NASHVILLE, Tenn. – No. 6 Vanderbilt returns to Hawkins Field this weekend, opening a three-game series against Tennessee on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Saturday’s middle game gets underway at 8 p.m. and Sunday’s finale will start at 2 p.m.
The final two contests will air on the SEC Network with Mike Morgan and David Dellucci on the call. The opener can be seen on the SEC Network Plus. Fans can listen to all three matchups via the VUCommodores app and locally on WNSR 560 AM/95.9 FM.
Vanderbilt (20-5, 4-2 SEC) is riding a five-game win streak following Tuesday’s 15-1 win against Lipscomb. The Commodores have been particularly hot in March, posting a 14-3 record. The mark is Vandy’s best through 17 games in the month since replicating the feat in 2013.
Tennessee (20-6, 2-4 SEC) is looking to rebound following a 6-5 loss against East Tennessee State. The Volunteers took 2-of-3 from South Carolina last weekend. The squad leads the SEC in ERA (2.37) and WHIP (1.00) and is tied for the national lead with six shutouts.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
– FRIDAY: RHP Drake Fellows (5-0, 3.68 ERA) vs. RHP Garrett Stallings (5-1, 1.79 ERA)
– SATURDAY: RHP Patrick Raby (4-0, 0.57 ERA) vs. RHP Zach Linginfelter (4-2, 2.29 ERA)
– SUNDAY: RHP Kumar Rocker (2-2, 2.43 ERA) vs. RHP Will Neely (2-1, 5.02 ERA)
Vanderbilt football head coach Derek Mason will throw out the first pitch on Friday. NFL Draft hopefuls Kyle Shurmur and Joejuan Williams will throw out the first pitch Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
The first 250 fans to the marketing table on Sunday can pick up their “Dores in the Show” poster featuring Texas Rangers’ opening day starter Mike Minor. Sunday will be “Salute to Service” day. Kids are able to run the bases postgame.
Vandy’s first-year Home Run Lounge will be up and running for the entire weekend series. The premium area, which will sell beer and spiked seltzer, will open two and a half hours before first pitch on Friday and Saturday and at noon Sunday.
NEED TO KNOW
Vanderbilt and Tennessee meet for the 334th time in the history of the programs Friday. Tennessee leads the all-time series, 175-156-2. The Commodores are 32-18 against Tennessee under head coach Tim Corbin (2003-present).
Vandy is No. 3 nationally in the RPI and first in the SEC, jumping 12 spots since last Friday. The Dores are 8-3 against opponents in the RPI top 50. Vandy’s eight wins vs. Top 50 opponents is tied for third nationally with UCLA and Texas.
Vandy pitching has permitted just seven runs in its last 45 innings (five games) while posting a 1.40 ERA and limiting foes to a .157 average. Opponents have scored runs in four innings over the last five contests, averaging 1.4 runs per game.
Vanderbilt ranks first in the SEC in on-base percentage (.428) and triples (11). The Dores are second in batting average (.324), hits (282) and scoring (8.7). Vandy has scored five-plus runs 20 times. The Dores have produced 10-plus runs 11 times including eight during the month of March.
Vanderbilt hosts Western Kentucky on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available by calling (615) 322-GOLD or by visiting VUCommodores.com. The Commodores hit the road next weekend, visiting Georgia for a three-game series beginning Friday.