Scouting Vanderbilt -- CWS Bracket 1 Semis -- 6/25, 3:07pm EDT start

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AlleyPack
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College World Series
Bracket One Semifinals
Friday, 6/25 -- 2 p.m.
Saturday, 6/26 -- 2 p.m. (if necessary)

Vanderbilt

Odds are strong that Vanderbilt will be able to start Kumar Rocker on Friday, 6/25.
He threw 100 pitches on Saturday, 6/19 so would be going on five days rest.

One note is that this would match his shortest turnaround of the season between starts. Only one other time all season long has Rocker pitched on five days rest. All other times he has thrown on six, seven, or even more days between starts.

It should also be noted that Vanderbilt's No. 4 starter, Patrick Reilly (who pitched against Georgia Tech in the Regionals), is fresh and available -- the team chose not to use him at any point against Stanford on Wednesday. This is only mentioned on the off chance that the Vandy coach does NOT feel comfortable starting Rocker on five days rest.

Scouting Rocker

He has a fastball that sits in the 93-96 range and can reach 99, but location/control is sometimes an issue, as can be "flatness" to the pitch.
His best offering is a mid/high-80s slider. In last year's CWS no-hitter against Duke, all 19 of his strikeouts in that game came via the slider.
He also features a low-80s curveball.

When the slider is on, he's tough to hit. If it's not breaking right and hangs, then he's vulnerable.

On the season:

18 GS, 111.2 IP, 64 H, 36 BB, 8 HR

Poor starts:
vs. Georgia -- 5 IP, 6 ER, 3 HR
vs. Alabama -- 5 IP, 6 ER
at Arkansas -- 3.1 IP, 5 ER
vs. Arizona -- 5.2 IP, 3 ER

Bottom line:
Rocker can be overpowering when his mechanics are 100% and his breaking pitches are on.
But he becomes vulnerable if there are any control/location issues at all.
Jack Leiter was the SEC Pitcher of the Year -- not Rocker.

Starting for State

It remains to see which direction coach Avent will go.
He could choose to start Reid Johnston on five days rest -- or he could go with M. Willadsen, who last threw on 6/13 against Arkansas.

Advantages

A primary advantage that State has heading into Friday's game is a fresh bullpen.
Vanderbilt heavily used two of their better relief arms on Wednesday:
Maldonado -- 51 pitches
McElvain -- 30 pitches
Also, their closer, Murphy, threw 17 pitches.

State has also had all week to scout, watch video, and prepare for the pitchers they will likely face.
Finally, this team has defeated Kopps, Beck, and Leiter over the past two weeks. They won't cower from, or be intiminated by, any pitcher at this point in the season.
DecaturWolf
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And... Vandy should have lost to Stanford easily. Stanford 2-14 with RISP.
castlewood107
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Interesting quotes from Corbin after the game. This team other than Rocker hasn't faced this kind of pressure before. We need to let them know early we are the loose, confident top team in this bracket.

Stanford should have had more early and it ended up costing them.

"I thought we were pressing a little bit. I thought we were pressing. We were anxious in some respects offensively. We were on our heels defensively. And it cost us. The first inning was indicative of how we were playing the first four innings. Ball's not taken care of. Fly balls not being caught. I just thought we were very tentative inside of the game.

"And, I mean, you look at the lineup, absolutely zero excuses, but you look at the lineup and none of those guys have been on the field before. So I'm sure for them, when you think about it and you're human and the elimination games are just different because you know that if things don't go your way, the season's over. And there's some emotional feelings that way. And I'm sure it can pull you down. And it's tough to get inside this environment and play with freedom."

gopack_83
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Was hoping we'd get Stanford, but with how this run has gone so far i'm not surprised we are facing Rocker with a chance to reach the final series. Still think this game is going to come down to our pitching/defense. If we can keep Vandy to 2-3 runs or less, I like our chances
Scwuffpak
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Rocker seems hittable. I think if we stay aggressive at the plate and get his pitch count up we should be in good shape. We have excellent hitters up and down the lineup and an outstanding pitching staff that is fully rested.

Let's do this thing!!

GO PACK!!
southwolf
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I could see a world in which they start their 4th starter Friday in order to have a fully rested Rocker Saturday and a fully rested Leiter for the finals. Wouldn't bet on it but they'll need at least one of those guys to win the final series if they were to make it. Makes for fun conversation
pack95
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Who will we pitch?
AlleyPack
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pack95 said:

Who will we pitch?

It will be Williadsen unless coach Avent is comfortable throwing Reid Johnson on five days rest.
(I'll edit the top post; thanks.)
James Henderson
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Staff
Obviously you don't want to think about Saturday but can they come back with Leiter Friday?
wilmwolf
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Trees will tap dance, elephants will drive at Indy and Orson Welles will skip lunch before North Carolina State finds a way to beat Vanderbilt in the College World Series Friday night.

And with good reason, because Vandy with Rocker is reckoned a cinch to win this national championship. After seeing what Vanderbilt did to Stanford--which is what Mount St. Helens did to unsuspecting trees--only zealots and lovers of stray dogs give N.C. State any chance.
Just a guy on the sunshine squad.
The Gatekeeper.
AlleyPack
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James Henderson said:

Obviously you don't want to think about Saturday but can they come back with Leiter Friday?

Highly doubtful -- especially considering the Vandy coach is known for being overly cautious with his pitchers.
Leiter would be on only three days rest should he pitch on Friday.

Even if he pitches on Saturday (on four days rest) there's a chance he won't be as sharp/effective as the last time we saw him.
AlleyPack
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Leiter's shortest turnaround all season long was five days rest -- and he only did that once.

He usually pitched on seven days rest.
smitt86
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We just saw Leiter on extra rest and he was fantastic. So far every pitcher I've seen in the CWS throwing on short rest has looked noticeably worse than they normally do. Not sure Rocker and Leiter pitching Friday and Saturday will have their usual stuff, but when you're that good, even a A- performance can get the win.

I'm honestly more worried about us than what they do. If our pitching stays as good as it's been, I think we have the bats/team to beat Vandy, just wonder who we start and if it's not Johnston, will the other guy be a bit rusty not having pitched in 12 days.
FlockaWolf
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They didn't pitch Rocker on 4 days rest, they definitely will not pitch Leiter on 3 days
southwolf
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Guess we'll see how much Corbin really values only throwing pitchers when they're fully rested
FlockaWolf
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We have played and won against 3 of those poor start teams. I don't know what that means but it's a fact.
DecaturWolf
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How NC State apparent not-so-elite pitching has fared against its last three national powers (#1, 4, & 6):
Arkansas - 2 runs
Stanford - 4 runs
Vandy - 0 runs
Vandy's elite pitching gave up 6 runs to ZONA and 5 runs to Stanford, who also was 2-14 with RISP.

WilmingtonPackman777
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I am fully wishing the game was tonight, not for any strategic reason, but simply because I can't wait.like a kid on Dec 23rd.
Wolfer79
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metcalfmafia
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I hate that this game is at 2pm right in the middle of meetings.
CLTWolf
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metcalfmafia said:

I hate that this game is at 2pm right in the middle of meetings.
My company, specifically my team has our calendars pretty much "blocked" on Friday's after 12/1pm. hahaha

Of course my daughter has a play we have to go to at 2pm tomorrow. Thank goodness for smart phones.
*Wolfpack Baseball - 2021 *NCAA COLLEGE WORLD SERIES CHAMPS!
*Congrats to the 10 win 2021 Wolfpack football team!
78wilsonpack
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metcalfmafia said:

I hate that this game is at 2pm right in the middle of meetings.
Solution - resign today and just walk out. Boom
James Henderson
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Staff
AlleyPack said:

James Henderson said:

Obviously you don't want to think about Saturday but can they come back with Leiter Friday?

Highly doubtful -- especially considering the Vandy coach is known for being overly cautious with his pitchers.
Leiter would be on only three days rest should he pitch on Friday.

Even if he pitches on Saturday (on four days rest) there's a chance he won't be as sharp/effective as the last time we saw him.
Sorry, meant could they go back to him on 4 on Saturday.
Djdamato
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Got two shots at first rounders and have to beat one. I would pitch Johnston so that IF you make it to the finals you can get more use out of Johnston Wednesday.

Really wish Stanford would have closed out yesterday.
Djdamato
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Leiter is 100% throwing Saturday. He will be throwing on 4 days rest in a couple weeks in pro ball.
smitt86
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FlockaWolf said:

They didn't pitch Rocker on 4 days rest, they definitely will not pitch Leiter on 3 days
We keep talking about this coach being conservative with his top pitchers, he is about to have the opportunity to live up to that or totally change that rep.

If he throws both of those guys, even not full games, he couldn't possibly turn around and use them in the CWS finals at all right? Rocker throwing Friday, he couldn't throw on Tuesday on 3-days rest, is he not going to throw him if they get to Wednesday on 4-days rest? Using Leiter on Sat would erase him from the finals(same for us if we use Johnston on Sat). Talk about a lame duck Vandy team hitting the CWS finals without the option of throwing Rocker or Leiter, at all.
55Burgers
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wilmwolf80 said:

Trees will tap dance, elephants will drive at Indy and Orson Welles will skip lunch before North Carolina State finds a way to beat Vanderbilt in the College World Series Friday night.

And with good reason, because Vandy with Rocker is reckoned a cinch to win this national championship. After seeing what Vanderbilt did to Stanford--which is what Mount St. Helens did to unsuspecting trees--only zealots and lovers of stray dogs give N.C. State any chance.
Easy now. That kind of sarcasm on these boards is not allowed. The neighborhood patrolmen will have your hide.
AlleyPack
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Djdamato said:

Leiter is 100% throwing Saturday. He will be throwing on 4 days rest in a couple weeks in pro ball.


I agree with this. I think Leiter will pitch Saturday.

But I wouldn't be at all surprised if he's less effective than he was last Monday.
CLTWolf
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55Burgers said:

wilmwolf80 said:

Trees will tap dance, elephants will drive at Indy and Orson Welles will skip lunch before North Carolina State finds a way to beat Vanderbilt in the College World Series Friday night.

And with good reason, because Vandy with Rocker is reckoned a cinch to win this national championship. After seeing what Vanderbilt did to Stanford--which is what Mount St. Helens did to unsuspecting trees--only zealots and lovers of stray dogs give N.C. State any chance.
Easy now. That kind of sarcasm on these boards is not allowed. The neighborhood patrolmen will have your hide.
Don't be obtuse.
*Wolfpack Baseball - 2021 *NCAA COLLEGE WORLD SERIES CHAMPS!
*Congrats to the 10 win 2021 Wolfpack football team!
James Henderson
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Staff
smitt86 said:

FlockaWolf said:

They didn't pitch Rocker on 4 days rest, they definitely will not pitch Leiter on 3 days
We keep talking about this coach being conservative with his top pitchers, he is about to have the opportunity to live up to that or totally change that rep.

If he throws both of those guys, even not full games, he couldn't possibly turn around and use them in the CWS finals at all right? Rocker throwing Friday, he couldn't throw on Tuesday on 3-days rest, is he not going to throw him if they get to Wednesday on 4-days rest? Using Leiter on Sat would erase him from the finals(same for us if we use Johnston on Sat). Talk about a lame duck Vandy team hitting the CWS finals without the option of throwing Rocker or Leiter, at all.
Yep, that's the thing.

if the goal is winning the CWS, wouldn't you want Leiter fully rested on Monday? I know you have to get to Monday, but I don't even think they've used a primary starter yet IIRC.
PackFansXL
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CLTWolf said:

55Burgers said:

wilmwolf80 said:

Trees will tap dance, elephants will drive at Indy and Orson Welles will skip lunch before North Carolina State finds a way to beat Vanderbilt in the College World Series Friday night.

And with good reason, because Vandy with Rocker is reckoned a cinch to win this national championship. After seeing what Vanderbilt did to Stanford--which is what Mount St. Helens did to unsuspecting trees--only zealots and lovers of stray dogs give N.C. State any chance.
Easy now. That kind of sarcasm on these boards is not allowed. The neighborhood patrolmen will have your hide.
Don't be obtuse.

Perhaps some folks are too young to remember the commentary leading up to our 83 championship run. Nicely done, WW80.
AlleyPack
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James Henderson said:

smitt86 said:

FlockaWolf said:

They didn't pitch Rocker on 4 days rest, they definitely will not pitch Leiter on 3 days
We keep talking about this coach being conservative with his top pitchers, he is about to have the opportunity to live up to that or totally change that rep.

If he throws both of those guys, even not full games, he couldn't possibly turn around and use them in the CWS finals at all right? Rocker throwing Friday, he couldn't throw on Tuesday on 3-days rest, is he not going to throw him if they get to Wednesday on 4-days rest? Using Leiter on Sat would erase him from the finals(same for us if we use Johnston on Sat). Talk about a lame duck Vandy team hitting the CWS finals without the option of throwing Rocker or Leiter, at all.
Yep, that's the thing.

if the goal is winning the CWS, wouldn't you want Leiter fully rested on Monday? I know you have to get to Monday, but I don't even think they've used a primary starter yet IIRC.

I could see them throw Rocker on Friday and then, if they win, roll the dice with P. Reilly on Saturday -- but be fast with the hook and bring in fresh bullpen arms if/when needed.

I don't think either team's pitching plans will be set in stone once Friday's game starts. There could be a lot of mid-game changes of thought from the two respective head coaches.
55Burgers
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It'll be a moot point. State will tag Rocker.
flylike44
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Anyone, anywhere, any time. LFG.
AlleyPack
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55Burgers said:

It'll be a moot point. State will tag Rocker.


Hope so.
Our biggest advantage might be that his slider will be breaking right into the wheelhouses of our left-handed hitters -- who also happen to be our best hitters.
 
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