VANDERBILT RE-VU Vanderbilt finished the team's nonconference schedule with a 5-1 win over Louisville Tuesday night. Curt Casali and Connor Harrell each hit two-run homers in the second inning of the victory. The Commodores rallied for three runs with two outs in the ninth inning to clinch the series at Kentucky with a 6-3 win. Five straight two-out singles fueled the Dores' three-run, ninth inning rally. Vanderbilt bounced back to even the series with a 10-3 win Saturday night. Starter Grayson Garvin picked up his 10th win of the year tossing eight solid innings. Kentucky claimed the series opener 2-0 behind starter Alex Meyer's complete game, shutout on Friday. The Commodores were shutout for the first time since last April. VU starter Sonny Gray tossed his third complete game of the year, fanning nine with no walks over eight innings to take the loss.
ON THE BUMP Friday, May 13 RHP Sonny Gray (9-3, 1.94) vs. RHP Hudson Randall (8-2, 2.05)
Saturday, May 14 LHP Grayson Garvin (9-1, 2.15) vs. LHP Brian Johnson (7-2, 2.53)
Sunday, May 15 RHP Taylor Hill (4-0, 3.17) vs. RHP Karsten Whitson (6-0, 2.26)
CLUTCH HITTING The Commodores have had no trouble hitting with two outs this year hitting .277 as a team. Vanderbilt has 102 two-out RBI this year accounting for 36% of the team's RBI total for the season (285). Jason Esposito, Mike Yastrzemski and Tony Kemp have been especially dangerous with two outs combining for 46 two-out RBI.
FRESHMEN LEADERS Vanderbilt's offense has been aided by the emergence of freshmen Tony Kemp and Conrad Gregor. The duo has combined to hit .339 (94-for-277) with 62 runs scored, 17 extra-base hits and 40 RBI. In SEC games alone Kemp and Gregor sport the two best averages on the team (.414 and .394, respectively) hitting a combined .406 with 42 runs scored, 13 extra-base hits and 26 RBI. Freshmen pitchers Kevin Ziomek and T.J. Pecoraro have contributed as well adding eight wins and striking out 72 batters in 67 innings.
FACING FLORIDA Vanderbilt welcomes Florida to Hawkins Field for a pivotal SEC showdown. The Commodores enter the series with a one-game lead over Florida and South Carolina for the SEC title. The Gators took two-of-three from the Dores last season in Gainesville and sent VU home from the SEC Tournament. Vandy won the last series on West End two games to three in 2009. Head Coach Tim Corbin and Florida Head Coach Kevin O'Sullivan coached together at Clemson before taking over their respective programs. Corbin is 14-14 against UF since arriving at Vanderbilt. The Commodores are 62-117-1 all-time against the Gators dating back to 1927.
THE GRADUATES Five Commodores and three staff members graduated from Vanderbilt Friday morning. Taylor Hill, Drew Fann, Aaron Westlake, Curt Casali and Bryan Johns all received diplomas along with Daniel Harris (Director of Baseball Operations), Tyler Pirtle (Manager) and David Schnabel (Director of Video Operations).
NATIONAL PITCHER OF THE YEAR The College Baseball Hall of Fame released the 25 quarterfinalists this week for the National Pitcher of the Year award and the Commodores were well represented placing three pitchers on the list. Vanderbilt was the only school to be represented three times on the list with juniors Grayson Garvin, Navery Moore and Sonny Gray making the list. The SEC and Big 12 each placed six pitchers on the list.
GRAY MOVING UP Junior Sonny Gray is on the move up the career all-time lists. The right-hander has moved into sixth place all-time with 280 career strikeouts. David Price (2005-07) holds the school record with 441 strikeouts. Gray is now tied for third place all-time with Mike Willis (1969-72) with 24 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 62 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. Esposito is fourth all-time with 55 doubles in his career.