Baseball: Vanderbilt hosts Florida

Clinging to a slim 1-game lead in the SEC East, Vanderbilt hosts second place Florida for a pivotal 3-game series in Nashville. Look inside for complete details.

#6 Florida (37-12, 18-6 SEC) at # 1 Vanderbilt (41-6, 19-5 SEC)
HAWKINS FIELD (3,700)


SCHEDULE:

Game 1 • Friday, May 13 • 6:00 p.m. CT
Game 2 • Saturday, May 14 • 2 p.m. CT
Game 3 • Sunday, May 15 • 1 p.m. CT

Radio: 560 AM WNSR

TV: Friday (CSS/ESPN3), Saturday (None), Sunday (None).

Series History: Vandy trails 62-120-1.

The Coaches: Florida head coach Kevin O'Sullivan is 160-75 in his fourth year as a head coach. Vanderbilt's Tim Corbin is 469-321 overall in 15 years as a head coach. Corbin is 363-183 in 9 years at VU.

Tentative Pitching Matchups

Friday
UF - So. RHP Hudson Randall (8-2, 2.05 ERA)
VU - Jr. RHP Sonny Gray (9-3, 1.94 ERA)

Saturday
UF - So. LHP Brian Johnson (7-2, 2.53 ERA)
VU - Jr. LHP Grayson Garvin (9-1, 2.15 ERA)

Sunday
UF - Fr. RHP Karsten Whitson (6-0, 2.26 ERA)
VU - Sr. RHP Taylor Hill (4-0, 3.17 ERA)

Scouting Florida

Florida is one of the top three teams in the SEC and is ranked No. 8 (VU 3rd) in the country by Baseball America, No. 6 by the NCBWA (VU 1st), 5th by the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll (VU 2nd), and No. 5 (VU 2nd) in the Collegiate Baseball News rankings.

Florida will start sophomore right-hander Hudson Randall on Friday, sophomore left-hander Brian Johnson on Saturday and freshman right-hander Karsten Whitson on Sunday. Whitson is eighth in the SEC in strikeouts with 62 while Hudson is eighth in opposing batting average at .223.

Florida is batting .313 with 101 doubles (#2 SEC), 10 triples, 40 (#2 SEC) homers and 43 stolen bases. The Gators' pitching staff has a 2.57 ERA with 369 strikeouts and a .233 opponent batting average.

Florida is No. 2 in the SEC in team batting average and the Gators are second in the league in team ERA, trailing only Vanderbilt in both categories.

The Gators is paced at the plate by sophomore catcher Mike Zunino, who is hitting .381 with 18 doubles, 10 homers and 46 RBI. Junior Preston Tucker is batting .332 with 13 doubles, 10 homers and 46 RBI, while second baseman Josh Adams is hitting .353 with 9 doubles, 1 triple, 4 homers and 33 RBI.

Scouting Vanderbilt

The Commodores' pitching staff has a 2.35 ERA with 412 strikeouts and a .213 opponent batting average. The Vandy pitchers lead the SEC in all three categories. Two Vanderbilt pitchers, Sonny Gray and Grayson Garvin, are in the top 3 SEC in wins and are among the top 6 conference pitchers in both strikeouts and opposing batting average.

Vanderbilt is No. 1 in the SEC in team batting average at .318. Vanderbilt hitters have 93 doubles, nine triples, 29 homers and 56 stolen bases.

Vanderbilt is led at the plate by junior first baseman Aaron Westlake, who is hitting .368 with 13 doubles, 1 triple, 10 homers and 34 RBI. Westlake is third in the SEC in slugging percentage (.626). Westlake and outfielder Mike Yastrzemski are tied for first in the league in walks with one other player with 36. Sophomore infielder Anthony Gomez has a league leading 73 hits and is batting .358 with 9 doubles, 1 triple and 33 RBI, while junior third baseman Jason Esposito is hitting .346 with 17 doubles, a triple, 5 home runs and 44 RBI.

Statistical Comparison

Florida
Team
Vanderbilt
.313 Average .318
6.4 Runs Per Game 7.0
10.6 Hits Per Game 10.8
101 Doubles93
10 Triples 9
40 Home Runs 29
285 Runs Batted In285
162/276 Walks/Strikeouts 188/244
43 Stolen Bases 56
435.0 Innings Pitched 414.0
2.57 Earned Run Average 2.35
3.0 Runs Allowed Per Game2.8
7.8 Hits Allowed Per Game6.9
85/369 Walks/Strikeouts 133/412
.975 Fielding Pct. .973
47 Errors 47
37 Double Plays 26

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