Corvallis Regional PREVIEW: Can the VandyBoys flip the switch?

Getting swept on your home turf by the LSU is not the ideal way Tim Corbin saw his squad ending the regular season nearly two weeks ago. Losing two of three in Hoover at the SEC tournament last weekend surely didn’t help the cause of flipping the script either.

Nonetheless, it is now June. Where everyone around the country begins a new season with a record of 0-0. It’s called the Postseason. We sleep in July.

“It’s completely different,” said Tim Corbin after Monday’s selection show. “It doesn’t matter what you’ve done February, March, April, May. This is June, and we’ve been in June quite a bit. We like June. June has been good to Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt has been good to June. So we just take pride in being able to play.”

The VandyBoys found out they would be heading out West to the Corvallis Regional on Monday morning during the Selection Show. Hosted by the No. 3 overall seed Oregon State Beavers, the Dores will be joined by San Diego and New Mexico State this weekend. One could say taking a trip to the other side of the country is not a bad thing for the struggling Commodore squad.

“I think our guys love going on the road,” said Tim Corbin. “I don’t think it would have mattered where we go. They’ll be excited about the opportunity. They’ll be excited to play. They’ll be excited to show their best selves in any environment.”

This will be the VandyBoys’ first time hitting the road for a Regional since 2018 at Clemson, coming out of it victorious, later falling to Mississippi State in the Supers. Interestingly enough, Vanderbilt is 4-8 in road Regionals under Head Coach Tim Corbin, which quite frankly, isn’t bad at all.

Vanderbilt will begin regional play against the 3 seeded San Diego Toreros on Friday at 3pm CT (ESPNU). Although it is not official, Coach Corbin told a local radio show Wednesday morning that his guys are preparing to face San Diego’s ace, LHP Brycen Mautz, who is expected to be selected in the top-5 rounds for the upcoming 2022 MLB Draft. Has a 9-2 record with a 4.09 ERA and 190 strikeouts on the season.

On the Vanderbilt side of things, expect Freshman southpaw Carter Holton to get the nod on the mound to start the weekend off in Corvallis.

“Carter and McElvain will start, we’ll go TBA after that,” Corbin said on 560 WNSR on Wednesday morning. “I like what we have, these are our guys.”

Assuming the Commodores take care of business on Friday afternoon, this would potentially lead to a matchup for Chris McElvain against the powerful offense of the Beavers. Interestingly enough, Oregon State will go with their ace, Cooper Hjerpe, on the mound Friday against No. 4 seeded New Mexico State. This means Vanderbilt would likely see the Beavers’ number two arm in the rotation on Saturday if this scenario occurs.

Personally, I feel like this only helps the Commodores’ chances of having an offense outburst, which would be highly needed if the Dores have any shot to knock off the Pac-12 powerhouse. This must happen for Vanderbilt if they have any hope of squeaking past the Corvallis Regional and advancing to the Supers for a fourth consecutive season.

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