VANDERBILT RE-VU Vanderbilt edged Middle Tennessee State 1-0 Tuesday night in Mufreesboro, Tenn. Mike Yastrzemski's double chased home Anthony Gomez for the games lone run. Five VU pitchers combined for the team's fifth shutout of the year with T.J. Pecoraro earning the win. The Commodores finished off a sweep of Alabama with an 11-6 win on Sunday. VU rallied for six runs in the seventh inning using a three-run homer from Curt Casali and two-run blast from Bryan Johns to put the game away. Vanderbilt shutout Alabama 7-0 behind a strong start from Grayson Garvin. The Commodores held off an early Alabama rally and cruised to an 11-3 victory Friday night. Curt Casali drove in three runs and Anthony Gomez had three hits in the win.
ON THE BUMP Friday, April 15 RHP Sonny Gray (7-1, 1.54) vs. LHP Michael Roth (7-1, 1.25)
Saturday, April 16 LHP Grayson Garvin (6-1, 2.04) vs. RHP Colby Holmes (3-0, 3.00)
Sunday, April 17 RHP Taylor Hill (2-0, 3.19) vs. RHP Forrest Koumas (4-0, 1.91)
CASALI IS SEC PLAYER OF THE WEEK Curt Casali has been named the SEC Player of the Week. Casali hit .429 (6-for-14) with three doubles, a home run, three runs scored and 10 RBI in the Commodores' four games last week. Casali drove in three runs against Middle Tennessee State on Tuesday, three more runs in Friday's game against Alabama and four more runs in Sunday's victory over the Crimson Tide. The honor is the first of Casali's career and the fourth for the team this season. Casali joins pitchers Sonny Gray and Grayson Garvin and freshman Tony Kemp as Dores the SEC has honored this year.
GO-GO STREAKING Anthony Gomez enters the game today with a 29-game hitting streak. Gomez started his streak against Stanford on February 25 and has at least one hit in every game since. The Dores shortstop entered the game against Stanford hitting .158 (3-for-19 in the team's first five games) and comes into today's action hitting .379 for the season. During the streak he is 52-for-126 (.413) with RBI in 18 of the 29 contests and has 17 multi-hit games.
LOCKED IN The Vanderbilt offense has been locked in since SEC play began in mid-March. In SEC games only the squad is hitting .328 and averaging 7.2 runs per game while outscoring SEC opponents 86-32 (7.2 to 2.7). Add in the Commodores' five midweek games since beginning with Purdue and VU is hitting .328 and outscoring opponents 126-38 (7.5 to 2.2). The team entered the game against Purdue hitting .302 and had outscored opponents 97-55 (5.7 to 3.2).
AGAINST THE GAMECOCKS The Commodores visit Columbia for the first time since 2009 when the Gamecocks swept VU. South Carolina won two-of-three last season in Nashville and hold a 45-19 record against the Dores all-time. Head Coach Tim Corbin is 13-16 against South Carolina since taking over the Commodores.
SHOWDOWN OF THE BEST Vanderbilt and South Carolina enter the weekend ranked as the first and third teams in the nation and two of the best in the SEC. The Commodores lead the league in team batting average (.313) and team ERA (2.19) while the Gamecocks are seventh (.289) and third (2.46). Opponents are hitting a league-low .212 against VU but only .214 against USC, second-best in the SEC. South Carolina has allowed a league-low 217 hits with Vandy coming in second allowing 233. The Dores have allowed a league-low 93 runs and the Gamecocks the second-fewest with 94. Friday night's match-up will feature two of the best pitchers in the league with Vanderbilt's Sonny Gray, second in the SEC in ERA, facing South Carolina's Michael Roth, who leads the SEC in ERA.
DORES ON TV For the fourth consecutive week Vanderbilt will play on television. The Commodores play two of the team's three games at South Carolina on TV with CSS airing Saturday's game and ESPN2 broadcasting Sunday's tilt. Two of the games against LSU at Hawkins Field will be televised next weekend. Saturday's game will be on FSN and Sunday's on ESPN2.
GRAY MOVING UP Junior Sonny Gray is on the move up the career all-time lists. The right-hander has moved into seventh place all-time with 251 career strikeouts. David Price (2005-07) holds the school record with 441 strikeouts. Gray is now tied for seventh place all-time with Price and Mike Minor among others with 22 wins. Jeff Peeples (1970-73) holds the school record with 29 wins.
ESPOSITO RUNS INTO TOP 10 Jason Esposito moved into the Top 10 all-time for stolen bases in a career at Vanderbilt when he stole a base on Opening Day against San Diego. The junior third baseman has added to his total and now is in eighth place with 60 stolen bases. Next up on the list is Nick Morrow (1991-94), who had 65 steals in his career. Charles DeFrance (1980-82) holds the school record with 96 stolen bases.