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Tuesday CWS Finals Game Thread: Vanderbilt vs. Clanga

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Jack Leiter, Maldo, Gonzo, and the Boys took care of Clanga 8-2 on Monday. One more win and the title’s ours. Let’s do this. 6pm CT ESPN.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Mississippi State v Vanderbilt Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday June 29th at 6pm CT on ESPN

#4 Vanderbilt Commodores (49-16, 19-10 SEC)

vs.

#7 Clanga (48-18, 20-10 SEC)

On the Mound

Vanderbilt #42 Fr. RHP Christian “The Answer” Little (3-1, 4.87 ERA, 10.40 K/9, 3.98 BB/9)

OR

Vanderbilt #88 Fr. RHP Patrick “Life Of” Reilly (4-2, 4.89 ERA, 11.55 K/9, 5.10 BB/9)

VERSUS

Clanga #24 So. RHP Will “Nard Bed“ Bednar (8-1, 3.34 ERA, 14.07 K/9, 2.40 BB/9), who started this Saturday against Tejas (and threw 97 pitches).

OR

Clanga #48 Sr. LHP Houston “Tonya” Harding (7-2, 3.10 ERA, 9.78 K/9, 2.95 BB/9), who started this Friday against Tejas (and threw 81 pitches).

OR Chris “Lemon Party” Lemonis goes full Dave Van Horn, and it’s...

Clanga #23 So. RHP Landon “The Rover” Sims (5-0, 1.52 ERA, 16.20 K/9, 2.36 BB/9), who last pitched this Saturday in relief against Tejas (and threw 36 pitches).

*Note: Neither lineups nor pitching match-ups have been released today, so this is an educated guess on my part.

Snap Analysis and Predictions:

The Dores punished Clanga in the first for some BBs and HBPs, and Gonzo all but put the game away with a 3 run bomb to make it 7-1 before the first frame was even over. That was way more than enough for Jack Leiter and Nick Maldonado. Beyond that, the defensive jitters we saw early in Omaha were completely gone, and the Boys played like champions on defense last night. Can we start hot and hold off their charge again tonight? Let’s take a closer look at how both teams have performed all year

Offense: We were hot early last night, and it proved to be more than enough. Still, let’s take a look at how both teams fared in 2021.

Clanga: .276/.373/.439 with 118 2B, 13 3B, 73 HR, and 417 RBI. On the base paths, Clanga has swiped a more than respectable 71-89 bags.

Vanderbilt: .290/.383/.487 with 130 2B, 20 3B, 90 HR and 430 RBI. On the base paths, the Diamond Dores have swiped 91-103 bags.

As you can see, on paper, the Commodores and Clanga are pretty evenly matched, offensively, with Vanderbilt having the slight advantage in AVG, OBP, SLG, 2B, 3B, HR, Stolen Bases, and RBI/Runs Scored (all categories).

Advantage: Push/slight advantage for the Diamond Dores.

Pitching: This is less of a starter versus starter metric, and more of a staff versus staff one tonight. We won’t have either of our aces, but we will have the more rested arms, as we only had to use two pitcher’s to Clanga’s six on Monday. The one question I have is this: Will Chris “Lemon Party” Lemonis go full Dave Van Horn and go to closer Landon Sims really early? We need to be prepared for anything, so let’s look at the pitching staffs of both teams as a whole.

Clanga: 4.13 ERA, .223 b/avg, 12.26 K/9, 3.96 BB/9.

Vanderbilt: 3.25 ERA, .186 b/avg, 11.93 K/9, 3.61 BB/9.

Advantage: Even though neither Leiter nor Rocker will have the ball tonight, this is still a slight advantage for Vanderbilt. Whomever Clanga starts will either be on short rest (Harding), really short rest (Bednar), or full Dave Van Horn scorched-earth closer strategy (Sims, who has zero starts this year). Though they might look dominant for an inning or two, their arms will tire early, their grip strength may wane, and expect their velo and location to be not as crisp after one time through the lineup. Vanderbilt will have the advantage in the pen, as well, as Clanga used 5 pitchers from their pen, but Vandy only had to use Maldo in a 3 inning save. In short, Clanga will make everyone available, though there’s a good chance of arm tiredness from nearly all but closer Landon Sims. For the Dores, the only pitchers unavailable tonight are Leiter, Maldo, and Rocker (though, of course, he could go for an inning or two if it was absolutely needed). As long as our young guns pitch to their potential, we hold the slight advantage here, even though their potential starters’ numbers might look stronger on paper.

Anchor of Gold Twitter Poll Prediction:

Prediction: You know Clanga’s going to throw everything at us and the kitchen sink, right? The question is: with their starters on short rest and using six pitchers last night (of course, they did not use their closer, Sims), will it be enough? Beyond that, will the Diamond Dores stay hot at the plate and crisp in the field like they did last night? Will whichever of the young guns we start (Little or Reilly) be able to step up in the biggest moment of their lives? If I had to bet, I’d bet on Vanderbilt. Expect Clanga to leave everything on the field, but I’ll take the team with the well-rested arms and the killer instinct.

See you in the comments.