NCAA Baseball Tournament: Vanderbilt 9, East Tennessee State 1 -- When There's Just No Competition

USA TODAY Sports

The Commodores send a message with their first win in the NCAA tournament: Here we come

Sometimes, the No. 4 vs. No. 1 games can be very good in the regional round. We've already had several very good, very intense games between bottom seeds and top seeds in the NCAA baseball tournaments, part of what gives the college postseason its magic. Vanderbilt's game against East Tennessee State was not one of those games.

In the first inning, the Commodores plated five runs on six hits. And the game was pretty much over. Sure, East Tennessee might have thought it had a slight chance when it scored a run in the top of the sixth, but even the visitors had to realize the gig was up when Vanderbilt tacked on three more in the bottom of the seventh, then added another one in the bottom of the eighth for good measure.

If you wanted to know whether Vanderbilt might be tempted to take it easy and try to sleepwalk through the regional now, there's your answer. The Commodores didn't lose any of their intensity heading into this matchup, and showed why they're expected to get to Omaha with relative ease: Because they don't act like they expect to get to Omaha with relative ease. They face Illinois tomorrow after the Illini took down Georgia Tech; don't be surprised if the Commodores come out swinging in that game as well.

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