Baseball: Vanderbilt hosts Tennessee

After an impressive series sweep over once mighty LSU, Vanderbilt hosts a struggling Tennessee team that has been a thorn in its side for the past two years. Look inside for details of this crucial SEC series.

Tennessee (22-17, 5-13) AT #2 Vanderbilt (35-5, 14-4)
HAWKINS FIELD (3,700)


SCHEDULE:

Game 1 • Friday, April 29 • 6 p.m. CT
Game 2 • Saturday, April 30 • 12 p.m. CT
Game 3 • Sunday, 1 May • 1 p.m. CT

Radio: 560 AM WNSR

TV: Friday (None), Saturday (CSS), Sunday (None).

Series History: Vandy trails 140-167-2.

The Coaches: Tennessee head coach Todd Raleigh is 362-310 (.539) in his 12th year as a head coach. Raleigh is 105-101 (.510) in his fourth season at UT. Vanderbilt's Tim Corbin is 463-320 overall in 15 years as a head coach. Corbin is 357-182 in 9 years at VU.

Tentative Pitching Matchups

Friday
UT - Fr. LHP Steven Gruver (4-4, 2.71 ERA)
VU - Jr. RHP Sonny Gray (8-2, 2.00 ERA)

Saturday
UT - Fr. RHP Jon Reed (1-1, 4.11 ERA)
VU - Jr. LHP Grayson Garvin (8-1, 2.32 ERA)

Sunday
UT - TBA
VU - Sr. RHP Taylor Hill (3-0, 3.38 ERA)

Scouting Tennessee

In the first week of the second half of its SEC schedule, Tennessee opened with a dramatic, walk-off 10-inning win on Friday before dropping a pair of two-run games and the series to the visiting Georgia Bulldogs. UT's record now stands at 22-17, including a 5-13 mark in league play after it's two mid-week contests were both rained out.

Junior Steven Gruver put the Vols in position to win on Friday with yet another quality start, allowing just three earned runs in 7.1 innings. He scattered eight hits, struck out seven and walked just one. The 6-1 southpaw didn't get the win as the game went to extra-innings, but senior Matt Duffy made sure the Big Orange came away victorious, following an intentional walk to Khayyan Norfork that loaded the bases in the bottom of the 10th with a shot high off the right-field wall for a walk-off single that gave UT a 5-4 triumph.

Tennessee kept the next two games in the series close, but a total of eight two-out runs, including six on Saturday alone, proved too much to overcome as the Vols dropped 8-6 and 5-3 decisions. Senior designated hitter Tyler Horne was UT's most consistent offensive performer last week against Georgia, hitting at a squadbest .364 clip with four singles in 11 at-bats. He also scored two runs and knocked in another. Horne is currently in the midst of a career-long seven-game hitting streak, during which he is 10-for-23 (.435) and has raised his overall batting average 45 points, going from .250 to .295.

Scouting Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt swept LSU last weekend to improve to 35-5 on the year and 14-4 in the Southeastern Conference. The Commodores finished the weekend in a three-way tie atop the SEC with Florida and South Carolina. Vanderbilt hammered LSU 11-3 on Friday night to take the series opener. Mike Yastrzemski drove in three runs and Curt Casali collected a game-high three hits in the win. Aaron Westlake set career-highs with four runs scored and three walks. Sonny Gray earned his eighth win of the year working seven innings.

VU then clinched the series with a 10-1 victory on Saturday behind starter Grayson Garvin. The lefty allowed one run on five hits with eight strikeouts to improve to a perfect 6-0 in SEC play. ason Esposito and Conrad Gregor each knocked in three runs in the win and Riley Reynolds and Gregor each had three hits.

The Dores finished of the sweep of the Tigers with a 10-7 win on Sunday pounding out a season-best 20 hits and leaving a season-high 17 runners on base. Six different Commodores had multi-hit games including Anthony Gomez, Jack Lupo and Gregor, who all had four-hit games. Gomez drove in three runs in the win and Gregor hit his second home run of his career. The offense matched a season-best with six hits during a six-run rally in the third inning. Taylor Hill picked up the win pitching five innings to move to 3-0 on the year, while Esposito extended his hitting streak to 21 games with two hits in all three games against LSU.

Statistical Comparison

Tennessee
Team
Vanderbilt
.291 Average .313
5.5 Runs Per Game 6.6
9.5 Hits Per Game 10.5
68 Doubles 73
8 Triples 9
21 Home Runs 19
197 Runs Batted In229
127/203 Walks/Strikeouts 117/210
73 Stolen Bases 50
337.0 Innings Pitched 352.0
4.19 Earned Run Average 2.45
4.5 Runs Allowed Per Game2.9
8.7 Hits Allowed Per Game 7.0
148/270 Walks/Strikeouts 117/366
.975 Fielding Pct. .973
36 Errors 40
42 Double Plays 16

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