Rusin ready to roll against Commodores

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Wildcat Senior Chris Rusin (3-1, 3.33 ERA) squares off at noon today against Commodore Sophomore Caleb Cotham (3-1, 2.77 ERA) in the second game of a three game series. The Wildcats won last night 3-1 behind the 10 strikeout performance of James Paxton.

It's a matchup of Lefty Chris Rusin against Righty Caleb Cotham in Cliff Hagan Stadium at noon today, with the Wildcats holding a 1-0 lead in the three game series.

The Wildcats' offense has not been explosive this season, having lost much of the long ball punch from previous years. The pitching has been as good as advertised, however, with the weekend series rotation of James Paxton, Chris Rusin and highly touted freshman Alex Meyer performing admirably. UK head coach Gary Henderson is in his first year as the head guy, having served as UK pitching coach and recruiting coordinator under John Cohen the previous six seasons. Henderson brought in the nation's fourth best recruiting class this season according to Baseball America.

Catcher Marcus Nidiffer leads the team with a .444 batting average to go with three homers and 16 RBI. As a team the Wildcats are batting .317 (6th in SEC) with 17 homers and 134 runs scored (7.9 per game).

Vanderbilt relies on a solid team hitting experience and leans heavily on a pitching rotation that has not seen much experience before this season. If the Commodores get deep into the game with a lead, their relief pitching has been excellent. Sophomore Russell Brewer (0-2, 1.35 ERA, 2 Saves), acclaimed freshman Sonny Gray (1-0, 0.82 ERA, 2 Saves) and junior Drew Hayes (2-1, 2.92 ERA, 2 Saves) have each posted impressive numbers in relief.

First pitch today is scheduled at 12:00 noon (ET) at Cliff Hagan Stadium

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