Nashville Super Regional, Game 1: Mississippi State Bulldogs (36-25) at Vanderbilt Commodores (34-25)
When: 7:00 PM CT
Where: Hawkins Field, Nashville, Tennessee
Starting Pitchers: LHP Ethan Small (5-3, 2.94) vs. RHP Drake Fellows (7-4, 3.52)
Improbably, Vanderbilt is meeting Mississippi State in a Super Regional in Nashville. As we covered yesterday, Mississippi State started SEC play 2-7 and was under .500 overall at the end of March, while Vanderbilt suffered through an April slide when it looked like the Commodores might miss the NCAA Tournament. And yet here we are.
Vanderbilt dominated the Clemson Regional, going 3-0 and outscoring its opponents (St. John’s and then Clemson twice) by a 25-9 score. Mississippi State snuck through the loser’s bracket of the Tallahassee Regional and outscored its opponents 43-36, taking one on the chin in a 20-10 loss to Oklahoma before getting a walkoff win over Florida State, then getting a one-run win over Samford to stave off elimination before picking up two wins over the Sooners.
Mississippi State is throwing a bit of a curveball, starting normal Saturday starter Ethan Small in Game 1 of the supers. Small might actually have been State’s most effective starter this season, though Konnor Pilkington is generally regarded as the team’s ace. As expected, Vanderbilt is going with Friday starter Drake Fellows tonight.
We sincerely hope that Mississippi State fans attending the game don’t all get stuck in the horrible Nashville rush hour traffic for the 7 PM start. Just kidding. Anchor Down.