The Vanderbilt Commodores are on their way to Arizona to begin the 2020 baseball season in defense of their College World Series title as they open the season on Friday against Michigan in a rematch of last season's championship series.
Senior Harrison Ray knows this is a different team than the one that won 59 games a season ago and set school and league records.
Once again this season, Ray will be the starting second baseman and a team leader. Entering his final season for the Commodores, the Longwood, Fl. native is looking to improve on the numbers he posted last season, and keep playing at the level he did in Omaha.
In 66 games last season, Ray posted a batting average of .276, 64 hits, scored 50 runs, collected 38 RBI, drew 30 bases on balls and stole 21 bases.
Some of the highlights include, 17 multi-hit games, scored a run in 20 of his last 31 games and Drove in 27 runs in his last 37 games, with the last stat being perhaps the most impressive considering he is a lead-off hitter..
It was what he did in Omaha that has fans and Ray looking for more this time around.
Ray's production was impressive, and important to the championship, including an 11-game on-base streak to close the season, drawing 12 walks in that span, he recorded three hits in College World Series Finals, logged two runs College World Series finals, recorded two RBIs in the College World Series Finals, scored eight runs in the NCAA Tournament, and contributed five RBIs in the NCAA Tournament.
While repeating that hot finish will be more difficult this time around because of teams now knowing him and without some of the offensive production in that lineup behind him now gone, Ray will look to keep it going this time around.
The Commodores will play Michigan, UConn, and Cal-Poly starting Friday-Sunday before returning home to face South Alabama Tuesday, Feb. 18 with first pitch scheduled for 4:30 pm at Hawkins Field.