Vanderbilt Game Notes | Alabama Game Notes
Vanderbilt rolled over Middle Tennessee 17-7 on Tuesday night. VU collected hits from 11 different players in support of Matt Ruppenthal's second win of the year. The Commodores lost the series on Sunday at Arkansas 7-1. Chandler Day struggled in four-plus innings to take the loss. Vanderbilt used a dominant outing from Kyle Wright to even the series at Arkansas with a 6-2 win on Saturday. Wright fanned 11 over seven scoreless for the victory. The Commodores let a late lead slip away in a 4-3 loss at Arkansas on Friday night. Ethan Paul's two hits and two-run homer were not enough in Zach King's first career loss.
ON THE BUMP
Thursday, May 18
RHP Patrick Raby (8-3, 2.43) vs. RHP Deacon Medders (2-0, 3.00)
Friday, May 19
RHP Kyle Wright (3-5, 3.06) vs. RHP Jake Walters (5-4, 3.56)
Saturday, May 20
TBA vs. RHP Nick Eicholtz (1-3, 6.27)
TAKING ON THE TIDE
The Commodores host Alabama on the final weekend of the regular season just like the last time the two teams met at Hawkins Field in 2013. The Dores took two-of-three in the series to finish the regular season with a league record 26-3 mark. Vandy has not squared off against the Crimson Tide since 2015 when the squads squared off inside the Hoover Met four times, three times in the final series of the regular season and once in the SEC Tournament. The Dores lost the series finale 1-0 but bounced back to beat the Tide 16-1 in seven innings in the tournament. Vanderbilt is 59-80-2 all-time against Alabama since 1893.
Julian Infante has been swinging a big stick for the Commodores over the last month. Over the last 15 games, Infante has driven in 27 runs with RBIs in nine of the 15 games. The slugger from Miami has also belted four home runs, hitting homers in back-to-back games at Middle Tennessee and Georgia last month and two more in the final two games of the series at Arkansas. Infante is 18-for-62 (.290) during the stretch with 12 runs scored and 12 extra-base hits.
THE FINAL STAND
Vanderbilt hosts its final home stand this week with four games at Hawkins Field to wrap up the regular season. The Commodores enter the weekend 19-11 at The Hawk this year. At home, the Dores are hitting .277 and scoring an average of 6.5 runs per game. Jason Delay has led the way with a .371 average and 11 doubles. The team's pitching has been solid allowing teams to hit just .233 while posting a 3.68 ERA. Vandy has won four-of-five at home this month.
RETURN OF THE TOFF
Will Toffey returned from a shoulder injury last weekend at Arkansas. The junior made a quick impact with a pair of two-hit games, including a solo homer that scored the first run of the game in Saturday night's win. The junior kept the trend going with a two-hit game on Tuesday against Middle Tennessee, including leading off the game with a solo homer. Toffey still leads the team with a .467 on-base percentage and 45 walks.
THE WRIGHT TRACK
Kyle Wright has turned it on in the second half of the Southeastern Conference season. Over his last five starts, Wright has allowed just five runs on 12 hits while covering 39.1 innings, including two nine-inning outings. He turned in back-to-back scoreless appearances with a three-hit shutout of Florida on April 14 then twirled seven one-hit innings at Georgia the following week. He carried a no-hitter into the seventh against Tennessee and gave up one run on three hits over nine innings against Missouri. Last weekend at Arkansas, the junior was dominant, punching out 11 and giving up just two hits across seven scoreless innings. Wright's strikeout numbers have also climbed over the stretch with 51 over the five starts. He has twice struck out a career-best 13 in his last five, getting 13 Gators last month and 13 Tigers last weekend.
ONE MORE... THAN LAST YEAR
The Commodores entered the week one home run shy of matching last season's total. The Dores hit the ball out of the park 43 times last season in 62 games and have hit 44 round trippers in 52 games after belting a pair of homers on Tuesday. Jeren Kendall's 14 lead the squad and pairs up with Julian Infante's 10 to give VU multiple players hit at least 10 home runs for the first time since Zander Wiel, Rhett Wiseman and Dansby Swanson all hit 15 in 2015 when the Commodores hit 69 as a team, the most of any Tim Corbin led Vanderbilt squad.
More home runs this season has led to more donations from Rio Grande Fence Co. Derek Smith, Chief Operating Officer for Rio Grande Fence Co. of Nashville and longtime supporter of Vanderbilt says, "we're proud to know that every baseball our Commodores hit over the fence instantly translates into more support for Vanderbilt student-athletes." Not to forget, the donations continue into postseason play and there is no cap!
About Rio Grande Fence Co.
Since 1958, Rio Grande Fence Co. of Nashville, has been installing and repairing fence for commercial and industrial projects. They are a third generation family owned business. Owners Derek and Michael Smith are proud to be part of the Vanderbilt family. From restaurant patios to high security areas, business owners and contractors count on Rio Grande Fence Co. for security and peace of mind. To learn more about The Commercial Fence ProfessionalsTM go online to www.rgfence.com, like them on Facebook at facebook.com/rgfence, or follow them on Twitter at twitter.com/rgfence.
Thursday - The first 1000 fans to Thursday night's game will receive a David Price bobblehead.
Friday - Student managers Josh Ruchotzke and Ben Sampson will be honored along with former Commodore Hayden Stone.
Saturday - Senior Commodores Ro Coleman and Jason Delay will be honored during the game with their parents throwing out the first pitch prior to the Dores' regular season finale.