually get matched up against.