By Barca Blog
Don't put Tim Corbin in that category. His philosophy has always been to play to win it all, no matter what the circumstances.
That's why Corbin will go with sophomore ace Sonny Gray (8-4, 3.44 ERA) against Arkansas in the opener on Wednesday night at Regions Park.
"This tournament means a lot to us, and it will always mean a lot to us," stated Corbin, who has led the Commodores to the SEC championship game in four of the last six years. "Just because a regional is down the road, we never would go down to Hoover to get through it. You win tournaments by playing in tournaments. This is a tournament that we can actually practice playing in a regional or super regional."
As for the rotation after Wednesday's game, Corbin said that he would go with the pitcher that presents the best matchup. He intends to use Taylor Hill and Jack Armstrong during the week, but also mentioned that there may be some wild cards in the equation. Corbin specifically noted that southpaw reliever Grayson Garvin has the potential to start, especially against a left-handed hitting team.
Arkansas hasn't announced if they will go with Drew Smyly (8-1, 2.58 ERA), their No. 1 arm, against the Dores. Gray outdueled Smyly last Thursday in Vanderbilt's only win over the Razorbacks. Smyly could be held out, though, due to a blister on his finger which nagged him during that five-inning outing.
Gray has one previous career start in the SEC Tournament. As a freshman in 2009, he earned a no-decision after allowing four runs in seven innings while striking out 11 in the Commodores' 5-4 victory against South Carolina.