Vanderbilt hopes to continue mastery of Vols

Although UT still leads the all-time series with Vanderbilt, the Commodores have dominated the series in recent history including a sweep in 2013. Look inside for a preview of the Vanderbilt-Tennessee series.

No. 7 Vanderbilt at No. 25 Tennessee

Friday (5:00 p.m.)
RHP Tyler Beede (4-3, 2.47 ERA) vs. RHP Nick Williams (3-2, 1.96 ERA)

Saturday (6:00 p.m.)
LHP Jared Miller (6-1, 1.73 ERA, CSS) vs. RHP Hunter Martin (2-1, 1.14 ERA)

Sunday (1:00 p.m.)
RHP Tyler Ferguson (5-0, 1.36 ERA) vs. TBA


Vanderbilt (24-6, 5-4 SEC), ranked seventh nationally, defeated UT-Martin 5-0 on Tuesday night. Last weekend the Commodores' picked up a vital 2-game to one series win against Kentucky in Nashville.

Vanderbilt as a team is batting .287 compared to its opponent's BA of .184. The Commodores pitching staff has a 1.91 ERA while Vandy's opponents have a 4.57 ERA versus the Commodores.

Second baseman Dansby Swanson (.361, 14 RBI) has a .443 on base percentage. Swanson has stolen successfully on 12 of 15 attempts. Swanson, who leads the Commodores in hits with 43, has hit in eleven straight games. True freshman left fielder Bryan Reynolds (.354, 24 RBI) has 40 hits this season including 11 doubles. First baseman Zander Wiel (.287, 15 RBI) had just one hit in the Kentucky series and hopes to get back on track against the Vols. Short stop Vince Conde (.326, 20 RBI) won SEC Player of the Week on March 17 after picking up nine hits in a week. Conde had a couple of key RBIs Sunday's rubber match against the Wildcats. Xavier Turner (.322, 16 RBI) had three hits including a double in Saturday's win over UK.

Junior RHP Tyler Beede is the Vandy Friday night starter. He was a first round draft choice by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011 and has a 95 mile per hour fastball. Since the Mississippi State game Beede has struggled. Last week against Kentucky Beede struck out four but allowed five hits and three walks in just five innings giving up five runs.

Lefty Jared Miller has developed into a solid starting pitcher. Miller, who has a fastball that reaches around 90 miles per hour, struck out four and walked three while allowing three earned runs on Saturday against Kentucky. Miller has allowed just eight earned runs in 41 2/3 innings.

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. Ferguson had the best game of all Vandy starters on Sunday when he sat down five batters while allowing six hits in six innings of work.

Righty Carson Fulmer (0-0, 1.21) has become Vandy's closer. He has seven saves while striking out 30 batters in 22 1/3 innings of work. Brian Miller (0.63, 15 SOs), last year's closer, is getting more late inning relief work. True freshman righty Hayden Stone (1-0, 0.77 ERA) has already piled up 38 strikeouts in just 23 1/3 innings.


No. 25 Tennessee (19-8, 3-6 SEC) was swept by South Carolina last week and most recently lost a mid week game to East Tennessee State. Despite the recent setbacks Vanderbilt should take the Vols seriously. UT has been much improved over the 2013 squad with series wins over Arizona State, Purdue, Missouri, and UNLV. Last Friday night it took 14 innings for South Carolina to best UT in Columbia.

The Volunteers as a team bat .284 while opposing teams have a .228 average versus UT. Tennessee pitchers have an overall 2.83 ERA while Vol opponents have a hefty 4.96 ERA versus UT.

Third baseman Taylor Smart (.344, 13 RBI) is the Vols' top batter, hitting percentage wise. He's got five doubles this season. Right fielder Scott Price (.327, 22 RBI) leads UT in slugging percentage (.535) and hits (33) and has three homers, two triples and eight doubles. Designated hitter Nick Senzel (.318, 21 RBI) leads UT in walks with 16. A.J. Simcox (.316, 6 RBI), another Knoxville product, is a close third on the team in hits with 31. David Houser (.295, 13 RBI) has four doubles while Christin Stewart (.294, 18 RBI) has three home runs, seven doubles and three triples.

Right hander Nick Williams (3-2, 1.96 ERA) will pitch against Vandy on Friday night. Williams, a local Knoxville product will be itching to get a win versus rival Vandy. In 46 innings of work this season Williams has struck out 30 batters while allowing 30 hits, 8 walks and 10 earned runs.

Another righty, freshman Hunter Martin (2-1, 1.14 ERA), will face the Commodores on Saturday. Martin, who hails from Murfreesboro, has 12 strikeouts while allowing 26 hits, 7 walks and three earned runs.

The Vols haven't announced Sunday's starter. Last week UT went with righty Andrew Lee (3-1, 5.25 ERA) who gave up 10 hits and seven earned runs in just four innings of work at South Carolina. The Vols might go with lefty Andy Cox (3-0, 1.21 ERA). Cox picked up an SEC victory earlier in the season against Missouri while striking out two in three innings of work.

Sophomore lefty Drake Owenby (2-1, 1.72 ERA) is the Vols' closer. Owenby has five saves so far this season including saves against Auburn and Arizona State.

Trevor Bettencourt (RHP, 0-1, 2.16 ERA), Josh Peterson (RHP, 2-0, 2.55 ERA) and Peter Lenstrohm (RHP, 1-1, 3.24 ERA) are some of the other pitchers who have seen significant action for the Vols.


USC	 6-3	--	25-3
FLA	 6-3	--	19-10
VAN	 5-4	1	24-6
KEN	 4-5	2	20-9
GEO	 3-5	2.5 	16-12
TEN	 3-6	3	19-8
MIZ	 3-6	3 	13-14

ALA	 6-3	--	20-8
MSU	 6-3	--	20-10
AUB  	 5-4	1	19-11
OLM	 4-5	2	22-8
ARK	 4-5	2	18-11
TAM	 4-5	2	18-12
LSU	 3-5    2.5	21-8

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

Talk Commodore baseball in the Vanderbilt baseball FORUM. Top Stories