Herding Cats

Vanderbilt takes title hopes to Kentucky

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – No. 2 Vanderbilt takes a one-game lead in the SEC standings into the final series of the season as the Commodores open a three-game set at Kentucky on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. CT. Friday’s middle game is set for 5:30 p.m. CT and Saturday’s finale is at 1 p.m. CT.

All three contests can be seen on the SEC Network Plus available via the WatchESPN app. Fans can see portions of Friday’s game courtesy of the SEC Network’s Bases Loaded coverage. Joe Fisher will have the call on WNSR 560 AM/95.9 FM and VUCommodores.com.

Vanderbilt (42-10, 20-7 SEC) holds one-game lead in the league over second-place Arkansas and two-game edge in the SEC East on Georgia. The Commodores have won six SEC regular season titles (1973, ’74, ’80, ’07, ’11, ’13). Vandy has won 20 league games four times (’07, ’11, ’13, ’19).

Kentucky (26-26, 7-20 SEC) is looking to lock up its spot in the SEC Tournament, heading into Thursday in a three-way tie for 12th in the league standings with Alabama and South Carolina.

– THURSDAY: RHP Drake Fellows (10-0, 4.08 ERA) vs. TBA
– FRIDAY: RHP Kumar Rocker (6-5, 4.22 ERA) vs. TBA
– SATURDAY: RHP Patrick Raby (9-1, 2.42 ERA) vs. LHP Zack Thompson (6-1, 2.14 ERA)

Vanderbilt and Kentucky meet for the 298th time in the history of the programs Thursday. The Wildcats hold a 147-145-5 edge in the all-time series which dates to 1905. The Dores have won 21 of the last 28 matchups dating to March 22, 2009.

Friday night starter Drake Fellows enters the series opener boasting a 10-0 record and 4.08 ERA. The last Vandy pitcher to record 11 regular season wins was Carson Fulmer (11-1) in 2015. The last Friday night starter to go undefeated in the regular season was David Price (10-0) in 2007.

Vanderbilt’s .316 team batting average is its highest since hitting a school-record .324 in 2007. Vandy starting pitchers Drake Fellows, Kumar Rocker, Patrick Raby and Mason Hickman have combined to go 31-6 with a 2.76 ERA.

The Commodores open postseason play next Wednesday at the SEC Tournament from the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Alabama. Vanderbilt will begin action in the double-elimination round. The SEC will honor former standout Jeremy Sowers as part of its 2019 class of SEC Baseball Legends.