Game Three vs. The Tejas Long Fedoras*
‘22 Record: 47-22 (14-10 Big XII).
‘23 Record: 0-2 (0-1 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), went 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.
In 2023, though you don’t want to read too much into two games, it certainly appears that excising a Brobdingnagian amount of thunder from the lineup has hurt Tejas, no matter how nice these guys are, no matter how many doors they open for women, no matter how suavely they tip their Long Fedoras and say, “M’lady.”
They’ve been baseball friend zoned.
You can forgive anyone for losing 3-2 to Arky, as Dave Van Horn has the Woo Pig Sooies as a top team annually, and, you know, they’ve got this guy:
However, to follow that up with their first conference loss to Missourah (spits)—a team that hasn’t been strong since Max Scherzer was drafted—is suboptimal. Further, to get walked off by that Missourah (spits) lineup... yikes.
Player to Watch: #8 Jr. RF 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.
*Note: He Spits Hot Soup is currently 0-7 through 2 games. The Long Fedoras’ current hottest hitter is #35 Jr. C Garret Guillemette (.250/.400/.500 with 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, and 0 RBI). Seriously. They are a collective (.161/.288/.242) at the plate through 2 games. Their opponents are (.306/.370/.444). Let’s keep these trends going, please and thank you.
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
Sunday @ 10:30am CT against Tejas
#95 Vanderbilt So. LHP Devin “The Future” Futrell (9-3; 3.41 ERA)
vs. #39 Tejas RS So. RHP Travis “Too Many Consonants in a Row” Sthele (3-1; 6.03 ERA).
*All records and ERAs from 2022 because duh.
**Follow up note: Tejas has had to use 10 pitchers through 2 games, so very few of their arms will be fresh. Only #42 Jr. LHP Chris Stuart (0-0; 5.40 ERA) has thrown in both games, though, so likely just Stuart, the first two starters (Gordon and Morehouse), and #88 RS So. RHP Andre Duplantier (threw 2 IP yesterday) will be unavailable.
Vanderbilt has used 9 pitchers, though none more than once. Holton, Hliboki, Owen, and Dutkanych will be the only pitchers unavailable on Sunday.
McKenzie and Espinal getting a shot today. The Bulge has gone 0-fer in the first two games, so this makes sense. Not sure I would take Polk out of the lineup after yesterday, though.
See you in the comments, M’commentariat.
*Statistical update note: Corbs awarded The Duke with the W yesterday, though Vanderbilt was up 9-2 through Mr. Manager’s 4 IP. It’s a quirky rule, but basically, if you don’t go at least 5 IP, the manager can award the win to anyone who pitches. I don’t get it, either.