Vanderbilt hosts Kentucky

The Vanderbilt Commodores host the Kentucky Wildcats for a critical 3-game conference series this weekend. Inside are notes on the series and the scheduled pitching rotations.

Vanderbilt (30-11, 10-7 SEC) vs. Kentucky (31-10, 9-9 SEC)

Friday, April 25 • 6 p.m. CT
Saturday, April 26 • 2 p.m. CT
Sunday, April 27 • 1 p.m. CT
Hawkins Field (3,000)

Series History

Kentucky leads 135-124-5 in a series that dates back to 1905. The Commodores have won three of the five series against the Wildcats under Tim Corbin, including last season in Lexington. UK won two of three against VU in Nashville in 2006. Vanderbilt holds a 67-58-4 series lead in games played in the Music City.

Pitching Rotations

KENTUCKY
Friday: Jr. LHP Chris Rusin (4-1, 3.16 ERA)
Saturday: So. LHP James Paxton (3-2, 3.48 ERA)
Sunday: Sr. RHP Greg Dombrowski (4-0, 3.23 ERA)
VANDERBILT
Friday: So. LHP Mike Minor (4-3, 4.22 ERA)
Saturday: Fr. RHP Caleb Cotham (6-2, 3.06 ERA)
Sunday: Jr. RHP Nick Christiani (5-1, 3.97 ERA)

Kentucky Notes

Kentucky is 31-10 overall and 9-9 in SEC play after taking two of three from Florida last weekend in Lexington. The Wildcats lost a midweek game to Louisville, 6-5, on Tuesday and rebounded with a 2-1 win over Western Kentucky on Wednesday to improve to 22-1 in non-conference action. The mark of the Wildcats under fifth-year head coach John Cohen has been hitting and this year has been no exception as they lead the SEC with a .331 batting average to go with 60 homers, 97 doubles and 351 runs scored (8.56 per game). Senior outfielder Sawyer Carroll leads the team with a .447 batting average with 12 homers and 56 RBI. Fellow outfielder Collin Cowgill has also excelled this year with a .391 average and 16 homers and 46 RBI. He was named the SEC Hitter of the Week after batting .600 (9-for-15), scoring a team high 11 times, ripping a double, three homers and six RBI in five games.

Junior left-hander Chris Rusin (4-1, 3.16 ERA) will start for the Wildcats on Friday with sophomore left-hander James Paxton (3-2, 3.48 ERA) scheduled to go on Saturday. Senior right-hander Greg Dombrowski (4-0, 3.23 ERA) will start on Sunday. As a team, the Wildcats sport a 3.51 ERA (second in the SEC) with 322 strikeouts and 130 walks in 363.2 innings.

Vanderbilt Notes

Vanderbilt enters the weekend having won 11 of its last 12 games since getting swept by Ole Miss in the first weekend of April … Vanderbilt now has the third best record in the Southeastern Conference at 10-7, but would be the fourth seed in the SEC Tourney if the season ended today because the two division winners are the top seeds … David Macias, last week's SEC Hitter of the Week, continued his steady senior season going 9-for-21 (.421) with a double and four runs scored last week. He had a 14-game hitting streak snapped on Sunday and has had an 18 game and 14 game skein this season. He has recorded at least one hit in 37 of 41 games … Dominic de la Osa also had a solid week offensively, going 6-for-17 (.353) with a triple and four RBI. He had three stolen bases on Sunday against AU and now has 21 for the season, marking the second straight year of 20 plus bags … Catcher Shea Robin had a good weekend series against Auburn, going 7-for-11 (.636) with a triple, four RBI and three runs scored … Robin rested during the midweek, and his replacement Curt Casali also fared well at the plate going 5-for-12 (.417) with a double and two RBI … The Commodores weekend staff included five freshmen, one sophomore and one junior … Freshman Caleb Cotham recorded a season best 11 strikeouts in Saturday's 8-2 win over Auburn. He allowed six hits in 8.1 innings and gave up two runs in improving to a team best 6-2 on the year with a 3.06 ERA … Junior Brett Jacobson pitched 3.2 scoreless innings against WKU to pick up his second save of the season. He followed that up by pitching 1.2 innings of scoreless relief against Austin Peay (4/22) and 1.1 scoreless innings against Belmont (4/23) to pick up his second save of the year … He has not given up a run in his last five outings (7.2 innings) ... Redshirt freshman Russell Brewer pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless relief against Auburn on Sunday to pick up his fourth save. He came into the game in the eighth with the bases loaded and one out and VU holding a 9-5 lead. The first batter Brewer faced was Mike Bianucci, who had homered twice already in the game and was 3-for-3. Brewer struck him out and then faced Hunter Morris who also had homered previously in the game and against Brewer the day before. He got Morris to pop up to second on the first pitch to end the inning. Brewer then pitched a 0.2 innings in the ninth against Austin Peay (4/22) to earn his fifth save of the year … Richie Goodenow has not given up a run in nine of his 10 outings on the year including the last seven (3.2 innings) as a specialist out of the pen.

SEC Standings

Eastern Division        REC.     NEXT     
Georgia                 14 3 at Florida (4/25) 
South Carolina          11 7 at Louisiana State (4/25) 
Vanderbilt              10 7 Kentucky (4/25) 
Florida                 10 8 Georgia (4/25) 
Tennessee               10 8 at Mississippi State (4/25) 
Kentucky                 9 9 at Vanderbilt (4/25) 

Western Division           
Mississippi             10 8  Arkansas (4/25) 
Alabama                  8 10 Auburn (4/25) 
Arkansas                 7 10 at Mississippi (4/25) 
Auburn                   7 11 at Alabama (4/25) 
Louisiana State          6 11 South Carolina (4/25) 
Mississippi State        4 14 Tennessee (4/25) 

VandyMania.com Top Stories