Dores Call on Dawgs

Vanderbilt visits Georgia in top-5 tilt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – No. 5 Vanderbilt hits the road for arguably its toughest test of the season, opening a three-game series against No. 4 Georgia on Friday at Foley Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT and will be streamed on the SEC Network Plus.

Saturday’s middle game is slated for 1 p.m. CT on the SEC Network Plus while Sunday’s finale will be broadcast on the SEC Network at 11 a.m. CT with Mike Morgan and David Dellucci on the call. All three contests can be heard on WNSR 560 AM/95.9 FM and VUCommodores.com.

The Commodores (23-6, 6-3 SEC) enter the weekend riding momentum from Tuesday’s 5-4 walk-off victory against Western Kentucky. Vandy overcame a two-run, ninth-inning deficit courtesy of back-to-back homers from Austin Martin and JJ Bleday, who logged the game-winning single in the 10th inning.

The Bulldogs (25-5, 7-2 SEC) sit atop the SEC standings, holding a one-game advantage after winning three-consecutive series including taking 2-of-3 from Kentucky last weekend. Georgia leads the nation in hits allowed per nine innings (5.96) and is second in WHIP (1.06).

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
– FRIDAY: RHP Drake Fellows (6-0, 3.59 ERA) vs. RHP Emerson Hancock (6-1, 0.98 ERA)
– SATURDAY: RHP Patrick Raby (5-0, 1.22 ERA) vs. LHP C.J. Smith (2-1, 2.49 ERA)
– SUNDAY: RHP Kumar Rocker (2-3, 6.00 ERA) vs. RHP Tony Locey (4-0, 2.35 ERA)

NEED TO KNOW
Vanderbilt and Georgia meet for the 236th time in the history of the programs Friday. Vandy has won 15 of its last 17 games against Georgia and has claimed nine-straight three-game series (2009-present). The Dores have won six consecutive series in Athens (2007-present).

Vandy won its 23rd game on Tuesday against Western Kentucky. A season ago, the Dores did not secure their 23rd win until April 21 vs. Mizzou (Game No. 39). The Dores have struck out 44 fewer times through 29 games compared to this point a season agoVanderbilt ranks second nationally and first in the SEC in the RPI, trailing only Oregon State. The Dores are 10-4 against opponents in the RPI top 50. Vandy’s 10 wins vs. Georgia enters Friday No. 12 in the RPI. Last weekend, Vandy picked up two wins vs. No. 9 Tennessee.

Vanderbilt ranks first in the SEC in on-base percentage (.423) and triples (12). The Dores are second in hits (328), batting average (.323) and runs (243). Vandy has scored five-plus runs 23 times. The Dores have produced 10-plus runs 12 times including nine during the month of March.

UP NEXT
The Commodores look for their seventh-consecutive midweek win when the squad visits Middle Tennessee on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. The contest will be streamed on CUSA.tv and marks Vandy’s first midweek road matchup of the season.

PLAYERS MENTIONED

#51 JJ Bleday

OF
6′ 3″
205 lbs
Junior

#66 Drake Fellows

RHP
6′ 5″
205 lbs
Junior

#16 Austin Martin

UTL
6′ 0″
170 lbs
Sophomore

#29 Patrick Raby

RHP
6′ 3″
230 lbs
Senior

#80 Kumar Rocker

RHP
6′ 4″
255 lbs
Freshman