27 Jun

when last we met …

Back in April, which seems like such a long time ago, College World Series finalists Mississippi State and Vanderbilt hooked up in Nashville for an SEC series. The Commodores, behind the pitching of Ace 1A Kumar Rocker and the lesser known duo of Chris McElvain and Nick Maldonado, took two of three from the Bulldogs. Rocker pitched a three-hitter in the opener and McElvain and Maldonado provided stout relief in the rubber game in which State couldn’t hold an early 4-0 lead. State’s win in Game 2 was an eye-opener, as Will Bednar, with a big assist from Landon Sims, beat Vandy’s other ace, Jack Leiter, who hadn’t lost a game in his Vandy career. Rowdey Jordan and Logan Tanner homered off Leiter. The pitching matchups for the best-of-3 CWS finals, which start Monday, haven’t been announced, though it’s a good bet Leiter will start the opener. How much should be made of the April meeting? It can’t be totally dismissed, but, of course, the stakes are little different this week. And then there’s the atmosphere. The biggest crowd at Vandy’s Hawkins Field during the April series was 1,407, very few of them State fans. TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha will be a sea of maroon. Think it’ll make a difference?

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