LHP Kevin Ziomek (6-1, 1.81) vs. LHP Rob Zastryzny (2-5, 2.88)
Saturday (4 p.m.)
RHP Tyler Beede (8-0, 1.05) vs. TBA
Sunday (1 p.m.)
TBA vs. RHP Keaton Steele (3-1, 2.43)
No. 3 ranked Vanderbilt swept Ole Miss and then beat Lipscomb to complete last week with a 4-0 record. This week a 10-3 win over UT-Martin on Tuesday night was the Commodores' 11th in a row. Now the Commodores must face a surging Missouri team that has won three of its last four games.
Vanderbilt junior Tony Kemp (.388, 21 RBIs) is on an 11-game hitting streak. Kemp has 18 triples in his career which is a Commodore record. Junior catcher Spencer Navin (.308, 14 RBIs) had a career best 4 hits in the Sunday win at Ole Miss. Senior first baseman Conrad Gregor (.263, 23 RBIs) leads the team in walks with 31. Center fielder Connor Harrell (.293) leads the Commodores in both home runs (5) and RBIs (43). Freshman third baseman Xavier Turner (.321, 15 RBIs) is on a 6-game hitting streak. Short stop Vince Conde (.305, 21 RBIs) is second on the team in home runs with 4.
Kevin Ziomek has a complete-game shutout with a 6-1 record with 65 strikeouts and 19 walks. Tyler Beede is 8-0 so far with 50 strikeouts, 36 walks with a 1.05 ERA and a .157 opponent batting average. Brian Miller (5-0, 0.81 ERA, 10 saves) is on a pace to set the Vanderbilt single season save record. Sunday's pitcher is TBA for the second straight week in a row. Philip Pfeifer (2-0, 4.10 ERA) has had 8 starts this season and started last Sunday's TBA game. Pfeifer's numbers haven't been pretty but the bottom line is that Pfeifer has done his part in helping the team achieve a 30-4 record and the best conference start in program history.
Vanderbilt as a team is batting .297 compared to its opponent's BA of .212. The Commodores pitching staff sports a 2.43 ERA while Vandy's opponents have a 6.23 ERA versus the Commodores.
Missouri won 12-17 (4-8 SEC) won its first ever SEC series last weekend at Georgia winning 2 games to 1. The Tigers won 4-0 on Friday and 8-5 on Sunday. Georgia prevailed 6-5 in Saturday's game. Missouri won a mid-week game on Tuesday against Missouri State, 5-4.
Last week INF/RHP Keaton Steele (.339, 13 RBIs) was selected as the SEC's Player of the Week. For the week Steele hit a team-best .500 with four extra-base hits (three doubles and a two-run homer) while his slugging percentage sparkled at .929. As a pitcher Steele also excels with a 2.43 ERA with 34 strikeouts against 9 walks and 23 hits allowed. Junior catcher Dylan Kelly (.333, 17 RBIs) leads the team in doubles with 6. Senior outfielder Dane Opel (.323, 2 HRs, 16 RBIs) hit a 3-run triple in Sunday's win over Georgia. Columbia, Tenn., native Kendall Keeton (.288, 38 RBIs) had 2 hits and a pair of RBIs in Sunday's win over the Bulldogs. The junior second baseman has 6 doubles on the season. Sophomore centerfielder Case Munson (.259, 3 RBIs) has been the Missouri leadoff man of late. He has only one stolen base on the season in three attempts. Jake Ivory (.295, 8 RBIs) and Logan Pearson (.253, 10 RBIs) round out the Tigers key batters.
On Friday night Vandy's Kevin Ziomek will face Missouri ace Rob Zastryzny. Zastryzny has a 1.83 ERA in 39.1 innings pitched while allowing just eight earned runs and striking out 35 against just eight hits. Zastryzny has a fast ball that runs into the high 80s/low 90s. He's a good pitcher and has improved his play during conference action. Tyler Beede's opponent on Saturday is to be announced. It could be one of several pitchers including Alec Rash (2-1, 3.43 ERA) who is a 6-foot-6 RHP who started in Sunday's comeback win over Georgia but was pulled and replaced by Keaton Steele. Rash has five starts so far this season. Sophomore righty Brett Graves (0-4, 3.79) is another candidate. He started the Saturday loss to Georgia and pitched for 3.2 innings giving up 7 hits and 4 unearned runs before being replaced. Jace James (3-1, 1.87 ERA) is another candidate to start on Saturday. He's had six starts this season giving up 29 hits will striking out 22 and walking 13. He started Tuesday's win over Missouri State but only pitched 3 innings so he could be used on Saturday. The aforementioned Keaton Steele will face a TBA Vandy pitcher on Sunday. Steele has 34 strike outs against only 23 hits and 9 walks. Steele was drafted by the Rays in the 29th round of the 2012 draft.
Missouri as a team bats .254 while opposing teams have an identical .254 average versus the Tigers. Missouri's pitchers have an overall 3.44 ERA while Tiger opponents have a 3.72 ERA versus the Tigers.
SEC STANDINGS EAST CONF GB ALL VAN 11-1 - 30-4 USC 8-4 3 27-7 KEN 6-6 5 23-9 FLA 5-7 6 16-18 MIZ 4-8 7 12-17 TEN 3-9 8 14-17 GEO 2-10 9 12-22 WEST CONF GB ALL LSU 11-1 - 32-2 ARK 8-4 3 24-10 ALA 8-4 3 22-13 TAM 6-6 5 21-13 MSU 5-7 6 27-9 OLM 4-8 7 23-10 AUB 3-9 8 20-13SEC THIS WEEK
Missouri @ Vanderbilt
South Carolina @ Florida
Tennessee @ Kentucky
Georgia @ Auburn
LSU @ Arkansas
Alabama @ Ole Miss Mississippi State @ Texas A&M
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