Baseball
Vanderbilt heads to Knoxville

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April 22, 2010

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No. 15 Vanderbilt (31-9, 8-7 SEC) at Tennessee (19-19, 4-11)
Friday, April 23 • 6 p.m. CDT • CSS
Saturday, April 24 • 6 p.m. CDT • CSS
Sunday, April 25 • 1 p.m. CDT
Lindsey Nelson Stadium (3,800)


Series History vs. Tennessee

Tennessee leads all-time 152-147-3 in a series that dates back to 1888. The Commodores have won three of the last five series, all via sweep (2005, 2007, 2008). The Vols took two out of three in Knoxville in 2006 and swept VU last year in Nashville.

Last Two Years
May 16, 2009: Tennessee 8, Vanderbilt 6 (Nashville)
May 15, 2009: Tennessee 7, Vanderbilt 6 (10) (Nashville)
May 14, 2009: Tennessee 9, Vanderbilt 7 (10) (Nashville)
May 4, 2008: Vanderbilt 10, Tennessee 8 (Knoxville)
May 3, 2008: Vanderbilt 9, Tennessee 2 (Knoxville)
May 2, 2008: Vanderbilt 3, Tennessee 1 (Knoxville)

Polls

Vanderbilt is ranked No. 15 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and in the USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll, No. 23 in Baseball America and No. 28 in Collegiate Baseball. Tennessee is not ranked this year.

The Coaches

VU’s Tim Corbin is 307-166 in his eighth season in Nashville. He is 413-304 in 14 seasons overall. Corbin is 15-8 against Tennessee. UT’s Todd Raleigh is 72-77 in his third season as head coach of the Volunteers. He is 328-286 in 11 seasons as a head coach overall. He is 3-3 against Vanderbilt.

Radio/TV/Internet

All of Vanderbilt’s games this weekend can be heard in Nashville on 560 AM WNSR. Joe Fisher will call this weekend’s action.

The Friday and Saturday games will be televised regionally on CSS and will also be available on the Internet on www.ESPN3.com. Matt Stewart (play-by-play) and Rusty Ensor (analysis) will call the action.

Fans can sign up for text updates via www.twitter.com/vandybaseball and follow livestats for every game through www.vucommodores.com.

What’s On Tap

Vanderbilt continues its six-game road trip this weekend with a three-game series against in-state rival Tennessee. The teams will open the set on Friday at 6 p.m. CT and will continue on Saturday at 6 p.m. CT and Sunday at 1 p.m. CT. The first two games of the series will be televised regionally on CSS and will also be on the Internet at www.espn3.com.

About Tennessee

Tennessee is 19-19 on the season and 4-11 in the SEC after dropping two of three at Mississippi State last weekend. The Vols defeated Western Carolina, 18-8, on Wednesday to even their overall record.

Junior outfielder P.J. Polk leads the team with a .356 batting average with eight homers, nine doubles, and 35 RBI. Junior first baseman Cody Hawn, a preseason All-American, is hitting .331 with seven homers, nine doubles and 38 RBI.

As a team Tennessee is hitting .298 with 52 homers (fourth in SEC) and 296 runs scored in 38 games (7.8 per game).

The Vols rotation for the weekend will be junior left-hander Bryan Morgado (2-4, 5.88 ERA) on Friday and senior right-hander Stephen McCray (4-3, 2.59 ERA) on Saturday. Sunday’s starter is to be determined. Sophomore right-hander Matt Ramsey (1-1, 4.58 ERA) is the top reliever out of the bullpen with two saves in 15 appearances and 24 strikeouts and 10 walks in 25.0 innings. The Vols have a 5.74 team ERA with 282 strikeouts and 158 walks in 337 innings pitched.

Defensively Tennessee has made 34 errors on the year and has a .976 fielding percentage, third best in the SEC.

Dores Off To Second Best Start In School History

After 40 games, Vanderbilt’s 31-9 record is second to only the 2007 squad’s 32-8 mark. That team went on to finish 54-13 overall and 22-8 in Southeastern Conference play. Below are the starts after 40 games under Tim Corbin and the final records.

Year: 40 game mark ... Final Record
2003: 20-20 ... 27-28
2004: 27-13 ... 45-19
2005: 28-12 ... 34-21
2006: 25-15 ... 38-27
2007: 32-8 ... 54-13
2008: 29-11 ... 41-22
2009: 23-17 ... 37-27
2010: 31-9 ... ??

Total Wins Among Nations Best

Entering this weekend, Vanderbilt’s 31 wins are tied for the third most in the country. Coastal Carolina and Georgia Tech lead the nation with 33 wins. In fact the Commodores are one of just nine teams that have 30 or more wins heading into weekend play.

Rank - Team - Wins
1. Coastal Carolina - 33
1. Georgia Tech - 33
2. Arkansas - 32
2. LSU - 32
3. Texas - 31
3. Vanderbilt - 31
3. Virginia - 31

Brewer Closing in Saves Record

Redshirt junior Russell Brewer recorded his sixth save of the season in the Commodores 11-10 win over Middle Tennessee on Wednesday, giving him 18 saves in his career. He needs one more to tie Ryan Rote who notched 19 saves in two seasons as a Commodore. Brewer sports a 1.33 earned run average in 14 relief appearances with 26 strikeouts and three walks in 20.1 innings pitched.

Player - Saves (Years at Vanderbilt)
1. Ryan Rote - 19 (2004-05)
2. Russell Brewer - 18 (2007-present)
3. David Daniels - 15 (1992-95)

Corbin Coaching Milestones

Head coach Tim Corbin notched his 307th career win at Vanderbilt against Middle Tennessee on Wednesday, moving him past Larry Schmittou (306) into second place on the school’s all-time coaching wins list. The Commodores all-time wins leader is Roy Mewbourne who went 655-608-9 from 1979-2002. Corbin notched his 400th career victory on March 24 over Wright State and recorded his 300th victory at Vanderbilt against Florida on April 4. Corbin also had 106 victories in five seasons at Presbyterian.

Commodore Tidbits

Vanderbilt has won five of its last six games entering this weekend’s series against Tennessee ... After the midweek wins against Lipscomb and Middle Tennessee, VU is now 23-2 in non-conference games this year ... The Commodores claimed the Auburn series with a walk-off homer by Aaron Westlake in the bottom of the ninth on Sunday. The win snapped a two series losing streak in SEC play … The pitching staff sported a 3.50 ERA last week that included the fourth shutout of the year in the 1-0 win over Middle Tennessee. They had 37 strikeouts and 13 walks in 36.0 innings and now lead the SEC with a 3.06 ERA in 38 games … Drew Hayes threw 6.2 innings of four-hit shutout ball against MTSU with four strikeouts and two walks. Richie Goodenow (0.1) and Russell Brewer (2.0) finished out the game to preserve the shutout … Sonny Gray snapped a two-game losing streak in Friday’s win over Auburn. He gave up three runs, one earned, on seven hits in 6.1 innings with seven strikeouts and five walks. The Smyrna, Tenn., native is now 2-3 in the SEC with a 1.83 ERA in five starts … Taylor Hill had his second straight career long performance this weekend going 8.2 innings in Sunday’s win over the Tigers. A week after going 7.2 innings against South Carolina, he went 8.2 innings allowing two runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts no walks … Chase Reid came on in relief on Saturday and allowed two runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings with eight strikeouts and a walk … Brewer picked up his fifth save of the year in the win over MTSU and now has 17 saves in his career … Joe Loftus hit .400 (4-for-10) with a homer and two RBI and Anthony Gomez hit .364 (4-for-11) with two RBI to lead VU this week. Loftus now has five homers on the year, besting the four he hit a year ago ... The Dores reached 30 wins in a season for the seventh straight season with Tuesday’s win over Lipscomb ... Vanderbilt will close out its six-game road trip with the three games against UT and a Tuesday tilt against Austin Peay in Clarksville.

Hill Heating Up

Junior right-hander Taylor Hill has come on strong in his last two starts against South Carolina and Auburn. Two weeks ago he gave up a lead-off homer to Whit Merrifield on the first pitch of the game, then preceded to throw 7.2 innings (then career-high) of one-hit shutout baseball against the Gamecocks. He took the loss as the Commodore offense struggled in a 2-0 decision.

Against Auburn last Sunday, Hill improved continued his strong mound performances throwing a new career-high 8.2 innings in the no-decision. He left the game with the score tied at 2-2 and the Dores won it in the ninth on Aaron Westlake’s walk-off homer.

In his last two outings, Hill has 10 strikeouts and just one walk in 16.1 innings with a 1.65 ERA. On the season he is 3-3 with a 3.30 ERA with 41 strikeouts and 15 walks in 57.1 innings.

Giobbi named to Johnny Bench Award Watch List

Senior catcher Andrew Giobbi is on the official watch list for the 2010 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award.

The Portland, Maine, native has had an outstanding season thus far behind the plate, having thrown out 19 of 39 runners attempting to steal. He has also caught a pitching staff (calls own game) that has a stellar 3.41 team ERA; second best in the SEC. Offensively he usually bats in the middle of the order and enters this weekend against Tennessee with a .302 batting average with three homers and 34 RBI.

This is the second year in a row “Gio” has been named to the watch list.

The watch list will be narrowed down to the semifinalists, whom will be announced May 19, 2010. Ballots will be sent to the national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine the three finalists. The finalists will be announced June 2, 2010 prior to the NCAA Regionals and Major League Baseball Draft. A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series. All finalists will be brought to Wichita and the winner will be announced at the 13th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on July 1, 2010.

Garvin Rounding Into Form

With the loss of left-hander Corey Williams (broken knee cap), the Commodores were down to just one experienced left-hander on the active staff in reliever Richie Goodenow. VU needed another southpaw in the pen and the timing was right for a veteran to make his return to the pitching staff.

Sophomore Grayson Garvin saw limited action a year ago, but missed the first part of this season while rehabbing a sore arm.

The Georgia native made his first appearance of the year against Wofford on March 30 and struck out the side while giving up a hit. He followed that up with a similar performance against Belmont on April 6, striking out the side in an inning of work. Garvin then came on in the third against Middle Tennessee on Wednesday, and held the potent Blue Raider offense in check for 3.2 innings. He allowed just three hits while striking out three.

In three appearances on the year he has nine strikeouts and no walks in 5.2 innings with just four hits allowed.

Gomez Continues To Rake

Freshman infielder Anthony Gomez has continued to hit for a high average at the midway point of SEC play. He currently leads the Commodores with a .435 batting average in league play with two doubles and nine RBI, while also hitting at a .469 clip in 35 games overall.

The New Jersey native doesn’t have enough at bats/plate appearances to qualify for the SEC batting crown but if he did he would be atop the league leaders in that category. In the latest NCAA rankings released on Tuesday, he had the third highest batting average in the country.

He has the team’s longest hitting streak of the year (14 games) and enters the UT weekend with a six-game skein.


 

 

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