Georgia (13-29, 3-15 SEC) at No. 17 Vanderbilt (32-12, 9-9) Friday, April 30 6 p.m. CT Saturday, May 1 6 p.m. CT CSS Sunday, May 2 1 p.m. CT Hawkins Field (3,700)
Series History vs. Georgia
Georgia leads all-time 116-93-0 in a series that dates back to 1896. The Commodores have won four of the last six series dating back to the 2004 campaign. VU took two out of three last year in Athens, while the Bulldogs took two out of three in Nashville in 2008, while clinching the Southeastern Conference regular season crown.
Last Two Years May 10, 2009: Georgia 4, Vanderbilt 3, Athens May 9, 2009: Vanderbilt 9, Georgia 2, Athens May 8, 2009: Vanderbilt 10, Georgia 2, Athens May 11, 2008: Georgia 12, Vanderbilt 10, Nashville May 10, 2008: Georgia 4, Vanderbilt 2 (10), Nashville May 9, 2008: Vanderbilt 13, Vanderbilt 7, Nashville
Vanderbilt is ranked No. 17 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll and No. 18 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Georgia is not ranked.
VU's Tim Corbin is 308-169 in his eighth season in Nashville. He is 414-307 in 14 seasons overall. Corbin is 14-11 against Georgia. UGA's David Perno is 302-237 in his ninth season as head coach of the Bulldogs. He is 14-14 against Vanderbilt.
All of Vanderbilt's games this weekend can be heard in Nashville on 560 AM WNSR. Joe Fisher will call all the action.
Saturday's 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 Willy Daunic (analysis) will call the game.
Fans can sign up for text updates via www.twitter.com/vandybaseball and follow livestats for every game and webcasts for Friday and Sunday through www.vucommodores.com.
Season and single game tickets are available for purchase online at www.vucommodores.com or through the Vanderbilt Ticket Office (615) 322-GOLD.
What's On Tap
Vanderbilt opens the final stretch of the regular season starting with a three-game series against Georgia in Southeastern Conference action this weekend at Hawkins Field. The Commodores and Bulldogs will play at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The Saturday contest will be televised regionally on CSS and will also be webcast on ESPN3.com.
Georgia is 13-29 on the year and 3-15 in SEC play after getting swept by South Carolina last weekend in Athens. The Bulldogs split a pair of midweek games, falling to Georgia Tech 6-4 on Tuesday, before rebounding with a 13-10 win over Western Carolina on Wednesday.
UGA enters the series having lost six straight league games and have not won a series since taking two of three against Siena on March 12-14.
Freshman shortstop Kyle Farmer leads the team with a .371 batting average with 13 doubles and 14 RBI. Sophomore outfielder Zach Cones, a USA Collegiate National Team trials invitee, is the top power source with eight homers and 40 RBI to go with a .348 batting average.
As a team Georgia is hitting .287 with 39 homers and 240 runs scored in 42 games (5.7 per game).
The Bulldogs rotation for the weekend will be junior right-hander Michael Palazzone (4-4, 8.26 ERA) on Friday and junior right-hander Justin Grimm (2-6, 6.00 ERA) on Saturday. Sunday's starter is to be determined. Freshman right-hander Cooper Moseley (0-2, 5.82 ERA) is the top reliever out of the bullpen with four saves in 21 appearances and 20 strikeouts and eight walks in 21.2 innings. UGA has an 8.49 team ERA with 310 strikeouts and 214 walks in 364.2 innings pitched.
Defensively Georgia has made 50 errors on the year and has a .968 fielding percentage, eighth in the SEC.
Commodores Have Canned Food Drive
Vanderbilt's baseball team, in conjunction with the Second Harvest Food Bank, will be conducting a canned food drive at all three games this weekend against Georgia.
The team and athletic department encourage anyone coming to the game to bring a canned food item to donate. Players from the baseball team will be set-up outside the main gate collecting donations.
Last season a group of players (pictured above) organized a food drive for the Florida series. In all, 762 pounds of food were collected during the three-day series vs. Florida. Their slogan was "Take a Bite Out of Hunger and the Florida Gators."
Junior infielder Bryan Johns, student manager Tyler Pirtle, and sophomore catcher Drew Fann are organizing the food drive this year, in conjunction with a class project. The players are starting things off by using their own money to buy canned goods to donate into the boxes. They are going to continue the theme and this year it will be: "Take a Bite Out of Hunger and the Georgia Bulldogs."
Total Wins Among Nations Best
Entering this weekend, Vanderbilt's 32 wins are tied for the fifth most in the country. Coastal Carolina and Virginia lead the nation with 36 wins. The Commodore record for wins in a season is 54 achieved in 2007.
Rank Team Wins 1. Coastal Carolina 36 1. Virginia 36 2. Georgia Tech 35 2. Texas 35 3. Arkansas 34 3. Arizona State 34 3. Connecticut 34 4. Louisville 33 5. Vanderbilt 32 5. LSU 32 5. South Carolina 32
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 April 21, 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 is tied for fourth in the SEC in saves and sports a 2.01 earned run average in 16 relief appearances with 29 strikeouts and five walks in 22.1 innings pitched. He was added to the Stopper of the Year Watch List on April 15.
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. He has 308 wins entering the weekend series against Georgia. 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.
Vanderbilt has lost three games in a row for the first time this year ... Tuesday's loss against Austin Peay was just the second time VU has lost to the Govs under Tim Corbin ... The Commodores finished the six-game road trip with a 3-3 record. Two of the three losses were by a run, and the other was a walk-off two-run homer in a 4-2 loss to Tennessee on April 25. Last Sunday's 4-3 loss to the Vols in game two of the doubleheader was the first time the Commodores had blown a lead after six innings. They were 26-0 before that loss. The game one loss in 11 innings was the first extra-innings loss of the year. VU had a 2-0 record previously ... Vanderbilt went 3-2 on the week, winning the first three games of the week, before dropping the DH ... With the doubleheader sweep, UT has now won five of the last six meetings against the Commodores ... Vanderbilt has lost all three of its SEC road series this year ... Last Tuesday's win over Lipscomb was the team's 30th victory of the year, marking the seventh straight season the team has reached that plateau ... The Commodores are 23-3 in non-conference games and 9-9 in league play ... Tuesday's loss to Austin Peay could be the final non-conference regular season game of the year. VU has played 44 games, with 13 left on the schedule. Teams can play only 56 games in the regular season, so barring a rainout this week or next week at LSU, the Louisville game on May 11 would have to be cancelled ... With Jason Esposito's stolen base in the first inning of game one Sunday, he raised his season total to 21 stolen bases. The mark also tops his 2009 season-total of 20 swiped bags. In 44 games this year, Esposito has converted 21 of 24 stolen base attempts and is tied with Chris Bisson of Kentucky for the league lead ... VU made seven errors in the three games against UT (.942 fielding percentage) and that led to four unearned runs ... The pitching staff sported a 1.71 ERA with 23 strikeouts and nine walks in 26.1 innings against the Vols and limited them to just a .214 team batting average ... Offensively the team hit .299 for the week and just .247 against UT ... On Friday night, Sonny Gray won his second straight game to improve to 6-4 on the year, tying a season high with 10 strikeouts. He allowed just one run on a solo homer in the third inning and gave up just three hits and did not walk a batter. Gray lowered his ERA to a team-best 2.22. The Smyrna, Tenn., native has 72 strikeouts in 69.0 innings this year while opponents are hitting just .205 off him ... Taylor Hill allowed three runs, two earned on nine hits with five strikeouts and no walks in 6.2 innings in game two of double-header. Hill has been phenomenal in his last three starts. The junior has allowed only five earned runs in his last 23 innings for a 1.96 ERA. Hill has 15 strikeouts and only one walk in his last three starts combined. The right-hander hasn't seen much run support in his last three outings as he sports a 0-1 record during that stretch ... Jack Armstrong gave up two runs, both unearned, on four hits in 4.2 innings with three walks and no strikeouts in game one to earn the no-decision in game one of Sunday's double-header ... Curt Casali's solo home run in the top of seventh was his fourth long-ball of the year. It marked his first home run since homering on March 6 against Illinois State. Casali led Vanderbilt at the plate this weekend, going 5-for-9 (.556) with a home run and an RBI. Aaron Westlake was 4-for-11 with three RBI while Connor Harrell had three RBI in two games ... On the week, Westlake was 10-for-21 (.476) with two doubles, a homer, six RBI and five runs scored ... Harrell was 7-for-15 (.467) with two doubles, five RBI and four runs scored ... Jason Esposito was 7-for-20 (.350) with a homer, seven RBI and five runs scored while also perfect on five stolen base attempts. VU closes out its six-game road trip Tuesday night at Austin Peay before hosting Georgia for three games over the weekend. After the series against the Bulldogs, VU will be on the road the next two weekends (at LSU, at Mississippi State) before closing out the regular season against Top 10 ranked Arkansas (May 20-22)
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 20 of 43 runners attempting to steal. He has also caught a pitching staff (calls own game) that has a stellar 3.29 team ERA; best in the SEC. Offensively he usually bats in the middle of the order and enters this weekend against Georgia with a .301 batting average with four homers and 35 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 April 21, and held the potent Blue Raider offense in check for 3.2 innings. He allowed just three hits while striking out three.
He made his first start of the year against Austin Peay on Tuesday and threw five innings of four-hit scoreless ball.
In five appearances on the year he has 13 strikeouts and one walks in 10.2 innings with just nine hits allowed.