Bruins Play at #6 Vandy On Friday at 7:00 PM
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont baseball team (36-24) will play in the first NCAA Regional Championship in program history this weekend. The Bruins, as the four seed, will take on cross-town rival and regional host Vanderbilt on Friday at 7:00 p.m.
Belmont and Vandy will play in the evening game of first day action, while two seed Oklahoma State and three seed Troy will compete at 2:00 p.m. in the first game of the double elimination tournament. The winner of this four team tournament at VU's Hawkins Field will move on to play in a Super Regional Series beginning June 10.
Vanderbilt has been ranked in the top ten of most national polls throughout the season. They received the sixth overall national seed for this year's NCAA Tournament and are the number one seed at the Nashville Regional. The Commodores come into the championships with a record of 47-10 and just finished as the runners-up of the SEC Tournament. Aaron Westlake leads VU at the plate with an average of .356 and 13 home runs, while Sonny Gray is the ace on the hill. Gray has a record of 10-3 with and ERA of 2.12 and 112 strikeouts.
Oklahoma State is only 3-7 in its last 10 contests, but has an overall record of 35-23 in the tough Big 12 Conference. The Cowboys won only one contest in the league championships, but come to Nashville as the second seed, taking on Troy in first round action. Oklahoma State is led at the plate by Zach Johnson with an average of .358, 21 doubles, 13 home runs, and 62 RBI. Mike Strong leads the starting pitchers with an ERA of 3.61, a record of 5-1, and 70 strikeouts on the year.
Troy was the Sun Belt regular season champion, but failed to win the league's tournament after falling to eventual champion Arkansas-Little Rock 4-2 in pool play. The Trojans have a record of 42-17 and were 21-9 in Sun Belt play. Tyler Hannah leads Troy at the plate with an average of .369, and has added 27 doubles, seven homers, and 49 RBI. Adam Bryant is tops in the power categories, totaling 11 home runs and 66 runs batted in. Tyler Ray leads the pitching staff with a 2.39 ERA and a perfect 11-0 record on the mound.
Belmont will play either at 2:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. on Saturday against either Troy or Oklahoma State, depending on the outcomes of Friday's games. If the Bruins win and advance, they will play again on Sunday. Catch all of the action from the weekend on the Bruins Sports Network with play-by-play from Rich Tiner, or watch the live stream on www.VUCommodores.com.