Vanderbilt baseball hosts Auburn

The Vanderbilt Commodores host Auburn for a 3-game SEC series on Thursday and Saturday. Here is your VandyMania.com preview of the Tigers.

Auburn has had a rough season so far, losing some key players to injury and struggling with their pitching.  The Tigers have dropped series to all SEC opponents except for Kentucky and Tennessee.  Last weekend the Tigers were swept by Mississippi State. 

Auburn's top hitter is left fielder Joshua Palacios. Unfortunately, he hasn't played regularly since early April but he was given an at-bat about a week ago so don't be surprised if he plays against Vandy.  Palacious stood at second place in the SEC in batting average for much of the season.   Anfernee Grier and Niko Buentello are almost as solid as Palacios.  Each has 10 homers and are hitting well over .300.  Grier is a base stealing threat as well while Buentello leads the team in walks.  Jordan Ebert and Blake Logan round out a solid team of hitters.

Pitching has been a sore spot for Auburn with the team sporting a 4.46 overall ERA.  Righty Justin Camp is set to start in the first game on Thursday.  He's struck out 45 batters and walked 25. For games after that, it's all to be announced.    Last week for the second game of the MSU series the Tigers used righty Cole Lipscomb.  

In the bullpen, the Tigers have one reliable arm, at least ERA wise.  Righty Gordon Cardenas has a 2.70 ERA.  That's surprising considering he's struck out only two more batters than he's walked. 

Looking at the Vandy-Auburn stats comparison, the Tigers get the edge in batting average and hits.  Vandy has the advantage in all the remaining categories with a big edge in doubles, ERA, strikeouts, opponent batting average, opponent runs and home runs allowed. 

Remember, there will be a doubleheader on Thursday with the first game starting at 2 pm followed by a 6:30 second game.  This change was made because of severe weather forecasted for Friday. Saturday's game will get going at 2 pm.  All three games will be shown on the SEC Network Plus. Listen online at VUCommodores.com or on your radio at WNSR AM or FM.


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