Commodores set for rivalry weekend at Tennessee

Dansby Swanson takes his 11-game hitting streak to Tennessee this weekend.

April 3, 2014

Vanderbilt Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Vanderbilt recorded the team's fifth shutout of the season with a 5-0 win over UT-Martin on Tuesday. Walker Buehler picked up his fifth win of the season. The Commodores used a two-run homer from John Norwood and a late rally to clinch the series against Kentucky with a 6-2 win on Sunday. Tyler Ferguson earned the win with six quality innings. Vanderbilt bounced back to even the series with a 9-3 win on Saturday. Dansby Swanson homered and went 4-for-5 as the Dores pounded out 16 hits. Kentucky claimed the series opener with a 4-2 win over Vanderbilt. Tyler Beede took the loss, allowing three runs over five-plus innings.

Friday, April 4
RHP Tyler Beede (4-3, 2.47) vs. RHP Nick Williams (3-2, 1.96)

Saturday, April 5
LHP Jared Miller (6-1, 1.73) vs. RHP Hunter Martin (2-1, 1.14)

Sunday, April 6
RHP Tyler Ferguson (5-0, 1.36) vs. TBA

Vanderbilt travels to Knoxville to take on Tennessee in one of the Commodores' oldest series that dates back to 1888. Vandy has won the last three series going 8-1 vs. Tennessee since 2011. Last season the two teams played the entire series in Nashville in rainy weather with the Commodores sweeping the set. VU took two-of-three the last time the two teams met in Knoxville in 2012. The Dores are 156-155-3 all time vs. the Volunteers.

Vanderbilt's pitching staff has been tough to handle this season. The Commodores' staff entered the week leading the nation in hits per nine innings and is now allowing only 5.81 hits per nine innings. The VU hurlers lead the Southeastern Conference with 281 strikeouts and ranked fourth nationally at the beginning of the week with 9.4 strikeouts per nine innings. Tyler Beede (46), Walker Buehler (45) and Hayden Stone (38) all rank in the top 15 in the SEC in strikeouts.

Dansby Swanson leads the SEC with 14 doubles after his recent power surge. The Commodores' second baseman has five doubles over his last five games and eight during his 11-game hitting streak. Swanson's 14 doubles are the second-most in college baseball with the Dores' total of 67 leading the league and ranked fourth nationally at the beginning of the week.

Major League Baseball opened the 2014 season this week with seven former Commodores on Opening Day rosters. Pitchers David Price and Sonny Gray each got the nod on Opening Day for their respective teams in Tampa Bay and Oakland. Pedro Alvarez opened the year in the middle of the Pittsburgh lineup after an All-Star season in 2013. Ryan Flaherty began his third season in the big leagues with Baltimore and Mike Baxter opened his first season with the Los Angeles Dodgers last week in Australia. Nick Christiani made his first Opening Day roster, joining the Cincinnati Reds. Lefty Mike Minor opens the year on the disabled list in Atlanta but is expected to join the Braves' rotation in the coming weeks.

Xavier Turner enters the weekend with a team-best 17-game hitting streak. Turner has hit in every game since the Commodores' win over Tennessee Tech on March 4 going 27-for-68 (.397) with 10 RBI and 12 runs scored. Turner started the streak with three straight multi-hit games and posted his fourth multi-hit game during the streak in Sunday's win at Mississippi State with a pair of singles. The sophomore posted streaks of 15 and 12 games during his freshman season, ending the year on a 12-game hitting streak which he pushed to 15 straight games with hits in the first three games this season.

Dansby Swanson has been the Commodores' most consistent hitter this season reaching base in all 30 games and recording hits in 27 of the team's 30 games. In the three games Swanson has not recorded a hit, the sophomore has posted five walks. He is also on an 11-game hitting streak going 21-for-48 (.438) with eight doubles, six RBI, four stolen bases and 10 runs scored.

With last Sunday's win at Mississippi State, the Commodores avoided losing their third straight game and have now dodged losing three straight since early in the 2012 season when the team dropped five straight (March 16-23). Since that five-game losing streak the Dores have played 138 games without losing three straight.

The Last Meeting
March 31, 2013
Nashville, Tenn.
'Dores slam Vols, sweep series
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Kyle Smith won't forget the first home run of his Vanderbilt career. The freshman from Old Hickory, Tenn., blasted a grand slam over the monster in left field in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Vanderbilt a 10-8 lead as the third-ranked Commodores swept Tennessee with a 12-8 win in rainy conditions Sunday at Hawkins Field.



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