LHP Kevin Ziomek (7-1, 2.19) vs. LHP Jared Walsh (2-3, 2.33)
Saturday (3:05 p.m.)
RHP Tyler Beede (9-0, 1.07) vs. LHP Patrick Boling (2-4, 3.64)
Sunday (1 p.m.)
TBA vs. RHP Sean McLaughlin (4-3, 3.21)
Last week No. 2 ranked Vanderbilt (33-5, 14-1 SEC) beat UT-Martin 10-3 and then produced its third straight SEC sweep in thrashing Missouri three straight games. This week the Commodores saw their 14-game winning streak come to an end when a Tuesday night rally against Tennessee Tech fell short. Vandy now must travel to Athens, Ga., for a 3-game series with SEC East cellar dweller Georgia.
Senior Connor Harrell leads the Commodores with 52 RBIs on the season. First baseman Conrad Gregor (.287, 27 RBIs) is on a 7-game hitting streak. Second baseman Tony Kemp (.395, 25 RBIs) is currently on a 15-game hitting streak and has the Vanderbilt record for triples with 18. Short stop Vince Conde (.318, 27 RBIs) has four home runs this season. Left fielder Jack Lupo (.300, 17 RBIs) is 8-for-16 over the last four games. Senior center fielder Connor Harrell (.319, 52 RBIs) leads the team in RBIs and homers (8). Mike Yastrzemski (313, 22 RBIs) has started 175 straight games. True freshman third baseman Xavier Turner (.330, 18 RBIs) is on a 10 game hitting streak.
Kevin Ziomek is one of the top pitchers in the SEC but has been shaky his paste couple of starts. Ziomek (7-1, 2.19 ERA) has struck out 71 batters while allowing just 22 walks. In his most recent start versus Missouri Ziomek gave up six hits and three walks while striking out six. Sophomore Tyler Beede (1.07 ERA) is rapidly developing into one of the finer pitchers in college baseball. Beede, who seems to thrive with runners on base, has struck out 60 batters while allowing 36 walks. In his last game against Missouri on Saturday Beede was dominant, striking out 10 Tigers in earning his ninth victory of the season against no losses. Vanderbilt's starter for Sunday is to be announced. The past two weeks Vandy has listed the starter as "TBA" but both times started sophomore lefty Philip Pfeifer. In his most recent start Pfeifer gave up four hits, three walks and 2 earned runs in four innings of work versus Missouri on Sunday. If Pfeifer doesn't start on Sunday the Commodores might opt for RHP Walker Buehler (2-1, 2.84 ERA) or RHP T.J. Pecoraro (1-1, 6.23 ERA). Pecoraro has been seeing increased action since recovering from injury. Pecoraro went three innings versus Missouri on Sunday and pitched well. Closer Brian Miller (0.76 ERA, 5-0) has struck out 33 batters while allowing just 25 hits and 5 walks. Miller has 10 saves already this season.
Vanderbilt as a team is batting .314 compared to its opponent's BA of .213. The Commodores pitching staff has a 2.65 ERA while Vandy's opponents have a 2.65 ERA versus the Commodores.
Georgia (14-24, 3-12 SEC) is on a 2-game winning streak after beating Auburn 7-1 in game 2 of a Saturday double header and beating Presbyterian 10-1 on Tuesday. The Bulldogs lost game 1 on Saturday 8-4 and Friday's game with the Tigers 4-3. UGA has dropped all five of its SEC series so far this season and has SEC victories over Missouri (6-5), Kentucky (7-6) in addition to Saturday's win over Auburn.
Despite its poor record Georgia has some solid hitters. Curt Powell is a name that should be familiar to most Vanderbilt fans. His solo homer gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 win over Vandy in Nashville last season. The Knoxville native originally signed with Vandy but opted to head to Vol State Community College instead and eventually ended up at Georgia. Powell currently leads the Bulldogs with a .378 batting average and 18 RBIs. Second baseman Nelson Ward (.321, 11 RBIs) is a defensive stopper and has five doubles this season. Left fielder Jared Walsh, who is also scheduled as Georgia'S Friday starting pitcher, (.305, 17 RBIs) has nine doubles this season, second best on the team. Kyle Farmer (.297, 35 RBIs) leads the Bulldogs in RBIs and doubles (11). Right fielder Hunter Cole (.288, 25 RBIs) had three singles and scored a run in Saturday's win over Auburn. Designated hitter Brett DeLoach (.250, 22 RBIs) leads the team in walks with 23.
On Friday Kevin Ziomek is scheduled to face sophomore lefty Jared Walsh. Walsh, who will be seeing only his third start as a pitcher on Friday night, has a fast ball that reaches into the low 90s. In 31 innings of work he's struck out 31 batters while allowing 18 hits, 7 earned runs and 20 walks.
On Saturday Vandy's Beede will be on the mound against left-handed redshirt junior pitcher Patrick Boling. Boling, who has nine starts this season, has struck out a team best 61 batters while giving up 56 hits, 22 earned runs and 24 walks. His fast ball also runs in the low 90s.
Some Commodore pitcher will face freshman righty Sean McLaughlin (4-3, 3.21) on Sunday. McLaughlin started nine games this season (47 1/3 innings) allowing 46 hits against just 17 walks and 17 earned runs. McLaughlin, who has struck out 36 batters, was drafted in the 38th round of the 2012 MLB draft by the Braves and his fastball has been clocked as fast as 96 miles per hour.
Georgia as a team bats .276 while opposing teams have a .277 average versus the Bulldogs. Georgia's pitchers have an overall 4.53 ERA while Tiger opponents have a 4.23 ERA versus the Bulldogs.
SEC STANDINGS EAST CONF GB ALL VAN 14-1 - 33-5 USC 8-7 6 28-10 FLA 8-7 6 20-18 KEN 7-8 7 24-12 TEN 5-10 9 17-18 MIZ 4-11 10 12-20 GEO 3-12 11 14-24 WEST CONF GB ALL LSU 13-2 - 35-3 ARK 9-6 4 25-14 MSU 8-7 5 30-9 ALA 8-7 5 23-16 OLM 7-8 6 26-12 TAM 6-9 7 21-17 AUB 5-10 8 23-14SEC THIS WEEK
Vanderbilt @ Georgia
Kentucky @ South Carolina
Florida @ Missouri
Ole Miss @ Tennessee
LSU @ Alabama
Texas A&M @ Arkansas
Auburn @ Mississippi State
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