Vandy finds comfort in familiar opponent

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The Commodores have their sights set on a title as they head down to Omaha for the College World Series.

This group has never been, but there will still be some familiarity this weekend. 

Vanderbilt’s first-round opponent is a team they play every single year: Louisville.

The head coaches from each squad are great friends and have made a point to schedule each other each season. Now, it’s a rivalry with a name and a trophy. The “Battle of the Barrel” pits the Cards and Dores every season with a mini beer barrel on the line. 

Head coach Tim Corbin wants the guys to bring that competitive spirit to Omaha, but also wants them to enjoy themselves. 

“Let’s make no bones about it, when you get there it is an adrenaline rush.  It is.  It’s a festival of baseball and I think there’s a certain part of them, I want them to be a tourist for a day or a day and a half, but then the tourist has to turn into the competitive mode and say, “OK, now we’re here and here for a reason,”‘ said Corbin.

The players share the same excitement for the trip.

“For the first day or two just look around and enjoy the experience and then you’ve got to realize we are there to play baseball come Sunday. I just want to soak it up while I can,” said senior catcher Phillip Clarke. 

Vanderbilt faces Louisville Sunday at 1 p.m. 

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