Baseball: No. 7 Vanderbilt hosts No. 8 LSU

Vanderbilt hosts LSU for a critical 3-game series to open both team's SEC slates. Look inside to get the scoop on both teams.

No. 7 Vanderbilt vs. No. 8 LSU
Friday (6:30 p.m.)
RHP Tyler Beede (4-0, 1.08 ERA) vs. RHP Aaron Nola (4-0, 0.00 ERA)

Saturday (2:15 p.m.)
LHP Jared Miller (4-0, 0.36 ERA) vs. LHP Kyle Bouman (3-0, 1.46 ERA)

Sunday (1 p.m.)
RHP Tyler Ferguson (3-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. LHP Jared Poche' (4-0, 0.90 ERA)

ABOUT VANDERBILT

Vanderbilt (16-2, 0-0 SEC), is ranked seventh nationally by Baseball America but are ranked as high as third in other polls. Vandy is the SEC's second winningest program over the past 10 years with 468 victories. The Commodores have four sweeps so far this season including series against Stanford and Long Beach State. Vandy faces a tough test in its first SEC series against the No. 8 LSU Tigers.

Vanderbilt as a team is batting .289 compared to its opponent's BA of .169. The Commodores pitching staff has a 1.33 ERA while Vandy's opponents have a 5.10 ERA versus the Commodores.

Second baseman and leadoff man Dansby Swanson (.324, 8 RBI, 6 2B) had four hits in a recent win over Winthrop. Swanson has stolen successfully on 7-of-10 attempts. He leads the team in walks with 13. Outfielder Bryan Reynolds (.358, 15 RBI, 1 HR) had his second straight multi-hit game going 2-for-4 with one RBI in win over Winthrop March 9. First baseman Zander Wiel (.333, 11 RBI, 1 HR) blasted his first homer of the season with a solo shot off the left field scoreboard against Tennessee Tech on March 4. Third baseman Xavier Turner (.304, 11 RBIs, 6 SB) is in a 5-game hitting streak. Designated hitter Rhett Wiseman (.283, 10 RBIs) played in the second most games of the VU freshmen during the 2014 season. Shortstop Vince Conde (.259), catcher Chris Harvey (.344), outfielders Kyle Smith (.316) and John Norwood (.225) round out the Vandy batting order.

Junior RHP Tyler Beede is the Vandy Friday night pitcher. He was a first round draft choice by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011 and has a 95 mile per hour fastball. So far in four starts Beede has struck out 33 while allowing three earned runs on 11 hits while walking just five.

Lefty Jared Miller has developed into a solid starting pitcher. Miller, who has a fastball that reaches around 90 miles per hour, has struck out 22 batters in 24 2/3 innings of pitching. He's allowed just one earned run all season and allowed just 13 hits and six walks.

Sophomore RHP Tyler Ferguson is the youngster of Vandy three weekend starters. He was drafted in the 40th round by the San Francisco Giants in 2012. Ferguson's fastball reaches into the low 90s. Last season in mid-week action Ferguson finished the season with a 3-1 record, 4.21 ERA, 24 hits, 21 strikeouts, 11 walks in 25 2/3 innings pitched. So far this season Ferguson is 3-0 with 13 hits and six earned runs allowed in 24 innings pitched. He has 24 strikeouts and six walks in holding opponents to a .160 batting average.

Brian Miller (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 S) returns as Vanderbilt's closer. He has struck out 10 batters in 9 innings of work with one walk and three hits allowed. Freshman righty Hayden Stone could also see relief time. Stone has 0.00 ERA has pitched 12 1/3 innings and struck out 20 while allowing two hits. Adam Ravenelle (0.00 ERA) in 8 2/3 innings with 10 Ks, Carson Fulmer (1.32 ERA) in 13 2/3 innings with 23 Ks and John Kilichowsk (0.00 ERA) in 9 1/3 innings with 9 Ks could also see relief action.

ABOUT LSU

LSU has an identical record as Vanderbilt and both teams are ranked prominently in all polls. The Tigers have series wins over Purdue, New Orleans and Yale.

LSU as a team bats .312 while opposing teams have a .206 average versus the Tigers. LSU's pitchers have an overall 1.53 ERA while Tiger opponents have a 6.21 ERA versus the Tigers.

Designated hitter Kade Scivicque (.435, 9 RBI, 1 HR) has scored a team best 14 runs for the Tigers. Center fielder Andrew Stevenson (.435, 10 RBI, 3 3B) was 2-for-4 at the plate in the SEC Tournament win over Vanderbilt last summer. Shortstop Alex Bregman, (.419, 14 RBI, 6 2B) leads the Tigers in RBIs and steals (6). Right fielder Mark Laird (.333, 2 RBI, 3 2B) has a team leading 12 walks. Sean McMullen (.302, 13 RBI, 1 HR) has a .491 slugging percentage and but leads LSU in strikeouts. Conner Hale (.316), Christian Ibarra (.286), Tyler Moore (.275) and Chris Chinea (.189) are LSU's other regular batters.

Righty Aaron Nola (4-0, 0.00 ERA) was a first team All-American last season and National Pitcher of the Year Finalist. Nola was drafted in the 22nd round by Blue Jays in 2011. So far this season Nola has not allowed an earned run in 27 inning pitched. He's struck out 36 while walking 2 in allowing 11 hits.

Left handed pitcher Kyle Bouman (3-0, 1.46 ERA) has allowed four earned runs in 24 2/3 innings while allowing 18 hits and one walk with 13 strikeouts. Bouman played at Wichita State his freshman year before transferring to a junior college and ultimately to LSU. Per LSU, Bouman is "a three-pitch mix lefty that can throw any pitch in any count to keep hitters off balance."

LHP Jared Poche' (4-0, 0.90 ERA) has struck out 15 batters in 27 innings pitched while walking two and allowing just two earned runs. Per LSU Poche' has a "fastball that consistently sits in the 90 mph range, and he features a very hard 12 to 6 curve ball that he can command."

Joe Broussard (0.00 ERA, 3 S), Henri Faucheux (0.00 ERA) and Kurt McCune (0.00 ERA, 1 S) are some of the top relief pitchers on the Tiger staff.
SEC STANDINGS

EAST	CONF	GB	ALL

USC	 0-0	-	16-0
TEN	 0-0	- 	15-1
VAN	 0-0	-	16-2
KEN	 0-0	-	13-4
FLA	 0-0	- 	12-6
GEO	 0-0	- 	11-6
MIZ	 0-0	- 	 8-7
 
WEST	CONF	GB	ALL

LSU	 0-0	-	16-2
OLM	 0-0	-	16-2
TAM  	 0-0	-	13-5
ALA	 0-0	-	10-5
MSU	 0-0	-	13-7
AUB	 0-0	-	11-6	
ARK	 0-0	-	 8-5

SEC THIS WEEK

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

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