As rain continues to pour down at the SEC Baseball Tournament in Hoover, Alabama, the Vanderbilt Commodores and Tennessee Volunteers are preparing for a late-night showdown on Wednesday.

The rivalry, largely dominated by Vanderbilt in the 21st century, has reached new heights after the Vols secured a series sweep against the ‘Dores in early April. No. 1 Tennessee enters the postseason after a record-setting regular season featuring program bests in regular season wins (49-7) and SEC wins (25-5).

Head coach Tim Corbin and his Vanderbilt squad have struggled with consistency all season long. After losing the team’s top two pitchers from last year’s CWS Finals team, Vandy hasn’t experienced the same type of success fans have been accustomed to in Nashville.

That being said, Vanderbilt is never an easy out in the postseason. The Commodores knocked off Ole Miss in the wee hours of Wednesday morning after rain delayed the first pitch. While tonight’s game is scheduled for 8pm CT, it would not be surprising to see the SEC to move the game to Thursday morning.

Whenever the game is played, it promises to be an entertaining contest.

Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello announced that right-handed pitcher Blade Tidwell is expected to be on the bump for the Vols this evening. Though Tidwell did not make an appearance in the regular season series, he is going to be a critical part of the team’s postseason plans.

Tidwell boasts a 2-1 record with a 2.63 ERA on the year. He is part of a Tennessee pitching staff that led the country in ERA (2.37), WHIP (0.95), hits allowed per nine innings (6.15), walks allowed per nine innings (2.39), and strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.51).

Not that they’ve needed much run support throughout the year, the Vols have provided more than enough offense. Tennessee leads the nation in home runs (137) and doesn’t have a soft spot in its order.

Corbin likes to keep his cards close to his vest, so it is no surprise that he hasn’t yet announced a starter. However, lefty Devin Futrell makes the most since for the black and gold. Futrell has displayed ace behavior at times this season and enters postseason play with an 8-2 record and 3.27 ERA. Like Tidwell, Futrell did not throw in April’s series.

Futrell didn’t fare well in his last time out. The freshman went just 1.1 innings and gave up five earned runs in Thursday’s loss to LSU. One positive takeaway from an otherwise rough outing would be that he only threw 36 pitches, meaning he should be fresh whenever his next start is to come.

Vandy’s offense lead to the team’s downfall in the regular season series with Tennessee. The ‘Dores managed to score just four runs in three games. They will likely need to double that output in order to come away with a win tonight.

Vanderbilt CF Enrique Bradfield Jr. is one of college baseball’s most exciting players. Bradfield hits at the top of the order and is menace on the basepath. He is 42-for-42 on stolen bases and provides a tough challenge for Tennessee’s catcher Evan Russell, who has struggled with runners in motion this season.

Though Tennessee has the No. 1 overall seed locked up, the Vols would like to enter Regional play on a high note. The Vols are in search of its first SEC Tournament Championship since 1995.

After being swept by LSU over the weekend, Vandy is likely going to hit the road for Regional action this year. However, a deep run in the SEC Tournament could be enough to sway the Selection Committee towards a Nashville Regional for the seventh time in 10 seasons.

Featured image via George Walker IV / / USA TODAY NETWORK