The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

History shows Vandy all's not lost after Hoover

28 days ago
Kevin Scarbinsky
Photo: Michael Wade

Welcome to the 2022 SEC Baseball Tournament Blog, your online home for the big news, behind-the-scenes notes and quotes and special moments that make this annual event at the Hoover (Ala.) Met the best college baseball tournament in the nation. Check back for updates each day throughout the week.

Quick. Who won the 2014 SEC Baseball Tournament? Answer: Not Vanderbilt. The Commodores won their first game in Hoover that year over Tennessee, then got run-ruled by eventual champion LSU and dismissed by Ole Miss.

You probably don't remember those details. Tim Corbin does. So should you because what happened next is far more common knowledge. His Commodores won an NCAA Tournament Regional, a Super Regional and the College World Series to capture their first national championship.

The Vanderbilt coach leaned on that historical context as consolation after the Commodores were sent packing Friday 10-2 by Kentucky. That disappointing performance came on the heels of a 10-1 loss to No. 1 Tennessee the night before.

It was easy to forget that Vandebilt did beat Ole Miss in its first game here after it struggled in all phases against Tennessee and Kentucky, committing a combined six errors in the defeats, to single out one area of concern.

How will Corbin and company flush those memories and refocus before starting NCAA Regional play next week?

"Just get back to Nashville," he said. "We've done this before. You know, it's happened, and you don't feel very good right now, nor should you really. You didn't play well. But we've been in this tournament enough and played well in it. In 2014 we played poorly. We went limping out of it."

He didn't have to add that they found their stride on the way to Omaha.

"I think the thing about the league is it can sometimes make you think unfavorable things about your team," Corbin added. "And I think what

leaving Hoover does is it just allows you to reset in a lot of different ways, understanding that the battles that you've been in the last 10 weeks will give you enough experiences to compete outside of the conference."

Corbin coined a phrase for the emergence of programs such as Kentucky and Tennessee to challenge more established powers such as Vanderbilt. He called it "the elevation of the mountain."

In Hoover, there's a fine line between scaling the mountain and disappearing at the bottom of a 16-hit avalanche.