Vandy baseball travels to Kentucky

No. 1 Vanderbilt travels to Kentucky for a three game series that starts on Friday night. Look inside for a scouting report on both teams.

No. 1 Vanderbilt vs. Kentucky
Friday 5:30 p.m.
LHP Kevin Ziomek (9-2, 2.03) vs. LHP A.J. Reed (2-6, 2.84)

Saturday 6 p.m.
RHP Tyler Beede (12-0, 1.73) vs. RHP Kyle Cody (3-2, 4.86)

Sunday 12 p.m.
RHP T.J. Pecoraro (3-1, 3.38) vs. LHP Corey Littrell (5-4, 3.46)


Last week Vanderbilt swept two games from South Carolina in a weather shortened series. On Wednesday this week Vandy topped Presbyterian 5-2. The Commodores have already wrapped up the SEC East Division title. The next target for Vanderbilt is the Southeastern Conference regular season title. The canceled game at USC could possibly come back to haunt the Commodores. If, for instance, Vanderbilt were to finish 3-3 in its last two conference series while LSU swept both Texas A&M and Ole Miss the Tigers would edge Vandy for the regular season title with a 25-5 record versus Vandy's 24-5 record. Regardless, Vanderbilt is in the drivers seat to be the SEC regular season champion.

Vanderbilt second baseman Tony Kemp (.391, 25 RBIs) had two hits, a walk and stole a base in Saturday's win over South Carolina. Right fielder Mike Yastrzemski (.333, 32 RBIs) has three homers on the season. Vince Conde (.322, 34 RBIs) had three hits in Saturday's win over USC and has six home runs on the season. Connor Harrell (.317, 53 RBIs, 8 HRs) had two hits and a walk during the 2-game series in Columbia. Conrad Gregor (.288, 32 RBIs) leads the Commodores in walks with 40 and had two hits in the win over Presbyterian. Jack Lupo (.315, 21 RBIs) had a pair of hits and stole a base in the win over the Blue Hose. Catcher Spencer Navin (.307, 26 RBIs) had two hits and a homer in the win over Presbyterian.

Vanderbilt'S Friday pitcher, Kevin Ziomek (9-2, 2.03 ERA), pitched seven scoreless innings on Friday night before giving up a run in the eighth. Ziomek leads the team in strike outs with 88 and has allowed just 29 walks and 20 earned runs in 88.2 innings pitched. Ziomek, whose pitches goes into the low to mid 90s, was drafted in the 13th round of the 2010 MLB draft by the Diamondbacks.

Righty Tyler Beede (12-0, 1.73 ERA) continues to pile up victories as the Commodores' Saturday starter. Beede allowed just two hits and four walks in 6.1 inning of work last week against South Carolina. He again displayed his toughness by allowing runners to get on second and third with 1 out only to retire the next batters to allow no runs in the inning. Beede has struck out 81 batters on the season while walking and allowing just 15 earned runs in 78 innings. Opponents are batting a paltry .172 against him. Beede was the first round draft choice of the Blue Jays a couple years ago.

T.J. Pecoraro (3-1, 3.38) was out for several weeks because of an injury and returned to the starting rotation for the Georgia series three weeks ago. Pecoraro didn't pitch against South Carolina last week because Sunday's game was canceled. He did pitch three strong innings in Wednesday's win over Presbyterian striking out two, walking one and allowing no hits or runs. In 2012 versus the Wildcats in Nashville, Pecoraro worked 1.2 innings, allowing five hits and four runs, walking four and striking out two.

Closer Brian Miller (1.08 ERA) has a Commodore record 13 saves this season. In 41.2 innings Miller has allowed 31 hits and just five earned runs and seven walks. Miller's ERA creeped back over one after he allowed a pair of hits and earned runs in the win over Presbyterian on Wednesday.

Vanderbilt as a team is batting .314 compared to its opponent's BA of .212. The Commodores pitching staff has a 2.58 ERA while Vandy's opponents have a 6.71 ERA versus the Commodores.


Kentucky (28-19, 10-14 SEC) was ranked in the top 10 at the begining of the season and bolted out to a 16-3 record before things started to head downhill. Kentucky won its first three SEC series at Florida (2 -1) and Georgia (2-1) and against Mississippi State (2-1) in Lexington. The Cats were then swept at LSU and lost a series to Tennessee (2-1) in Lexington. Kentucky was swept in Columbia by USC but the Cats responded by winning a series at Ole Miss (2-1) before most recently dropping a series to Arkansas in Lexington (2-1). In that series the Wildcats lost a Friday night nail biter 2-1 and then fell 5-3 on Saturday before prevailing 4-3 on Sunday to salvage a win.

Kentucky is 12th in the SEC in team batting with a .256 average. UK batters have more strikeouts than any other SEC team with 318. Freshman outfielder Kyle Barrett (.359, 13 RBIs) has four doubles and a triple. A.J. Reed has hit .295 with eight doubles, two triples, 11 homers and 48 RBI. Junior J.T. Riddle (.285, 19 RBIs) has seven doubles, one triple, one homer and six stolen bases. Senior Zac Zellers (.253, 25 RBIs) has three doubles and three homers. Sophomore Austin Cousino (.243, 25 RBIs) has 11 doubles, one triple and six home runs. Cousino has stolen 12 bases and been hit by 20 pitches. Max Kuhn (.241, 26 RBIs) has eight doubles, a triple, and three homers.

Kentucky's pitching staff is currently eighth in the SEC in ERA with a 3.31.

Kevin Ziomek faces Wildcat lefty A.J. Reed (2-6, 2.84 ERA) on Friday night. In Reed's most recent outting against Arkansas he struck out five while allowing seven hits and two earned runs in the 2-1 loss on Friday night. On the season Reed has struck out 51 batters while walking just 13. Simply put, Reed is a fine pitcher who hasn't gotten much run support from his batters. Reed was drafted in the 25th round by the Mets in 2011 MLB Draft.

Vandy's Tyler Beede will face 6-foot-6 righty Kyle Cody (3-2, 4.86 ERA) on Saturday. Cody was the Cats Sunday pitcher last week in the 4-3 win over the Razorbacks. In that game Cody struck out five while allowing three walk and an earned run in seven innings of work. In eight starts this season Cody has 41 strike outs, 14 walks while allowing 46 hits, 14 walks and 25 earned runs. Cody was drafted in the 33rd round of the 2012 MLB draft by the Philadelphia Phillies.

T.J. Pecoraro faces lefty Corey Littrell (5-4, 3.46 ERA) on Sunday. Littrell's numbers are somewhat down from last season when he finished with a 2.74 ERA and won nine games while striking out 87 batters and walking just 25. This season Littrell has struck out 67 batters while walking 29. Last week Littrell pitched in the 5-3 Saturday loss to Arkansas despite striking out seven and walking just two in eight innings of work. Littrell was drafted in the 43rd round of the 2010 MLB draft by the Nationals. His fast ball runs up to around 90 miles an hour.

Kentucky as a team bats .256 while opposing teams have a .268 average versus the Wildcats. Kentucky's pitchers have an overall 3.31 ERA while opponents have a 4.58 ERA versus the Cats.


VAN	21-2	-	42-6
USC	13-10	8 	34-14
FLA	12-12	9.5	27-23
KEN	10-14	10	28-19
TEN	 6-16	14.5 	19-26
MIZ	 7-17	14.5 	15-28
GEO	 5-16	15 	18-28

LSU	19-5	-	43-6
ARK	15-8	3.5	32-16
MSU  	13-11	6	36-13
OLM	12-12	7	33-16
ALA	11-12	7.5	29-21	
TAM	10-13	8.5	26-22
AUB	 9-15	10	29-19

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

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