Thanks to five shutout relief innings by State redshirt freshman Ross Mitchell, the former Blackman High southpaw and son of former Sounds and Major League pitcher Charlie Mitchell, State blanked the Commodores, 3-0.
Both teams heard their names called when ESPN announced the field of 64 on Memorial Day. Vanderbilt is the No. 2 seed in the Raleigh (N.C.) regional and opens play Friday against UNC-Wilmington. Mississippi State landed in the Tallahassee (Fla.) regional as a 2-seed and takes on Samford in the opening round.
In recent years, Corbin could afford to take a private peek ahead and get a glimpse of his teams future.
He had the horses then. Now hes bringing a lot of ponies to the racetrack. There will be no looking ahead this time.
Its a UNC-Wilmington regional and thats all it is. Nothing more. Nothing less, Corbin told reporters after he learned their destination.
This area saw three teams make the field. Belmont, noted more for its basketball team making the NCAA Tournament, put a modest string of going to the baseball tournament for the second straight year under veteran Bruins Coach Dave Jarvis. And Austin Peay won the OVC Tournament to get a bid to play No. 1 seed Oregon in Eugene.
But not many teams in the field attempting to reach Omaha, can match Vanderbilts rocky road to Raleigh. As they will be taking Chance the Rally Beaver along for the road trip, Chance better be on top of his game.
The worst is behind the Commodores. They proved coming down the stretch they could play with the best in the country.
They dont have a David Price, a Mike Minor or Sonny Gray to virtually guarantee a win on the mound. They dont have a Casey Weathers to close the door shut in late innings. There is no Pedro Alvarez to hit clutch home runs.
Corbin knows there is little room for mistakes with this team. They cant continue to make mental errors in the field or at the plate.
When the pitching was green and unpredictable, Derek Johnson went back to the basics with his players. Doing the little things turned into big results.
Its the way the whole team must play. They cant afford to rely on a five-run ninth inning to eliminate Florida. They pulled off a triple steal in that game, a rarity at any level of baseball.
Ranked 12thin preseason, the Commodores are No. 37 by the coaches. It is their first appearance in months.
Its nothing to get cocky about. It should sound a warning to the players. Dont believe your press clippings when you are down. Dont believe them when you win.
Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle firstname.lastname@example.org.