It feels almost blasphemous to say that the Vanderbilt Commodores have no chance against the Florida Gators in the final contest of Bracket 1 in the 2011 College World Series. After all, the level of talent on all sides of Vandy’s roster is ridiculous, and the Commodores showed their grit with their backs against the wall in tonight’s victory over North Carolina. But given the head-to-head match-ups this year between the two, it seems the Gators simply have the Commodores number no matter what they try.
Thus far, Florida is 4-1 against Vanderbilt in SEC regular season play, the SEC tournament and here for one game already in Omaha. Most recently, Florida sent Vanderbilt to their first and only allowable loss in a 3-1 contest just yesterday. And Florida has a bit of margin to play with while also knowing what Vanderbilt is capable of, having seen them up close. In other words, you can expect Florida to simply play like they know how to play while also not letting up against such a fierce opponent.
With a couple days rest, perhaps it will be Taylor Hill who will take the mound again for Vanderbilt, but you’d almost expect it to be Grayson Garvin at this point. Floriday might counter with Karsten Whitson, who actually had some troubles against Vanderbilt earlier this season and has had some trouble getting through the fifth inning in his starts against them. Perhaps that would give Vanderbilt their best chance, given Karsten’s freshman status. Then again, it might be Hudson Randall.
The winner will be determined this weekend, one way or the other. If Florida wins the opening game on Friday afternoon (2pm ET), then they’re headed to the championship series. If Vanderbilt wins, then they force a final game on Saturday afternoon at the same time. The final series starts on Monday.