VANDERBILT RE-VU Vanderbilt rallied for five runs in the eighth inning to top third-ranked Kentucky 6-1 and clinch the series on Sunday. Connor Harrell's grand slam capped the five-run eighth as Sam Selman earned his team-best sixth win out of the bullpen. The Commodores edged the Wildcats 4-3 to even the series Saturday. Spencer Navin homered and drove in the winning run with a triple to lead the way. Tyler Beede turned in seven scoreless innings with eight strikeouts in a no decision. Kentucky claimed the series opener Friday night with a 5-2 win over Vanderbilt. Connor Harrell and Mike Yastrzemski each had two hits in the loss and John Norwood drove in a run with a double.
ON THE BUMP Friday, May 4 RHP T.J. Pecoraro (0-2, 5.30) vs. RHP Nick Williams (2-4, 3.93)
Saturday, May 5 RHP Tyler Beede (1-4, 4.18) vs. RHP Robbie Kidd (2-2, 5.01)
HARRELL HEATING UP Connor Harrell has began to heat up over his last five games going 9-for-25 (.360) with three doubles, two home runs and 10 RBI. Harrell's hot streak follows a slump that saw him go 3-for-31 (.097). The Dores outfielder finished last season on a powerful pace starting against Tennessee on April 29 with a pinch-hit home run and hitting a team-best .365 with eight doubles, eight home runs and 24 RBI over the team's final 26 games.
WINS WARMING UP WITH THE WEATHER Vanderbilt's win column has started to rise along with the temperature. The Commodores posted a 1-7 record in February going 1-4 at home and 0-3 on the road. In March, the Dores went 10-5 at home and 0-4 on the road before posting a 7-3 mark at Hawkins Field and 3-4 record away from home in April. After going 1-11 in the club's first 12 road games, Vandy has won back-to-back road games for the first time this season (Alabama, MTSU).
SWINGS AND MISSES The Commodores' pitching staff utilized the strikeout last week to help the team win three games. Nine pitchers combined to strikeout 40 batters over 36 innings while holding Middle Tennessee State and Kentucky to a .262 batting average. The Dores' hurlers fanned 30 Wildcats over the weekend, including 13 on Sunday to match the team-high for the season.
TAKING ON TENNESSEE Vanderbilt travels to Rocky Top this weekend to take on in-state rival Tennessee. The Commodores pounded the Volunteers in a three-game sweep last season, outscoring the Vols 39-5 over the weekend. The three games against UT were the final three games of Vanderbilt's six-game streak (also three against LSU) that saw the Commodores score 10-plus runs in each game outscoring opponents 70-16 during the stretch. The last time the Dores visited Knoxville, UT claimed the series with a doubleheader sweep after Vandy won on Friday night. Vanderbilt is 151-154-3 against Tennessee in the Commodores' oldest series dating back to 1888.