Vandy baseball hopes to bounce back

The Vanderbilt Commodores hope to put a series loss at Tennessee behind them when they host Texas A&M this weekend. Look inside for a preview of both teams.

No. 11 Vanderbilt vs. Texas A&M

Friday (6:30 p.m.)
RHP Tyler Beede (5-3, 2.81 ERA) vs. RHP Jason Jester (2-2, 4.0 ERA)

Saturday (2 p.m.)
LHP Jared Miller (6-1, 2.01 ERA) vs. RHP Daniel Mengden (2-4, 3.32 ERA)

Sunday (1 p.m.)
RHP Tyler Ferguson (5-1, 2.25 ERA) vs. RHP Grayson Long (3-1, 2.49 ERA)


ABOUT VANDERBILT

Vanderbilt (26-8, 6-6 SEC), is ranked 11th nationally. Last weekened the Commodores lost their second conference series of the season. Vanderbilt has lost two road series this season after losing none during the 2013 season.

Vanderbilt as a team is batting .279 compared to its opponent's BA of .186. The Commodores pitching staff has a 2.14 ERA while Vandy's opponents have a 4.42 ERA versus the Commodores.

Dansby Swanson (.348, 15 RBI) leads Vanderbilt in hits with 46 and leads the conference in doubles with 15. He has stolen successfully on 14 of 17 attempts. Vince Conde (.336, 24 RBI) saw his hitting streak end on Tuesday night against Indiana State. Conde, who has hit .500 in SEC games, is tied with Bryan Reynolds (.331, 24 RBI) for most RBIs on the team. Catcher Jason Delay (.279, 17 RBI) was three for six at the plate last weekend at UT.

Vanderbilt leads the SEC in combined staff strikeouts with 311. Junior RHP Tyler Beede was a first round draft choice by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011 and has a 95 mile per hour fastball. Last week at Tennessee Beede had his best outing in weeks striking out five and walking two in 8 innings of work to pick up the lone win of the weekend for the Vandy starters. He has 52 strikeouts this season, second best on the team.

Lefty Jared Miller has a fastball that reaches around 90 miles per hour. He pitched three innings on Saturday at UT allowing six hits, two walks and seven runs (two earned). It was his worst start of the season.

Sophomore RHP Tyler Ferguson is the youngest of the Commodores pitchers. He was drafted in the 40th round by the San Francisco Giants in 2012. Sunday at Tennessee Ferguson lasted 4 1/3 innings allowing 7 hits, 2 walks and five earned runs.

Righty Carson Fulmer (0-0, 1.88) has become Vandy's closer. He came in for the ninth inning of Friday's game and allowed the Vols no hits or walks to secure a save. Brian Miller (0.55, 16 SOs), last year's closer, pitched one inning on Saturday giving up no earned runs but allowing the hit that scored UT's winning runs. True freshman righty Hayden Stone (1-0, 0.66 ERA) pitched four innings Saturday in relief of Jared Miller allowing no earned runs and striking out 2 while walking two.

ABOUT TEXAS A&M

Texas A&M (20-14, 5-8 SEC) is unranked and coming off a home series loss (2-1) against Alabama. The Aggies also have series losses at Georgia (2-1) and at Auburn (2-1). A 2-1 home series win over Florida is the Aggies only conference series victory.

Texas A&M as a team bats .277 while opposing teams have a .250 average versus the Aggies. A&M's pitchers have an overall 3.27 ERA while opponents have a 4.38 ERA versus A&M.

The Aggies are tied for fourth with South Carolina in the SEC with 319 hits. Nick Banks (.310, 11 RBI) has the Aggie's best batting average. Logan Taylor (.280, 14 RBI) has a team leading 10 doubles. Cole Lankford (.309, 26 RBI, 3 HR) is tops for A&M in hits with 43 and RBIs (26). Patrick McLendon (.305, 25 RBI), Troy Stein (.287, 12 RBI), and Logan Taylor (.283, 14 RBI) are other key Aggie batters.

Senior righty Jason Jester (2-2, 4.0 ERA) is A&M's Friday starter. It will be his first start of the season. Jester's most recent action was one inning of work on Saturday against Alabama. In that game Jester allowed three hits and two earned runs to notch the loss.

Junior RHP Daniel Mengden (2-4, 3.32 ERA) has a fastball that reaches into the mid 90s. In his last outing Mengden allowed seven hits and four earned runs in eight innings. Mengden has a team leading 65 strikeouts while allowing 46 hits.

Another right handed pitcher, Grayson Long (3-1, 2.49 ERA), was drafted in the 39th round by the Mariners in the 2012 MLB draft. His fastball also reaches the mid-90s. Long most recently pitched last Saturday's game with Alabama. In that game he allowed four hits in three innings while striking out three. On the season Long has 30 sttrikouts while allowing 45 hits.

Jester, A&M's scheduled Friday starter, leads the Aggies in saves with three. Lefties Ty Schlottmann (1.17 ERA, 8 SO) and A.J. Minter (1.50 ERA, 11 SO) along with righties Corey Ray (2.35 ERA, 6 SO) and Andrew Vinson (2.88 ERA, 27 SO) are some of pitchers who could see relief work for Texas A&M.
SEC STANDINGS

EAST	CONF	GB	ALL


USC	 7-5	--	27-5
FLA	 7-5	--	22-12
VAN	 6-6	1	26-8
KEN	 6-6	1	22-11
GEO	 5-6	1.5 	19-13
TEN	 5-7	2	22-9
MIZ	 4-8	3 	15-16
 
WEST	CONF	GB	ALL

ALA	 8-4	--	22-10
OLM	 7-5	1	27-8
LSU	 6-5    1.5	25-8
ARK	 6-6	2	21-13
MSU	 6-6	2	21-13
AUB  	 5-7	3	20-14
TAM	 5-7	3	20-14

SEC THIS WEEK

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

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