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Anchor Drop, May 24, 2019: 99 Days to Kickoff

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Interrupting your scheduled baseball programming to bring you an important announcement.

NCAA Football: Florida at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning.

We interrupt your regularly-scheduled baseball programming for an important announcement. Vanderbilt football opens the 2019 season on August 31, which is 99 days from today. That’s right: it’s time for the second annual kickoff countdown! Hopefully less sporadic than the first one!

Like last year, #99 on the roster is Stone Edwards, a 6’5”, 270-pound redshirt sophomore defensive lineman from Orange High School in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Edwards arrived on campus two years ago as one of those long, projectable defensive players that Derek Mason likes to snap up and get in the weight room, and it seems he’s done just that: he’s added 30 pounds of what we can only assume is good weight since joining the program. That hasn’t quite added up to production on the field yet, though; last season, he played in nine games and notched seven total tackles, with one tackle for loss and one sack. With starting defensive lineman Dare Odeyingbo graduated, there’s some room for playing time up front.

Now, back to baseball...

On an 0-2 count with two outs in the bottom of the second inning, Julian Infante deposited Ethan Small’s pitch down the left field line, plating Stephen Scott and giving Vanderbilt its only run of the game. It turned out that was enough: Drake Fellows worked out of multiple jams, Zach King came on in relief of Ethan Smith with two on in the seventh and got out of it, and Tyler Brown shut things down to advance Vanderbilt to Saturday’s semifinals. The Commodores should take advantage of the day off when they meet the winner of Friday’s game between Mississippi State and LSU.

Jenn Edobi ran a 2:05:32 in the 800 meters at the NCAA preliminaries on Thursday, earning herself a spot in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Men’s golf opens the NCAA Championship on Friday at the Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Commodores, who are ranked fourth nationally, are among the favorites in the tournament.

Coming off its first SEC championship since 1994, Vanderbilt soccer recaps the spring.

Jerry Stackhouse added former Colorado and Northern Illinois head coach Ricardo Patton to the staff as “senior advisor to the head coach.” Patton is a Nashville native and a graduate of Hume-Fogg High School and Belmont, and since leaving Northern Illinois in 2012 he’s served as the head coach at Memphis Central High School and an assistant coach at Denver.

Vanderbilt won’t be playing in the Big 12/SEC Challenge this year, aside from the one or two SEC-mandated games against Missouri. But the Commodores did draw the consolation prize of playing an AAC team, and sadly, it’s not Tulane: instead, Vanderbilt will play SMU in the inaugural SEC/AAC Alliance event. Fun fact: when Vanderbilt severed its ties with the Methodist Church in the early years of the 20th century, the Methodist Church founded SMU to literally be Vanderbilt’s replacement.

Off the West End

From our sister blogs: Texas A&M has a new AD, and it’s Ole Miss’s former AD Ross Bjork ... Alabama softball wins Game 1 of the Super Regional ... Florida loses another transfer (geez, what the hell is going on in Gainesville?) ... oh hey, Dawg Sports talks about golf, too ... A Sea of Blue says recruiting isn’t cheap, which is really a post about Kentucky’s above-board recruiting budget, but we all know where your mind immediately went.

The SEC is considering lifting its prohibition on alcohol sales at sporting events. In fairness, there has been an exemption for “club seating” areas for quite a while, which is really a way of allowing rich boosters to drink at games but not the proles in general admission... but soon, everybody at football games will be permitted to drink $10 Bud Light, which I think we can all agree is a good thing.

The 2019 bowl schedule has been released.

The NABC executive director makes seven figures, but a lot of rank-and-file coaches are upset with the NABC’s handling of, well, the college basketball bribery scandal.

Today in Bill C.’s preview series: Virginia Tech.

Scoreboard

The ending to LSU-Auburn needs to be set to Yakety Sax:

Auburn is out, Texas A&M is out after a 1-0 loss to Ole Miss. In the winner’s bracket, Georgia came back to beat Arkansas 3-1.

That puts Georgia into the semifinals along with Vanderbilt. Today in the loser’s bracket: Ole Miss faces Arkansas at 3:00 PM CT, followed by LSU-Mississippi State. Both games will be televised on the SEC Network.

The Raptors moved one game away from the NBA Finals with a 105-99 win in Milwaukee.

Tonight, Walker Buehler takes the mound for the Dodgers in Pittsburgh at 6:05 PM CT.