Dores, Hilltoppers renew rivalry Tuesday

Zander Wiel and the Commodores play five games at Hawkins Field this week.

Feb. 24, 2014

The Commodores finished off the team's second series sweep of the season with a 12-1 victory over Illinois-Chicago on Sunday. Kyle Smith and Zander Wiel each had three hits with Smith scoring a career-high four runs in support of Tyler Ferguson, who earned the win with 5.2 innings of work. Jared Miller and Carson Fulmer combined on their second shutout of the season on Saturday with a 2-0 win over UIC. The Commodores rolled to a 14-1 win in the series opener vs. UIC. VU pounded out 19 hits and Tyler Beede fanned a career-best 11 to earn the win. Vanderbilt won the home opener over Lipscomb 5-1 Wednesday night behind the strong pitching of Walker Buehler, who fanned six in five innings for the win.

Tuesday, Feb. 25
RHP Walker Buehler (1-0, 1.12) vs. RHP Josh Bartley (0-1, 13.50)

Wednesday, Feb. 26 - Evansville

For the first time since 2011, Vanderbilt and Western Kentucky meet on the diamond. The last time the Commodores and Hilltoppers played, the Dores came out on top in dramatic fashion. Vandy rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth with pinch runner Sonny Gray scoring the winning run from third base on a wild pitch to give VU a 6-5 victory. The Commodores hold a 38-18 advantage all time against WKU dating back to 1980.

Two weeks into the 2014 season only 15 undefeated teams remain in college baseball. Five of those 15 teams reside in the Southeastern Conference, including three in the SEC East. Arkansas, LSU, South Carolina and Tennessee all join the Commodores with undefeated records entering Tuesday's games. Florida State, Houston, South Florida, Mercer, Kansas, Florida International, UAB, Buffalo, Oregon and Southern Cal join the five SEC squads with no losses.

The Commodores are off to their fifth 7-0 start under Head Coach Tim Corbin and first since 2011. Corbin's Commodores set the school record in 2007 winning the team's first 19 games. Three of the four Vandy teams (2011, 2007, 2004) to start the season 7-0 went on to win at least 45 games, including the 2007 squad that spent most of the season as the nation's No. 1 team and set the school record with 54 wins.

Vanderbilt's starting pitching has been superb early in the season with four starting pitchers earning wins and dominating in all seven victories. Tyler Beede, Jared Miller, Tyler Ferguson and Walker Buehler have combined to allow only two earned runs on 15 hits covering 40 innings (0.45 ERA). The quartet's control has also been off the charts with only seven walks to go along with 44 strikeouts.

The Commodores' offense came alive over the weekend, outscoring Illinois-Chicago 28-2 and outhitting the Flames 39-13. Through seven games, 14 different Commodores have at least one hit, 12 have more than one hit and nine have at least one extra-base hit.



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