Vanderbilt baseball hosts Tennessee

The No. 3 ranked Vanderbilt Commodores host rival Tennessee for a 3-game series this weekend, starting on Friday. Look inside for a scouting report on the Vols and Vandy along with an SEC update.

No. 3 Vanderbilt vs. Tennessee
Friday (6:30 p.m.)
LHP Kevin Ziomek (5-1, 1.59) vs. RHP Zack Godley (2-2, 2.98)

Saturday (6 p.m., CSS/ESPN3)
RHP Tyler Beede (6-0, 0.70) vs. RHP Nick Williams (1-0, 2.84)

Sunday (1 p.m.)
LHP Philip Pfeifer (2-0, 2.88) vs. TBA

ABOUT VANDERBILT

No. 3 ranked Vanderbilt split four games last week suffering a rare loss to MTSU but then beat nemesis Florida 2 out of 3 games to take the series and improve to 5-1 in the SEC. The 5-1 conference start is the Commodores' best since 1980 when they went on to win the league title. Vanderbilt beat Lipscomb 4-1 on Tuesday night and is currently riding a 3-game winning streak. Second baseman Tony Kemp still leads the Commodore starters in hitting batting .389 with 37 hits and 18 RBIs but he is in somewhat of a slump by his multi-hit standards. Kemp has come up with a hit in each of the past three games. Infielder Vince Conde (.299, 13 RBIs) has 3 home runs which is second best on the team. Conde came up with a key sacrifice for an RBI in Sunday's 5-4 win over the Gators and drove in the Commodores only run in the Friday loss to Florida. First baseman Conrad Gregor (.271, 21 RBIs) leads the team in walks with 23. Connor Harrell (.287, 5 HR) leads the Commodores in RBIs with 30. Three young players, Xavier Turner (.327, 9 RBIs), Rhett Wiseman (.283, 8 RBIs) and John Norwood (.316, 6 RBIs) have performed well as either designated hitters or pinch hitters. Norwood had a big single that helped Vanderbilt rally past Florida in the series clincher on Sunday.

Friday starter Kevin Ziomek (5-1, 1.59 ERA, 52 Ks) took his first loss of the season giving up a season-high four runs on a career-high five walks over six innings. Sophomore righty Tyler Beede (6-0, 0.70 ERA, 35 Ks) pitched 6.1 scoreless innings and allowed only 2 hits in leading Vandy to a 6-1 victory over Florida. Lefty Philip Pfeifer (2-0, 2.88 ERA, 30 Ks) had a rough outing on Sunday giving up 6 hits and 4 earned runs in 3 innings of work. However, Brian Miller (3-0, 0.40 ERA, 19 Ks) earned the win in relief with two shutout innings out of the bullpen.

As a team Vanderbilt is batting .293 while its opponents are batting .200. The Commodore pitching staff sports a 2.23 overall ERA while opponents have managed a 6.30 ERA.

ABOUT TENNESSEE

The Tennessee baseball team is off to a 13-10 (3-3 SEC) start. Two weeks ago the Vols lost a series at west co-leader Alabama 2 games to 1 to open conference play. In that series the Vols were outscored by a combined score of 33-9 by the Tide. Last week UT won a series at home versus Missouri 2 games to 1.

First baseman Scott Price (.370, 14 RBIs) leads the Vol batters and has one homer. Third baseman Will Maddox (.344, 15 RBIs) led the Vols in batting last year as a freshman. Maddox came up hitless in five at bats as the leadoff man in the Vols' Sunday loss to Missouri. Center fielder Pierce Bily (.338, 14 RBIs) has four doubles this season. Second baseman Taylor Smart (.296, 7 RBIs) has a pair of doubles and a homer on the season. Smart leads the Vols in walks with 13. Christin Stewart (.279, 7 RBIs), Vincent Jackson (.278, 10 RBIs) and A.J. Simcox (.219, 11 RBIs) round out the Vols' top batters.

Senior right-handed pitcher Zack Godley (2-2, 2.98 ERA) is the Vols staff ace and is schedule to face Vandy's Ziomek on Friday night. He scattered 5 hits and struck out eight in the Vols 4-0 Friday night shutout of Missouri.

Junior righty Nick Williams (1-0, 2.84 ERA) will face the Commodores' Beede on Saturday. Williams started for just the second time against Missouri leading the Vols to a victory. In that game he struck out 2 while allowing 5 hits in 4.1 innings of work.

Sunday's starter for the Vols has not yet been announced. Trevor Bettencourt (2-2, 4.34 ERA) lasted just 2.1 innings in the Vols Sunday loss to Missouri. He gave up 6 earned runs and had just one strikeout in the 14-6 loss. Heralded freshman right Aaron Quillen (1-1, 5.76 ERA) has six starts this season but did not garner a start versus Missouri.

Tennessee as a team is batting .280 while allowing its opponents an identical .280 bating average. The Vol pitching staff has a 4.83 earned run average which is slightly better than their opponent's 4.87 ERA.
SEC STANDINGS

EAST	CONF	GB	ALL

VAN	5-1	-	22-4
KEN	4-2	1	19-5
TEN	3-3	2	13-10
USC	2-4	3	19-6
FLA	2-4	3 	11-15
MIZ	2-4	3 	 9-12
GEO	0-6	5 	 9-16
 
WEST	CONF	GB	ALL

LSU	5-1	-	23-2
TAM	5-1	-	18-8
ALA  	5-1	-	16-10
ARK	4-2	1	19-7
OLM	3-3	2	22-4	
MSU	2-4	3	22-6
AUB	0-6	5	15-10
SEC THIS WEEK

Tennessee @ Vanderbilt
Alabama @ Auburn
Mississippi State @ Arkansas
Ole Miss @ Florida
Georgia @ Kentucky
LSU @ Missouri
Texas A&M @ South Carolina

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