For the second day in a row at the 2021 College World Series, two seeded teams will face off in an elimination game at TD Ameritrade Park.
The Vanderbilt Commodores, the No. 4 seed and reigning champion, take on the ninth-seeded Stanford Cardinal, who already staved off elimination once in Omaha, Nebraska.
Stanford comes into Wednesday's game with an offensive edge since it produced 14 runs off the Arizona Wildcats on Monday, and it has the luxury of not facing Kumar Rocker or Jack Leiter, who threw in Vanderbilt's opening two games.
The winner of the elimination matchup will face the NC State Wolfpack on Friday in one of two semifinal showdowns.
Wednesday College World Series Info
No. 4 Vanderbilt vs. No. 9 Stanford (7 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Game can be live-streamed on ESPN.com and ESPN app
Vanderbilt does not have Rocker or Leiter at its disposal, but it should have the rest of the pitching staff available.
The Commodores can turn to Patrick Reilly, Christian Little, or use their bullpen to get past Stanford. Reilly started the third game of the Nashville Super Regional, and Little was the third starter used at the SEC tournament.
Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin did not commit to a third starter after his team's loss to NC State on Monday, per Adam Sparks of The Tennessean.
"No one is the obvious choice right now," he said. "And I'm not looking ahead right now. We've got a day to do that."
Vanderbilt used three relievers behind Rocker in the opener, and all of them should be fresh for Wednesday since Leiter was the only hurler utilized on Monday.
Stanford should have an abundance of fresh arms as well. Jacob Palisch was the lone pitcher used after Alex Williams in the win over Arizona.
The Cardinal had less pressure on their pitching staff since they posted 10 runs in the first three frames versus their Pac-12 rival.
When Stanford played in its third regional game, it employed a bullpen strategy starting with Drew Dowd. The Pac-12 side used eight hurlers to get past the UC Irvine Anteaters.
With the pitching matchup even on paper, Stanford might gain the advantage at the plate. It has 18 runs in Omaha compared to seven from Vanderbilt.
It used a fast start in the first three innings to get past Arizona. The top five hitters in its order all had multi-hit games, with Brock Jones leading the club with five RBI.
Jones has a knack for coming up big in clutch situations. He had three home runs to eliminate the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the final game of the Lubbock Super Regional.
Vanderbilt's offense may not keep up with Stanford's red-hot pace. The Commodores plated 13 runs in their last four NCAA tournament games, while the Cardinal scored 14 alone on Monday.
If Vanderbilt does enjoy an abundance of runs, Dominic Keegan and Troy LaNeve should be responsible for kick-starting the rallies. They had two hits each against Arizona on Saturday.
In both of Vanderbilt's double-digit run outings in the regional round, Keegan and LaNeve recorded multiple hits each.
If Vandy's bats remain fairly quiet, that could be its downfall in its bid to repeat in Omaha.
Statistics obtained from D1Baseball.com.