VU closes regular season at The Hawk

May 16, 2018

Games 53-55
Thursday, May 17-Saturday, May 19 • Nashville, Tenn. • Hawkins Field
No. 19 Kentucky (34-18, 13-14 SEC) vs. Vanderbilt (28-24, 13-14 SEC)
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NASHVILLE – Vanderbilt wraps up the regular season this weekend, hosting Kentucky for a three-game series beginning Thursday at 6:30 p.m. from Hawkins Field.

Friday’s middle game is set for 6:30 p.m. while Saturday’s finale will get underway at 1 p.m. All three games will be streamed on the SEC Network Plus.

Fans can also listen to all three games courtesy of the vucommodores app as well as locally on WNSR 560 AM/95.9 FM with Joe Fisher on the call. Pre-game coverage begins 15 minutes prior to first pitch.

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
THURSDAY: RHP Drake Fellows (5-4, 4.06 ERA) vs. RHP Sean Hjelle (7-4, 3.56 ERA)
FRIDAY: RHP Patrick Raby (4-5, 3.43 ERA) vs. TBA
SATURDAY: RHP Mason Hickman (7-2, 4.53 ERA) vs. LHP Zach Thompson (2-0, 4.56 ERA)

NEED TO KNOW
For a 13th straight season, Vanderbilt has locked up a spot in the SEC Tournament. The Commodores enter the weekend ninth in the league standings but could finish as high as third or as low as 12th. The six-day event opens on Tuesday in Hoover, Ala.

Vanderbilt has won three of its last four games and is coming off a record-setting night on Tuesday. The Dores broke a 67-year-old program record, drawing 19 walks in a 21-4 win against Middle Tennessee. Vandy struck for 14 runs in the third inning and went on to match a Hawkins Field record with 21 total runs.

With one victory this weekend, the Commodores would reach 20 home wins for the 15th consecutive season. LSU and South Carolina are the only other SEC schools to reach 20 home wins in each of the last 14 seasons (2004-2007).

Vanderbilt looks to continue bolstering its NCAA Tournament resume this weekend. The Commodores sit at No. 36 in the RPI and boast the nation’s sixth-toughest schedule. Vandy has played a whopping 30 games vs. Top 50 RPI opponents, going 14-16 in those games. Kentucky enters Thursday at No. 17 in the RPI.

For the third straight year, the Commodores close the regular season with four-straight home games. Vandy is 19-9 at Hawkins Field and is batting .296 and averaging 7.78 runs per game at the facility. Meanwhile, the pitching staff has turned in a 3.64 ERA and limited opponents to a .236 batting average in 247.0 innings.

Vandy played error-free baseball for the 29th time on Tuesday against Middle Tennessee. The Dores are fourth nationally and first in the SEC with a .982 fielding percentage. The program record for fielding is .979, set in 2015.

The Commodores have been surging at the plate of late, batting .310 over their last five games. Stephen Scott has helped pave the way, belting four home runs alongside three doubles and eight RBIs in that stretch.

PROMOTIONS
THURSDAY: The first 1,000 fans in attendance receive a free ‘Jump Around’ Vanderbilt shirt.
SATURDAY: Vanderbilt is set to host Salute to Service. The first 1,000 fans through the gate receive a free Vanderbilt baseball American flag t-shirt. The 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment color guard from Fort Campbell will be in attendance to present the colors. Vandy will also recognize a hero of the game from the Army installation. Two ceremonial first pitches are on tap including one from the family of Marine Corps Lance Corporal Benjamin Gearheart and another from first-year Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel.

INSIDE THE MATCHUP VS. KENTUCKY
Vanderbilt and Kentucky square off for the 250th time in the history of the two programs on Thursday night. The Wildcats lead the all-time series 125-121-3 since the two programs began playing in the 1924 season.

Since Tim Corbin arrived at Vandy in 2003, the Commodores boast a 28-16 lead in the series. Vandy has won four straight series against Kentucky at Hawkins Field dating to the 2010 season.


 

 

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