NASHVILLE, Tenn. – No. 8 Vanderbilt opens SEC home play on Thursday, squaring off against No. 14 Florida at 6 p.m. in a nationally-televised contest from Hawkins Field. Friday’s middle game is set for 6:30 p.m. and Saturday’s finale will get underway at 1 p.m.
The series opener can be seen on the SEC Network with Tom Hart and Kyle Peterson on the call. The final two matchups can be viewed on the SEC Network Plus, available through WatchESPN and the ESPN app. Fans can also listen via the VUCommodores app and locally on WNSR 560 AM/95.9 FM.
Vanderbilt (16-5, 1-2 SEC) is coming off a 3-0 victory against Belmont on Tuesday, when Vandy’s pitching corps matched a season-low four hits allowed and notched its second shutout this month. The Commodores are in the midst of playing nine consecutive games in Nashville.
Florida (16-7, 1-2 SEC) capped its 14-game homestand on Tuesday, outlasting Jacksonville 13-8. The Gators have clicked at the plate and lead the SEC in hits (234) and runs (185). SEC coaches picked Florida to finish third in the league behind Vanderbilt and LSU.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
– THURSDAY: RHP Drake Fellows (4-0, 4.88 ERA) vs. RHP Tommy Mace (4-1, 3.69 ERA)
– FRIDAY: RHP Patrick Raby (3-0, 0.70 ERA) vs. RHP Jack Leftwich (4-1, 3.29 ERA)
– SATURDAY: TBA (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. RHP Tyler Dyson (3-0, 3.42 ERA)
Vanderbilt’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.
The first 250 fans to the marketing table on Thursday can pick up their “Dores in the Show” poster featuring the Houston Astros’ Tony Kemp. The first 1,000 fans through the gate on Friday will receive a VandyBoys rope hat. Salute to Service returns on Saturday. Nashville Predators’ organist Krazy Kyle will also be providing the tunes for the finale. Kids can run the bases postgame.
NEED TO KNOW
Vanderbilt and Florida meet for the 216th time on Thursday. The Gators hold a 140-74-1 advantage in the series. The Dores are 13-11 vs. Florida under head coach Tim Corbin (2003-present) at Hawkins Field.
Vanderbilt ranks first in the SEC in batting average (.315) and triples (10). The Dores are second in on-base percentage (.420). Vandy pitching is second nationally with 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings. Defensively, the Commodores are second in the SEC and sixth nationally with a .981 fielding percentage.
The Commodores have been tough to beat at Hawkins Field since the facility opened its gates in 2002. Vanderbilt boasts a 447-161-1 (.734) all-time record at Hawkins Field, including a 340-102-1 (.768) mark since the start of the 2007 season.
Vanderbilt returns to First Tennessee Park for a crosstown matchup against Lipscomb. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The Commodores will serve as the home team.