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2019 NCAA Super Regional Preview: Nashville



Vanderbilt


Coach:
Tim Corbin

Postseason History: Ninth super regional appearance (third consecutive). Seeking fourth trip to Omaha (first since 2015).

Postseason Route: No. 1 seed in Nashville Regional. Went 3-0, defeating Indiana State, 12-1, in regional final.

Scouting Report (anonymous coach breaks down the Commodores)

“I thought it was the best team we played all year. They have every facet that you can think of that can help them win a game. They have guys that can hit the ball out of the ballpark, they have guys that can beat you with their legs, they have guys that can beat you with their patience and discipline at the plate, they have power arms, they have guys that throw multiple pitches for strikes at any point in time in the count and they play as one unit.

“They know how to manipulate their way through at bats. They have a really good feel, if a pitcher is struggling with command, they’re not going to chase. If you have a pitcher on the mound that’s trying to get ahead, they’ll swing early. They have a really good feel and a plan to beat that pitcher on that day and that does come with experience.

Throw the ball in the other batters’ box and hope (JJ Bleday) swings. His power plays to all fields so there really isn’t a spot you can go. But the best way to get him out is to continue to switch your patterns and change locations and hope you get him to chase a pitch that’s not in the strike zone. He’s proven that with pitches that are up over the white part of the plate, you throw them and they don’t come back in the game.

“It’s a really good pitching staff. It has plenty of guys that know how to pitch, but based on how good their offense is, I believe that bleeds over and carries over into their defense and their pitching. Their bullpen, they have power arms from the left side and right side, which makes it very difficult. You cannot stack lineup with lefties or just righties. They have ways to combat that and beat that. So however you chose to do your lineup, they have ways and things they can do to combat that and to beat you.

“Especially up the middle (they’re solid defensively). They have the ability to make the routine play and the spectacular play. The thing that makes them so difficult defensively is they’re not going to make mistakes. You have to beat them. You’re going to have to command the strike zone, to be get hits offensively because defensively they’re not going to beat themselves. Their ability to make the routine play and the special play is really good.”

Position Name, Year AVG OBP SLG AB HR RBI  
C Ty Duvall, Jr. 0.294 0.433 0.444 160 5 40  
1B Julian Infante, Sr. 0.246 0.35 0.491 167 11 36  
2B Harrison Ray, Jr. 0.275 0.343 0.406 207 2 36  
3B Austin Martin, So. 0.41 0.502 0.603 234 6 36  
SS Ethan Paul, Sr. 0.325 0.392 0.524 252 9 70  
LF Stephen Scott, Sr. 0.335 0.456 0.579 221 11 53  
CF Pat Demarco, So. 0.298 0.376 0.503 171 5 43  
RF JJ Bleday, Jr. 0.353 0.467 0.739 241 26 68  
DH Philip Clarke, So. 0.306 0.387 0.479 242 7 65  
Position Name, Year W L ERA IP BB SO SV
RHP Drake Fellows, Jr. 12 0 3.87 100 38 117 0
RHP Kumar Rocker, Fr. 9 5 3.91 78 16 78.1 0
RHP Mason Hickman, So. 8 0 2.12 80.2 20 107 3
RP Jack Eder, So. 1 0 2.08 34.1 15 37 3
RP Tyler Brown, So. 3 1 2.66 40.2 8 56 14

Duke

Coach: Chris Pollard

Postseason History: Second super regional appearance (second consecutive). Seeking fourth trip to Omaha (first since 1961).

Postseason Route: No. 3 seed in Morgantown Regional. Went 3-0, defeating Texas A&M, 4-1, in regional final.

Scouting Report (anonymous coach breaks down the Blue Devils)

“That bullpen is good. That bullpen is really good. They’ve got good arms. It’s the bullpen with them. If they get decent starts, it gets really hard to score runs at the end of the game against them. It’s a bunch of good arms. Overall, they’ll use some matchups and go with different guys. They’re just ok defensively. To me the key is the bullpen because everything else they do on the defensive side is just ok. Kennie Taylor is awesome in center field but other than that they’re ok, they’re solid. It’s just good arms.

“(Taylor is) awesome. He gives quality at bat after quality at bat. Even when you get him out, it feels like a ton of work to get him out. He’s going to drive in runs, he’s going to get on base to get something going, he can drive the balls to all fields. You feel like at any point he could hit a double and he could leave (the ballpark). When he’s on base you’ve got to control him. He does it defensively too. He’ll make a really big play, he’ll run down a ball in the gap, he’ll be on base, he’s a good player.

“Chase Cheek is really, really athletic. Those two guys give you that speed dimension in there. They have a couple other guys that can run a little bit, but for the most part you just have to worry about Cheek No. 1 and Taylor a little bit as far as stealing bags. For me, Taylor is their guy that makes the whole thing go. Michael Rothenburg will hit some home runs and Matt Mervis has got some power.

“There was a point in the middle of the season where they were done. It sort of looked like they were about ready to go away. There was a point close to the middle of the season where making the ACC Tournament was going to be an issue. They’ve done a really good job.

“They’ve got experience throughout. They’re in a cool spot because they’ve got veteran kind of prospects. It’s not like you have a couple of high-end guys. It’s older, veteran, good college baseball players who will play pro ball, but they’re not littered with big leaguers. It’s a bunch of really good college baseball players and guys that will play professional baseball, but I don’t know how many big leaguers are there. There’s a veteran group and they kind of settled this thing down.”

Position Name, Year AVG OBP SLG AB HR RBI  
C Micheal Rothenberg, So. 0.262 0.382 0.465 202 10 50  
1B Matt Mervis, Jr. 0.282 0.367 0.435 177 6 28  
2B Joey Loperfido, So. 0.257 0.357 0.389 144 4 16  
3B Erikson Nichols, Jr. 0.261 0.333 0.323 226 2 34  
SS Ethan Murray, Fr. 0.316 0.403 0.458 190 5 37  
LF Kyle Gallagher, Gr. 0.261 0.345 0.422 199 7 27  
CF Kennie Taylor, Sr. 0.324 0.388 0.512 250 6 39  
RF Chase Cheek, Jr. 0.293 0.380 0.403 181 1 24  
DH Rudy Maxwell, Fr. 0.257 0.344 0.424 144 3 19  
Position Name, Year W L ERA IP BB SO SV
RHP Ben Gross, Gr. 7 4 4.09 70.1 30 69 0
RHP Bryce Jarvis, So. 5 1 4.06 68.2 33 85 1
LHP Bill Chillari, Jr. 2 3 4.75 66.1 28 46 0
RP Matt Dockman, So. 6 1 3.49 38.2 20 30 2
RP Thomas Girard, So. 1 5 2.15 46 18 61 9
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