May 19, 2014
Vanderbilt dropped the regular season finale 6-3 to South Carolina on Saturday. Zander Wiel and Dansby Swanson led the way with two hits each. The Commodore evened the series on Friday night with a 9-3 win over the Gamecocks. Zander Wiel drove in three runs, including a two-run homer, in the win. Vanderbilt dropped the team's first extra inning game of the season 4-3 in the series opener vs. South Carolina. Zander Wiel drove in two runs and scored two more in the loss.
ON THE BUMP
Tuesday, May 20
RHP Walker Buehler (9-2, 2.31) vs. RHP Hunter Martin (4-3, 3.12)
COMMODORES RETURN TO FRIENDLY HOOVER
The City of Hoover, Ala. has been very friendly to the Commodores over the year with Vanderbilt going 29-15 in 10 trips under Coach Corbin since 2003. The Dores have twice won five games in a single tournament, when the team captured the tournament crown in 2007 and in 2012. Under Corbin, Vandy has played in the championship game seven times, including the last three. Last season, the Commodores bounced back from an opening round loss to Texas A&M to win three consecutive games before losing to LSU in an epic title game. The road back to the title game will be tough, however, with the Commodores losing series to three of the five teams in the top half of the bracket.
VANDY STRONG DOWN THE STRETCH
After a midseason swoon, the Commodores have bounced back to win nine of the team's final 12 SEC games and finish the regular season as one of the league's hottest teams. Vandy outscored opponents 79-31 over the final four weekends of league play belting out 30 extra-base hits, including 21 doubles and six home runs. John Norwood's and Rhett Wiseman's contributions were key with the two outfielders combining to hit .351 (27-for-77) with 16 runs scored. Zander Wiel's reemergence helped as well with the first baseman slugging a pair of home runs and driving in 13 runs. Pitching turned around as well with the VU pitching staff posting a 2.00 ERA. The revamped rotation of Tyler Beede, Carson Fulmer and Tyler Ferguson combined to go 8-1 with a 1.55 ERA. The Vandy defense has also been solid with only nine errors during the stretch.
UP THE MIDDLE ON LOCKDOWN
Middle infielders Vince Conde and Dansby Swanson have been two of the most productive players at their positions in the SEC and the country this season. The duo are the only two Commodores to start every game this season for Vandy and have been staples in the lineup both offensively and defensively. The pair have combined for only 10 errors (Conde 4, Swanson 6) on the year entering the postseason. At the plate, the two have been consistent forces combining for 130 hits, 39 extra-base hits, 82 runs and 71 RBI. Swanson leads the team in batting average (.340), hits (73), runs (46), and steals (17) and ranks second with 20 doubles. Conde leads the squad with 30 walks and is second in home runs (4) and RBI (41).
QUICK TO TURN TWO
The Vanderbilt defense has been quick to turn two over the team's last 11 games with at least one double play in 10 of the 11 games. The Dores' D has turned 14 double plays during the stretch, including matching the team's season-best of two four times. The Commodores' 49 double plays rank sixth in the SEC and are just four shy of what the Dores turned all of last year.