Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Motivation factor

by Barca Blog - The Vanderbilt baseball team returns to action tonight with a chance to avenge one if its worst losses of the season -- an 8-0 shut out to Middle Tennessee last Tuesday at Reese Smith Field.

In that game, the Commodores were blanked for the first time this year after the offense only mustered six hits off Blue Raider starter Chad Edwards, who threw MT's first complete game in eight seasons.

You can bet the Commodores would like to even the score tonight at Hawkins Field.

"They jumped us good last Tuesday," head coach Tim Corbin told the media Monday afternoon. "We weren’t even in that game so it was a little demoralizing. As I told the kids, ‘We have a decent team but right now were not even the best team within a 60-mile radius. You’ve got to stand up for yourselves a little bit. We’re not use to losing around here and when you do, it kind of wakes you up a little bit.’”

Take nothing away from Middle Tennessee. If the season ended today, the Blue Raiders would likely earn a NCAA Tournament bid. They're currently receiving votes in the national polls with a 24-8 overall record including 13-5 in the Sun Belt Conference, good for second in the league.

And of course, every win counts as the Commodores (21-13, 7-7 SEC) continue to build their own postseason case after series victories over Florida and Arkansas in the last two weeks.

“It’s a very important game," Corbin added. "We’re not in a position where we can drop many games from an RPI standpoint. Middle Tennessee is right on our heels as far as that’s concerned. They’ve always had the respect of our kids because we know they’re good and know they can hit."

Walkup tickets are still available for tonight's game. Fans can also track the action online here starting at 6 p.m. CT.

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