Baseball: Vanderbilt hosts Crimson Tide

No. 1 Vanderbilt hosts Alabama for a 3-game baseball series Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Vanderbilt can further its case for a No. 1 national NCAA seed and break the SEC's record for conference victories in a season by winning the series. Look inside for a scouting report on both the Commodores and Crimson Tide.

NOTE: Starting pitchers / rotation schedule was still not released by Vandy as of publishing. Alabama release lists Walker Buehler as Vandy's Thursday starting pitcher.

No. 1 Vanderbilt vs. Alabama
Thursday 6:30 p.m.
Walker Buehler (3-1, 2.45) vs. RHP Charley Sullivan (5-4, 3.06)

Friday 6:30 p.m.
LHP Kevin Ziomek (10-2, 2.00) vs. RHP Spencer Turnbull (4-3, 3.62)

Saturday 1 p.m.
RHP Tyler Beede (13-0, 1.73) vs. TBA


Last week Vanderbilt defeated Presbyterian 5-2 and then swept a 3-game series from Kentucky 11-3, 5-3, and 10-5. On Monday all all major college baseball ranking services listed the Commodores as No. 1 in the nation. Vandy beat local rival Belmont 6-1 on Tuesday evening. Vanderbilt has swept seven SEC series this season and can tie he SEC record for regular season conference wins with one victory over Alabama and break the record with two wins.

Vanderbilt second baseman Tony Kemp (.411, 29 RBIs) went 9-for-17 with two RBIs, five scored runs, a stolen base and three doubles last week and was selected the SEC's Player of the Week. Right fielder Mike Yastrzemski (.326, 36 RBIs) has three homers on the season. Vince Conde (.321, 36 RBIs) went 5-for-12 (.417) last week and has six home runs on the season. Connor Harrell (.316, 57 RBIs, 10 HRs) had a home run, 3 RBIs, and 3 runs scored in Saturday's first win over Kentucky. Conrad Gregor (.299, 36 RBIs) leads the Commodores in walks with 43 and had four hits in the Sunday win over Kentucky. Jack Lupo (.314, 22 RBIs) went 5-for-13 for the week (.385) with an RBI, double and a walk. Catcher Spencer Navin (.314, 30 RBIs) went 2-for-3 and hit his fourth homer of the season in the win over Presbyterian and had three hits in Sunday's SEC title clinching victory over the Cats.

Vanderbilt's Thursday pitcher, Kevin Ziomek (10-2, 2.00 ERA), pitched the Commodores to a win over Kentucky in Saturday's first game which was his 10th of the season. In that game Ziomek struck out four while walking three and allowing one earned run. Ziomek, whose pitches goes into the low to mid 90s, has 92 strikeouts on the season. He was drafted in the 13th round of the 2010 MLB draft by the Diamondbacks.

Righty Tyler Beede (13-0, 1.73 ERA) Beede won his 13th game of the season against zero losses, which ties the VU record for wins in a single season. On Sunday versus Kentucky Beede pitched 5.1 innings allowing 2 runs, one earned, on two hits. Beede, whose fastball touches 95 mph, is projected to be one of the top two pitchers in the 2014 MLB draft. 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. Last week Pec pitched three scoreless innings in the win over Presbyterian but then gave up eight hits and five earned runs while striking out two in the Sunday win over Kentucky. Pecoraro has struck out 14 on the season while allowing 24 hits, 14 walks and 13 earned runs.

Closer Brian Miller (1.08 ERA) has a Commodore record 13 saves this season. Last week Miller pitched only one inning (against Presbyterian) and allowed two hits and an earned run. 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.

RHP Carson Fulmer (1-0, 2.83 ERA, 38 Ks), LHP Steven Rice (3-0, 3.04 ERA, 23 Ks) and LHP Philip Pfeifer (2-0, 4.22 ERA, 37 Ks) provide the Commodores with an arsenal of arms to go extensive innings if needed.

Vanderbilt as a team is batting .320 compared to its opponent's BA of .211. The Commodores pitching staff has a 2.52 ERA while Vandy's opponents have a 6.66 ERA versus the Commodores.


Alabama (31-22, 13-12 SEC) took two of three games from Missouri last week (9-7, 3-7, 7-6). The Crimson Tide scored three runs in the ninth inning of Sunday's game to take the series. Prior to the Missouri series, Bama beat No. 25 Troy 11-2 in a mid-week game. In addition to Mizzou, Alabama has won SEC series against Tennessee (2-1), Georgia (3-0), Auburn (2-1) and Texas A&M (2-0). The Tide has lost conference series against Arkansas (1-2), LSU (1-2), Ole Miss (0-3) and Mississippi State (0-3).

Alabama is 12th in the SEC in team batting with a team batting average of .258. Outfielder Ben Moore (.298, 38 RBIs) is Bama's top bat. He has four home runs on the season, second best on the team. Moore had two hits and three RBIs in Sunday comeback win over Missouri. Center fielder Georgia Salem (.287, 23 RBIs) has five doubles and a homer on the season. Kyle Overstreet (.286, 34 RBIs) is tied for second most RBIs on the team. Austen Smith (.275, 34 RBIs) and catcher Brett Booth (.264, 30 RBIs) each have half a dozen homers this season. Mikey White (.272, 24 RBIs) has two home runs in 2013. Kenny Roberts (.251, 22 RBIs) is the Crimson Tide's leadoff man and has stolen 7-of-11 bases this season. Andrew Miller (.248, 15 RBIs) had three hits in the big Sunday victory over Mizzou.

Alabama's pitching staff is currently ranked eighth in the SEC in ERA with a 3.45.

Walker Buehler faces right Charley Sullivan (5-4, 3.06 ERA) on Thursday. Last week against Missouri Sullivan struck out seven while walking two in allowing two earned runs in five innings of work. On the season Sullivan has struck out 71 batters while walking 21 and allowing 81 hits and 27 earned runs.

Vandy's Kevin Ziomek will face right handed pitcher Spencer Turnbull (4-3, 3.62 ERA) on Friday. Last week against Missouri Turnball lasted just 3.1 innings striking out two while allowing four hits and four earned runs. On the season Turnball has struck out 38 while walking 26 and allowing 76 hits and 29 earned runs in 72 innings of work. Turnball's fastball reaches the low 90s.

Tyler Beede faces a yet to be announced pitcher on Saturday. LHP Justin Kamplain (1-0, 4.59) was the pitcher for the Tide on Sunday last week and might pitch on Saturday. Kamplain, who has just five starts in 2013, pitched the Crimson Tide to a win over Missouri although he didn't get credited with the victory. Kamplain pitched 6.2 innings and allowed eight hits and no walks while striking out 10 and allowing three earned runs. On the season Kamplain has struck out 45 while walking 18 and allowing 39 hits and 25 earned runs in 49 innings of work. Kamplain's fastball runs about 90 miles an hour. He was drafted by the Cardinals in the 22nd round of the 2011 MLB draft.

Alabama as a team bats .258 while opposing teams have a .257 average versus the Crimson Tide. Bama's pitchers have an overall 3.45 ERA while opponents have a 3.98 ERA versus the Tide.


VAN	24-2	-	46-6
USC	16-10	8 	38-14
FLA	13-14	11.5	28-25
KEN	10-17	14.5	29-22
MIZ	 8-19	16.5 	16-30
TEN	 7-18	16.5 	21-28
GEO	 5-19	15 	19-31

LSU	21-6	-	46-7
ARK	17-9	3.5	34-17
MSU  	14-13	7	38-15
OLM	14-13	7	35-18
ALA	13-13	7.5	31-22	
TAM	11-15	9.5	28-24
AUB	11-16	10	31-21

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

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