Vanderbilt-Kentucky Notes

The Vanderbilt Commodore baseball team hopes to regroup this weekend when they host a tough Kentucky Wildcat team for a three game series.

No. 21/24/30 Vanderbilt (26-16, 10-8 SEC)
vs. No. 13/18/19/26 Kentucky (32-10, 11-7 SEC)

Friday, April 28  6 p.m.
Saturday, April 29  3 p.m.
Saturday, April 30  1 p.m.
Hawkins Field (2,027)

Series History
vs. UK:    Kentucky leads the all-time series 132-121-5.
Last Two Years
May 15, 2005    Vanderbilt 11, Kentucky 7    Lexington
May 15, 2005    Kentucky 6, Vanderbilt 5 (7)    Lexington
May 13, 2005    Vanderbilt 8, Kentucky 0    Lexington
May 23, 2004    Vanderbilt 11, Kentucky 5    Nashville
May 22, 2004    Vanderbilt 8, Kentucky 6    Nashville
May 21, 2004    Vanderbilt 9, Kentucky 1    Nashville    

Polls (CB- Collegiate Baseball) (BA- Baseball America) (NCBWA- Writers Poll)
Vanderbilt is ranked No. 21 in BA, No. 24 in CB and No. 30 by the NCBWA. Kentucky is ranked No. 13 in BA, No. 18 in CB, No. 19 in the Coaches Poll and No. 26 by the NCBWA.

The Coaches
VU's Tim Corbin is 132-84 in his fourth season as head coach. He is 6-3 against Kentucky.
UK's John Cohen is 85-67 in his third season in Lexington and 231-151 in seven years as a head coach. He is 1-5 against VU.
 
Radio/TV    
All three games can be heard locally on WNSR 560 AM. Joe Fisher will call all of the action. Teamline will have the broadcast via telephone and internet. The phone number to dial is 1-800-846-4700. Passcode: 0668 Check www.vucommodores.com for more info. The games will also be streamed on the internet as part of the DoreTV package on www.vucommodores. com.
Saturday's contest will be televised by Fox Sports South. Dave Neal (play-by-play) and Larry Conley (analysis) will call the action.

What's On Tap
Vanderbilt is set to take on SEC East leader Kentucky in a three-game series this weekend at Hawkins Field. The teams will open play tomorrow at 6 p.m. and will play on Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. Saturday's game will be televised regionally by Fox Sports South. Check your local listings to see if it is available in your area.

Fans attending the games this weekend are asked to bring canned goods to donate to the Second Harvest Food Bank. The goods will go to help the recent tornado victims in the Middle Tennessee and can be dropped off at bins placed at the entrance gates.
 
Probable Starters
 
Position Players
 
No. Pos. Player GP-GS Avg. HR RBI Notes
 
15 C/DH Brian Hernandez 41-41 .269 0 23 Leads team with 14 doubles.
22 1B Ryan Flaherty 39-38 .343 1 26 7-for-21 (.333) last five games.
8 2B Alex Feinberg 34-32 .325 0 15 6-for-17 (.353) last five games.
3 SS Dominic de la Osa 41-40 .315 6 32 9-for-22 (.409), HR, 3 RBI last five games.
24 3B Pedro Alvarez 41-40 .331 14 44 Leads team in HRs and RBI.
9 LF Matt Meingasner 36-27 .265 2 21 6-for-15 (.400), 5 RBI last five games.
1 CF David Macias 41-40 .315 1 12 8-for-18 (.444), 4 HBP last five games.
33 RF Ryan Davis 33-28 .330 1 12 6-for-17 (.353) last five games.
17 DH/ C Shea Robin 36-33 .286 4 24 Five runs scored in last five games.
 
Starting Pitcher

No. R/L Player W-L ERA Last Appearance W-L IP H R ER BB SO
14 L David Price 5-3 3.14 vs. Alabama (4/22)Gm1 L 6.1 10 8 8 1 4
TBA R Matt Buschmann or Ty Davis
35 L Cody Crowell 4-1 2.80 vs. Alabama (4/22)Gm2 L 2.0 6 4 4 2 2

 
Scouting Kentucky

Kentucky (32-10, 11-7) enters the weekend as the leader in the SEC East after posting an impressive sweep of then division leader South Carolina in Lexington last weekend. The Wildcats are riding a seven-game win streak after sweeping a doubleheader over Murray State on Wednesday.  The Wildcats are ranked No. 13 in Baseball America, their highest ranking in school history.

Centerfielder Antone DeJesus leads the team with a .356 batting average and 48 runs scored. First baseman Ryan Strieby is the team's top power source with 12 homers and 55 RBI. UK has two other players with double-digit homers in second baseman John Shelby (12) and rightfielder Collin Cowgill (11). As a team, Kentucky is batting .300 with 65 homers and 360 runs scored in 42 games (8.6 per game)
Kentucky's rotation this weekend will be lefthander Aaron Tennyson (4-1, 3.30 ERA) on Friday,  southpaw Craig Snipp (4-3, 3.50 ERA) on Saturday and righthander Greg Dombrowski (7-1, 2.25 ERA) on Sunday. The Wildcats sport a team ERA of 3.49, with a 4.57 mark in SEC action.

Series Notes: Vanderbilt has won three of the last four series against Kentucky including the last two ... VU holds a 66-56-4 advantage in games played in Nashville.

Price and Alvarez Named To Howser Award Watch List

Sophomore pitcher David Price and freshman third baseman Pedro Alvarez were both named to the initial Howser Award Watch List that recognizes the top player in collegiate baseball.

Vanderbilt is the only school in the Southeastern Conference to have two players on the 64 member list.
Price, a three-time National Pitcher of the Week winner, is 5-3 on the year with a 3.14 ERA. He has racked up 108 strikeouts in 71.2 innings pitched and is 4-1 in conference games.

Alvarez picked up National Hitter of the Week honors last week and currently leads all freshmen in the SEC in homers (14) and RBI (44). He is hitting .331 overall, with a team best .411 average in 18 conference games.

The membership of the NCBWA will choose the Dick Howser Trophy based on three rounds of voting.  The 2006 winner will be announced at the College World Series in Omaha on Friday, June 16, at 9:30 a.m. CDT.

The Dick Howser Trophy, given in memory of the former Florida State University All-America shortstop and major league player and manager who died of brain cancer in 1987, is regarded by many as college baseball's most prestigious award.

Criteria for consideration for the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser's life.

NCBWA membership includes writers, broadcasters and publicists. Designed to promote and publicize college baseball, it is the sport's only college media-related organization, founded in 1962.

Macias Makes Way

Sophomore David Macias has quietly put together a solid campaign as the leadoff hitter for the Commodores.

Macias made the switch from a middle infielder to centerfield this year and has done what is expected from a guy at the top of the order. He is currently hitting .315 and has a .449 on base percentage. The Woodlands, Texas, product has been hit a team high 11 times while also walking 25 times on the year. In his last five games, he is hitting .444 with four runs scored, three walks, four hit by pitches and just two strikeouts for a .600 on base percentage.
 
Dores Snap Losing Streak Against Austin Peay

Austin Peay    000    200    000    -2       8      1
Vanderbilt       021   010     03x    -7       9      0

April 25- Dominic de la Osa went 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBI to lead Vanderbilt to a 7-2 win over Austin Peay Tuesday afternoon at Hawkins Field.

Reliever Stephen Shao pitched 3.2 innings of two-hit scoreless relief to pick up his first win of the year. He struck out two and did not allow a walk in the effort. Casey Weathers closed out the game with an inning of scoreless relief.

Vanderbilt plated two runs in the second inning to take a 2-0 lead, courtesy of Matt Meingasner's double to the left field wall. The Dores added a run in the third on a Shea Robin double to make it 3-0.
Jacob Schroeder's two-run homer to left in the fourth cut the lead to 3-2.
Dominic de la Osa opened the fifth with a solo homer, his sixth of the season, over the leftfield wall to make it 4-2. The score remained that way until the bottom of the eighth, when VU added three more runs to put the game away. De la Osa added a RBI single in the inning to lead the way.
VU starter Nick Christiani gave up two runs on five hits in 4.1 innings of work with four strikeouts and a walk. Michael Dunn (1-1) started for the Governors and gave up four runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings of work with four walks and a strikeout in the losing effort.
Ryan Flaherty and de la Osa led the Commodores with two hits each, while Cody Youngblood, Jacob Crass and Jacob Schroeder led APSU with two hits each.

Price Moving Up Strikeout List

Sophomore southpaw David Price continued his move up the Commodore single season and career strikeout list with four K's against Alabama last Saturday. He moved from up a spot from  sixth to fifth place in single season strikeouts with 104, and now has an even 200 in his career, good for ninth best in school history. He is 24 strikeouts away from setting a new single season mark at Vanderbilt and has four more regular season starts on the schedule.

Brian Hernandez Named To Bench Watch List

Senior catcher Brian Hernandez was one of 26 players named to the initial Johnny Bench Award Watch List by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission.
Hernandez is one of five catchers in the SEC that is on the list. The Florida native is currently hitting .269 with a team high 14 doubles and 23 RBI.  
This marks the third straight season Hernandez has been named to the award's watch list. Last season, his first at Vanderbilt after transferring from Duke, he hit .342 with five homers and 42 RBI.
Twenty-six catchers from fifteen conferences were nominated for the award by their coaches. Because the award is given annually to the top division one collegiate catcher, the list will be updated to include other candidates until May 1, 2006.
The watch list will be narrowed down to ten semi-finalists, whom will be announced May 11, 2006. A comprehensive biography will be created on each of the semi-finalists and sent to the national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine the three finalists. The finalists will be announced May 31, 2006 prior to the NCAA Regionals and Major League Baseball Draft. A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series. All finalists will be brought to Wichita and the winner will be announced at the 9th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 28, 2006.

Commodore Tidbits
Vanderbilt snapped a season-long four game win streak with a win over Austin Peay on Tuesday ... VU has gone 8-7 in the month of April and 5-5 in its last 10 games ... In the last five games the Dores are hitting .298 with six homers, 12 doubles and 30 runs scored ... In the last two weeks Vanderbilt has faced the SEC West leader (Alabama) and the SEC East leader (Kentucky). It is the first time they have faced teams with winning conference records going into the series. The pitching staff has allowed 44 runs with a 8.56 ERA in the last five contests ... Redshirt freshman Jonathan White was active for his first SEC weekend and hit a home run in his first career conference at-bat. It was also his first career hit … White was active, due to Matt Buschmann's lingering injury that forced him to miss his second start in three tries. Buschmann or Ty Davis will start this Saturday's contest against Kentucky ... True freshman outfielder Kurt Lipton made the most of his limited opportunities last week as he went 2-for-2 with a double in Saturday's doubleheader … Outfielder Matt Meingasner is starting to come on at the plate in the last five games as he is 6-for-15 (.400) with a homer, two doubles and five RBI … Alex Feinberg was 6-for-15 (.400) last week with a double and three RBI … Dominic de la Osa is 9-for-22 (.409) in the last five games with two doubles, a homer and three RBI … David Price was tagged with his first loss in six starts dating back to a decision against Ball State on March 3. He gave up a career high 10 hits and eight runs in 6.1 innings … Cody Crowell also struggled this week after pitching a season low two innings in his start in Game 2 of the doubleheader against Alabama on Saturday … Pedro Alvarez hit his 14th homer against Middle Tennessee last Tuesday and is among the leaders among Division I third basemen in that category … Vanderbilt lost the season series to Alabama for the first time since 2000 (also a sweep by the Crimson Tide) … The sweep was the first for the Commodores since Florida did it to end the 2005 season … Vanderbilt plays the next four games at home and the next eight in the state of Tennessee … The Commodores will take final exams starting on Thursday and ending next week. Two seniors, backup infielder Rucker Taylor and pitcher Matt Buschmann will take finals for the last time as they will graduate. The only other senior, catcher Brian Hernandez, is on track to graduate in December after transferring from Duke last year.

On Deck
After this weekend the Commodores will take next week off for finals before taking on state rival Tennessee next weekend in Knoxville. The Vols are 25-16 overall and 7-10 in conference play heading into a weekend series at Ole Miss.


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