College World Series 2019: TV Schedule, Pick for Vanderbilt vs. Michigan Game 1

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJune 24, 2019

Vanderbilt's Drake Fellows throws to a Duke batter in the first inning of an NCAA college super regional baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne9
Wade Payne/Associated Press

Michigan's path to the 2019 College World Series championship round has been nothing short of remarkable. 

The Wolverines were just happy to be included in the 64-team field when it was released, but since then, they have been on a tear and enter the best-of-three series with Vanderbilt undefeated in Omaha, Nebraska. 

Vanderbilt, who is the perennial power in this matchup, is also unbeaten at TD Ameritrade Park, which allowed it and Michigan to have two days off before Monday's Game 1. 

Vanderbilt is vying for its second national title this decade after winning in 2014, while Michigan is going after its first baseball championship since 1962.


College World Series Game 1 Information

Start Time: 7 p.m. ET 


Live Stream: Watch ESPN or ESPN app



Vanderbilt 3, Michigan 2

Vanderbilt comes into the championship series as the clear-cut favorite, but it will have a tough task on its hands in Game 1 against Michigan starter Tommy Henry. 

Henry is 11-5 with a 3.27 ERA and two complete-game shutouts, one of which came in Michigan's second game in Omaha against Florida State. 

Nati Harnik/Associated Press

Against the Seminoles, Henry gave up three hits while striking out 10 batters on 100 pitches. 

Vanderbilt's Drake Fellows was equally as impressive as Henry in his lone start in Omaha against Louisville, as he gave up one hit and struck out six over seven innings. 

Fellows comes into Game 1 with a 13-1 mark with a 3.97 ERA and 126 strikeouts. 

Given how well both Fellows and Henry have thrown throughout the season, it is going to be tough for either offense to string together a consistent stretch of hits to produce runs. 

Even though Michigan touts wins over UCLA, Texas Tech and Florida State in the postseason, Vanderbilt has had more experience against the nation's best pitching on a consistent level all season.

The Commodores have seen a little bit of everything from opposing pitchers in the SEC, which is widely regarded as the best conference in baseball. 

Vanderbilt has two strong hitters at the top of its lineup in Austin Martin and JJ Bleday, who should be able to set the tone at the plate and hand it an early advantage. 

Nati Harnik/Associated Press

Bleday, who has 26 home runs and 70 RBI, will receive the bulk of the spotlight because he was taken with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 MLB draft.

However, Martin might be the best pure hitter on the Vanderbilt roster, as he is hitting .406 with 10 home runs, 45 RBI, 86 runs and 104 hits. 

Few pitchers have been able to shut down Martin in multiple at-bats this season, which is why we are giving the slightest of edges to Vanderbilt. 

Martin and Bleday should be able to find ways to send a few runs across the plate early to create a big enough cushion for Fellows to feel comfortable with. 

Fellows has his hands full against a hot Michigan lineup, but as he displayed against Louisville, he is capable of silencing anyone at the plate. 

Michigan has four hitters with 10 or more home runs, and it is coming off a 15-run rout of Texas Tech to advance to the championship series. 

The Wolverines have scored over 10 runs in three NCAA tournament games, but they have also been held under five runs on four occasions. 

If Fellows gets through the Michigan order once without harm, he will most likely settle into a rhythm and keep the Big Ten side off balance enough so it can't create any offensive rallies.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from D1Baseball.com.