Catholic’s Will Duff taking high school success to Vanderbilt

Ask any college baseball fan to name the best programs in the country, and you’ll surely hear the name Vanderbilt.

So it was an easy choice for Will Duff to sign there last last spring.

After year one, it’s looking like Duff was an easy choice for the Commodores.

“I was honored to be able to play quite a bit the first year,” Will said.

Despite a pandemic shortened season of just 18 games, Will made 10 appearances, including multi-hit games in each of his two starts.

“There’s certainly an element of frustration there, because we were just getting on the roll,” Will said.

Now, the former Springfield Catholic standout is preparing for next season by playing in the Show-Me Collegiate League in Ozark.

“It’s invaluable to get on the field, really,” Will said. “Especially during this time when we are usually playing every day and have a very rigorous schedule.

Will was originally supposed to play his summer baseball in a college league in New England. When that was cancelled because of the pandemic, he called the Show-Me League four days before the season started, and now he gets to play his summer schedule right here in the Ozarks.

“It’s huge to have this league here, and I’m fortunate to be close by. It makes me think of all the guys who aren’t playing right now,” Will said.

Next, Will says he’s set to go play in another league in Virginia next month.

As for the NCAA’s decision to grant an extra year of eligibility for spring college seniors, Will says it won’t affect Vanderbilt as much as other teams.

“We were a young team for the most part, except for our two leaders, two seniors,” Will said.

Which means the Commodores should be primed for a playoff run in 2021.

“I’m happy to have that one year of training under my belt, and I’m excited to get back with my brothers at Vanderbilt and get something done,” Will said.

Just maybe that something will be another national title for one of the nation’s best.

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