The Hoos did what most UVa fans expected them to do last night by dominating Vanderbilt thanks to timely hitting and supreme pitching. Most of the credit must be given to Brandon Waddell who had his second complete game of the season and held the Commodores to only two runs.
Tonight is a different story, as both teams know there is no tomorrow. It's winner take all in Omaha.
The two lineups will be virtually identical to what the two coaches have sent out in the first two games, so we all know what we will see at the plate. The biggest differences will be who is on the mound, and for how long.
Vanderbilt is likely to send to the mound right-handed Soph. Carson Fulmer. Fulmer only has nine starts on the season, but has amassed a 2.00 ERA in 85 innings thanks to 25 appearances. Over the entire season, Fulmer has been a good option for the Commodores out of the pen. However, he will be coming off short rest having started the final game Vanderbilt played against Texas on Saturday. He wasn't all that impressive or dominant as he allowed 2 runs over 4.1 innings, thanks in large part to 6 walks and 4 hits allowed. That's not a great WHIP.
Also in that Texas game, when Fulmer got in trouble, Coach Corbin went to right-handed Freshman, Hayden Stone. Stone only allowed a single run to Texas over the final five innings securing the Commodore W. I mention Stone because he is thought to be the first in relief for the Commodores again tonight.
On the UVa side, 2nd year Josh Sborz will start in yet another big game. Sborz has experience in big games having already started the final game against Maryland in the Super Regional and Saturday's game against Ole Miss. The good part for UVa is that even though they lost the first game, they did not have to use Artie Lewicki or Nick Howard. I am sure Coach O'Connor has all the confidence in the world in Sborz, but I expect Lewicki will be in the bullpen no later than the third inning, if he doesn't start down there.
Both teams have their staffs ready to go and will look to their offenses to give them the edge. If you're judging off the first two games, UVa should have the edge. Should be good.