by SID (Photo by Jimmy Jones)
Record Overall: 32-11, 9-9 SEC
Record for the Week: 3-2
4/20: Vanderbilt 13, Lipscomb 10
4/21: Vanderbilt 11, Middle Tennessee 10
4/23: Vanderbilt 10, Tennessee 1
4/25: Tennessee 4, Vanderbilt 2 (11)
4/25: Tennessee 4, Vanderbilt 3 (7)
This Week (Buy Tickets)
4/27: at Austin Peay, 6 p.m. CT, Clarksville
4/30: vs. Georgia, 6 p.m. CT, Nashville
5/1: vs. Georgia (CSS), 6 p.m. CT, Nashville
5/2: vs. Georgia, 1 p.m. CT, Nashville
Vanderbilt went 3-2 on the week, winning the first three games of the week, before dropping a doubleheader to Tennessee on Sunday … With the doubleheader sweep, UT has now won five of the last six meetings against the Commodores … Vanderbilt has lost all three of its SEC road series this year … The team’s 4-2 loss in the first game of the doubleheader was the team’s first in three extra inning contests this year. They defeated Indiana, 6-5 in 11 innings and Austin Peay, 2-1 in 11 innings earlier this year.
Last Tuesday’s win over Lipscomb was the team’s 30th victory of the year, marking the seventh straight season the team has reached that plateau … The Commodores are 23-2 in non-conference games and 9-9 in league play ... Tuesday’s game against Austin Peay could be the final non-conference regular season game of the year. VU has played 43 games, with 14 left on the schedule. Teams can play only 56 games in the regular season, so barring a rainout this week or next week at LSU, the Louisville game on May 11 would have to be cancelled.
VU made seven errors in the three games against UT (.942 fielding percentage) and that led to four unearned runs. The pitching staff sported a 1.71 ERA with 23 strikeouts and nine walks in 26.1 innings against the Vols and limited them to just a .214 team batting average … Offensively the team hit .299 for the week and just .247 against UT.
On Friday night, Sonny Gray won his second straight game to improve to 6-4 on the year, tying a season high with 10 strikeouts. He allowed just one run on a solo homer in the third inning and gave up just three hits and did not walk a batter. Gray lowered his ERA to a team-best 2.22. The Smyrna, Tenn., native has 72 strikeouts in 69.0 innings this year while opponents are hitting just .205 off him.
Taylor Hill allowed three runs, two earned on nine hits with five strikeouts and no walks in 6.2 innings in game two of double-header. Hill has been phenomenal in his last three starts. The junior has allowed only five earned runs in his last 23 innings for a 1.96 ERA. Hill has 15 strikeouts and only one walk in his last three starts combined. The right-hander hasn’t seen much run support in his last three outings as he sports a 0-1 record during that stretch.
Jack Armstrong gave up two runs, both unearned, on four hits in 4.2 innings with three walks and no strikeouts in game one to earn the no-decision in game one of Sunday’s double-header.
Curt Casali’s solo home run in the top of seventh was his fourth long-ball of the year. It marked his first home run since homering on March 6 against Illinois State. Casali led Vanderbilt at the plate this weekend, going 5-for-9 (.556) with a home run and an RBI.
Aaron Westlake was 4-for-11 with three RBI while Connor Harrell had three RBI in two games … On the week, Westlake was 10-for-21 (.476) with two doubles, a homer, six RBI and five runs scored … Harrell was 7-for-15 (.467) with two doubles, five RBI and four runs scored.
Jason Esposito was 7-for-20 (.350) with a homer, seven RBI and five runs scored while also perfect on five stolen base attempts. With his stolen base in the first inning of game one Sunday against Tennessee, Esposito raised his season total to 21 stolen bases. The mark also tops his 2009 season-total of 20 swiped bags. In 43 games this year, Esposito has converted 21 of 24 stolen base attempts and is tied with Chris Bisson of Kentucky for the league lead.
VU closes out its six-game road trip Tuesday night at Austin Peay before hosting Georgia for three games over the weekend. After the series against the Bulldogs, VU will be on the road the next two weekends (at LSU, at Mississippi State) before closing out the regular season against Top 10 ranked Arkansas (May 20-22).