Vanderbilt sets sights on securing familiar surroundings for baseball regional

Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 11:22pm

Amid a potentially historic baseball season, Vanderbilt officials already are looking to the postseason.

Athletics administrators are in the process of submitting a bid to host an NCAA Regional and Super Regional at Hawkins Field.

The Commodores (36-6) are currently ranked fourth in the country and have the fourth-best RPI with four regular-season series and the Southeastern Conference Tournament remaining. Vanderbilt will submit its bid by the deadline of May 17.

“Our RPI rating and the team win-loss record, and our national rankings, should us put in good position to be considered for hosting a Regional,” senior administrator Kevin Colon said. “You got to play out until the season is over but I think at this point we’re in pretty decent shape. … The bid process is really about making sure you have a facility that can host a championship environment.”

The Commodores have met the criteria several times.

They last hosted a Regional and Super Regional in 2011, when Vanderbilt reached the College World Series for the first time. They also hosted a Regional in 2007.

In previous years, Colon said schools could “buy a bid” but said now more stock is put into RPI, records and national rankings. In addition to an undisclosed revenue guarantee, Colon said the NCAA is looking for venues with bountiful seating, extra lighting for TV and other logistical concerns.

The Commodores are in line to receive one of the eight national seeds, which guarantees them a Super Regional site if they advance past the Regional.

On Wednesday, Vanderbilt announced reserved ticket prices for both tournaments, which will run from May 31-June 3 and June 6-10, to encourage fans to put down a non-refundable $10 deposit by May 22. Tickets for a minimum of six games for a Regional start at $60. All-game tickets for a Super Regional — a best-of-three series — start at $45.

“It is opportunity for our fans to make their plans,” Colon said. “The entertainment dollar is a limited dollar here. So we’re trying to give them an opportunity to put us on their calendar. If we’re able to host it would be great and if we’re not at least we prepared ourselves to be in the right position.”