After an impressive late-season comeback and the A-Sun tournament championship, Belmont is continuing its hot post-season on the big stage.
Coach Dave Jarvis and his Bruins hope to continue their streak. at their first NCAA regional Friday night at Hawkins Field in Nashville.
The Bruins, winners of 19 of their last 26, will face the region host and #6 seed overall Vanderbilt Commodores in their first ever NCAA tournament appearance.
The Music City showdown is just the latest game in the neighborhood rivalry that began in 1968. The Commodores defeated the Bruins 6-2 in a game earlier this season.
After the game, Tim Corbin, veteran head coach of Vanderbilt, boldly predicted that Belmont would be a NCAA regional team.
“Up until four weeks ago, I thought he was as nutty as a fruit cake. But he made that statement to me and pulled aside a couple of our players and told them,” Jarvis said to the Tennessean.
Both coaches have announced they are starting their aces: junior right-hander Matt Haman (9-1, 2.22) for Belmont and Sonny Grey (10-3, 2.12), also a junior right-hander for Vanderbilt.
Corbin also plans to keep with Vanderbilt’s normal weekend pitching rotation, throwing SEC pitcher of the year Grayson Garvin in the second regional game and Taylor Hill in the third.
Also in the Nashville regional are the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Troy Trojans. Whoever advances out of the regional will compete in the Super Regional against the winner Oregon State Regional in Corvallis, Ore.
The Bruins will play again on Saturday at either 2 p.m. or 7 p.m., depending on the outcome of Friday night’s game. A limited number of single tickets for Saturday’s game are still available through Belmont and Vanderbilt’s athletic departments.