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Friday Game Thread: vs. TCU in the College Baseball Showdown

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Vanderbilt v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Week One (2/17-2/19) at The College Baseball Showdown in Arlington, Texas

Friday @ 3:00pm CT against the TCU Horny Toads

Saturday @ 11:00am CT against Okie State

Sunday @ 10:30am CT against Tejas

The Diamond Dores open against three Big XII teams—one of which will be like Missourah (spits) next year, and play mostly SEC teams for some reason—in The College Baseball Showdown. Like most Showdowns, very few people will be able to actually watch this. Why? Because that annoying lady from the Progressive commercials started a scam streaming service for what appears to be only this tournament and some guy’s daughter’s dance recital.

Yes, this pisses us off. No, we’re not giving $30 to FloSports.

Regardless, today is the best day of 2023 thus far as finally our long national nightmare is over, and baseball begins anew. As we’re playing in a quick weekend tourney, I won’t do full previews of each opponent as I would if we were playing a full series against one opponent. Still, I’ll give you a basic overview, and a player and pitcher to watch for each team.

Game One vs. The TCU Horny Toads

‘22 Record: 38-22 (16-8 Big XII).

The Horny Toads were the #2 seed in the Grode Jar Regional, where they would go on to lose to those self-same aTm Grode Jars 16-9 in the regional finals, thus ending their season.

Player to Watch: #55 Jr. 3B Brayden Taylor (.314/.454/.576 with 14 2B, 1 3B, 13 HR, and 50 RBI). The bad news: Last year’s 3 hole hitter is a junior now, so may well be even better than those impressive numbers. He’s got a shot at being a 1st rounder in the upcoming draft. The good news: He’s a lefty and will have to face off against Carter “Rev. Holton Heat” Holton. PLATOON ADVANTAGE PITCHER.

Anchor of Gold Tiger Beat Hottest Pitcher: #48 Jr. RHP Ryan “The Say Hei Kid” Vanderhei (5-6, 6.46 ERA *With the Kansas Rock Chalk Jaywalkers in ‘22). He did not put up impressive numbers for Kansas. Now he is a Horny Toad Ace. No, I don’t get it, either.

Game Two vs. The Okie State Okie Pokes

‘22 Record: 42-22 (15-9 Big XII).

The Okie Pokes were the #1 seed in the Stillwater Regional, but were bounced by the Arky Woo Pig Sooies 7-3 after being them 14-10 in extras the night before.

Player to Watch: #4 So. OF Zach “Ehrmagehrd” Ehrhard (.332/.429/.409 with 8 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, and 31 RBI). Be glad that Jake “Homer Thompson of Terror Lake” Thompson is no longer a Pistol Pete, though also watch out for the power stroke of Jr. Nolan “Healthy Fast Food Menu Item” McLean, who hit a team high 19 dingers in ‘22.

Anchor of Gold Tiger Beat Hottest Pitcher: #27 Jr. RHP Brian “High School Hero” Hendry (2-5, 5.00 ERA with the St. John’s Red Storm in ‘21). Now why did I choose a transfer reliever who was out with an injury for the entirety of 2022 as the Anchor of Gold Tiger Beat Hottest Pitcher? Because he is a proud graduate of the same high school as yours truly. SHAWNEE HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL RULES!!! BEAT THOSE LENAPE LOSERS!!!

Game Three vs. The Tejas Long Fedoras*

‘22 Record: 47-22 (14-10 Big XII).

The Long Fedoras, powered by the big bat of Ivan “The Terrible” Melendez (since drafted #43 overall by the Arizona D-Bags, so we won’t have to worry about his thunder stick), wen’t the furthest of all four teams—Vanderbilt included—in last year’s NCAA Tourney. They took a trip to Omaha... but then returned promptly after going two and que to Notre Dame and the aTm Grode Jars.

Player to Watch: #8 Jr. INF/OF Dylan “He Spits Hot Soup” Campbell (.267/.370/.494 with 8 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR, and 29 RBI). Melendez and his unreal 32 HR and 94 RBI are gone, as is Murphy “The Law” Stehly and his none-too-shabby 19 HR and 61 RBI. As such, the Long Fedoras rode the long ball to Omaha. Take a look at their stats from last year. That team is pretty much all gone. Case in point, you have to go SEVEN guys down on that stats list to find a returning player. This year, they’ll have to do it on the strength of their starting pitching.

Anchor of Gold Tiger Beat Hottest Pitcher: #13 Jr. LHP Lucas “The Gordon’s Fisherman” Gordon (7-2, 3.05 ERA). Thankfully, we won’t have to face their ace. I mostly bring it up to point out that Tejas has a verifiable clone of Vandy’s most bullshit major, but they call it Human Dimensions of Organizations. BUSINESS WORD SALAD DEGREE TWINNING!!!


On the Mound

Friday @ 3:00pm CT against TCU

#20 Vanderbilt So. LHP Carter “Rev. Holton Heat” Holton (8-4; 3.14 ERA)

vs. #48 TCU Jr. RHP Ryan “The Say Hei Kid” Vanderhei (5-6, 6.46 ERA *With the Kansas Rock Chalk Jaywalkers).

Saturday @ 11:00am CT against Okie State

#33 Vanderbilt So. LHP Hunter “Mr. Manager” Owen (2-1; 4.05 ERA)

vs. #28 Okie State Fr. LHP Brennan “Wilson” Phillips (N/A)

Sunday @ 10:30am CT against Tejas

Vanderbilt TBD, but likely Devin Futrell, Andrew Dutkanych, Sam Hliboki, or Patrick Reilly

vs. Tejas TBD, but likely #39 RS So. RHP Travis “Too Many Consonants in a Row” Sthele (3-1; 6.03 ERA).

*All records and ERAs from 2022 because duh.

The Lineup

Be happy. Baseball is back.