Tim Corbin planned to gather his team at his West End home Tuesday night with the idea that they all would relegate their victory in the Louisville Regional to the history books.
Their focus now is on the Super Regional and their opponent, Florida State. The winner in that best-of-three series at Tallahasse, Fla., advances to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
“We’ll sit them down and talk to them about out next plan, and that’s really where we have to channel ourselves and our thinking and our emotions,” Corbin said Tuesday afternoon. “What we did this past weekend is now a highlight film and it’s going to have to stay that way. We’ll put it on the desk and watch it after the year.”
While it’s true that their five games at Jim Patterson Field provided some treasured memories, they did not necessarily offer an accurate reflection of the Commodores’ season to this point.
Simply put, it took some unusual performances for VU to make its way through the double-elimination event in which it survived three elimination contests.
For example, the Commodores’ two best starting pitching performances came from relief pitchers. Richie Goodenow threw a two-hit shutout on Sunday in the first game of the championship round against Louisville, the No. 7 overall seed in the NCAA tournament. The next day Grayson Garvin held the Cardinals scoreless through the first six innings of the decisive contest, which Vanderbilt ultimately won 3-2 in extra innings.
Between them, Goodenow, a junior, and Garvin, a sophomore, had a combined three career starts before the weekend.
In the regional opener, it was a pitcher, Jack Armstrong, who delivered the game-winning RBI with a pinch-hit single in the bottom of the 13th inning.
“We talked a lot about that before we started, about how guys would have to maybe fill another role, or (guys) who haven’t had a role (would) have a role in this particular series,” Corbin said. “That’s exactly what happened.”
A more apt use for that highlight reel could be as sort of a baseball encyclopedia given the many dramatic developments and critical plays that took place during the Commodores’ five contests.
Freshman outfielder Connor Harrell, for example, drove in the game-winning run Monday with a squeeze bunt. Earlier in the contest, he kept Louisville from a big innin when he reached over the fence in right-center field and caught a would-be home run ball.
“The things that happened in this regional – you go from catches over the fence to hidden ball tricks, you go to squeezes at the end of the game,” Corbin said. “We kind of ran the gamut in the game of baseball – offensively, defensively and pitching.
“But we’re going to get better from it.”
They just don’t intend to look back on it anytime soon.
SUPER REGIONAL SCHEDULE
Vanderbilt (45-18) vs. Florida State (45-17)
(at Howser Stadium, all times CDT)
Friday: 11 a.m. (ESPN2)
Saturday: Noon (ESPN)
Sunday (if necessary): Noon (ESPN)