Vanderbilt Baseball Weekly Report - Week 14

Commodores capture SEC title, turn focus to postseason

Vanderbilt Baseball Weekly Report

Overall Record: 45-10, 23-7 SEC
Streak: Won 5

Last Week’s Results (4-0)
Tuesday, May 14 vs. Middle Tennessee – Win, 5-2
Thursday, May 16 at Kentucky – W, 16-10
Friday, May 17 at Kentucky – W, 12-4
Saturday, May 18 at Kentucky – W, 7-4

This Week (Times Central)
Wednesday, May 22 vs. Winner No. 8 Auburn/No. 9 Tennessee — 4:30 p.m. [SEC Network]

Player of the Week Nominee
Stephen Scott – OF – 5-11 – 200 – Cary, N.C.
Weekly totals: 4 G/4 GS, .615 AVG, 1.615 SLG, 13 AB, 4 HR, 9 R, 8 H, 8 RBI, 5 BB, 21 TB
– Lifted Vandy to its first SEC title since 2013 with three homers and seven hits at Kentucky
– Recorded three multi-hit games vs. Kentucky, adding three walks and seven runs
– Clubbed four homers on the week, scoring nine runs alongside 21 total bases
– Reached base in 14 of his plate appearances for a .737 on-base percentage
– Helped the Dores to their fifth SEC series sweep and sixth consecutive league series win

Pitcher of the Week Nominee
Mason Hickman – RHP – 6-6 – 230 – Hendersonville, Tenn.
Weekly totals: 1 G/1 GS, 0-0, 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 10 K
– Struck out 10 Middle Tennessee batters, helping Vandy to its 11th straight midweek win
– Limited the Blue Raiders to three hits across five frames
– Did not allow a leadoff batter to reach in five opportunities

Commodore Notes
No. 2 Vanderbilt captured its first regular season title since 2013 and fourth under head coach Tim Corbin as part of a 4-0 week. The Commodores came up big with two away and limited Middle Tennessee with runners aboard, running their streak to 11 consecutive midweek victories with a 5-2 win against the Blue Raiders on Tuesday night. The Commodores capped home regular season play with a 28-5 mark. Vanderbilt’s 11 straight wins in the midweek are the most for the program since running off 12 consecutive from March 27, 2012-March 13, 2013.

Philip Clarke delivered a go-ahead two-out, two-run triple in the eighth inning, lifting the No. 2 Commodores to a wild 16-10 win against Kentucky in the series opener on Thursday night. The three-bagger followed a 2-hour, 4-minute rain delay. Kentucky erased a nine-run deficit with five runs in the seventh before Mother Nature intervened. Clarke accounted for four RBIs and registered his third triple of the season, driving his first pitch off the wall in left center. Vanderbilt scored six times in the third inning and received home runs from JJ Bleday, Ethan Paul and Stephen Scott, defeating Kentucky 12-4 to capture the SEC regular season title. Vanderbilt scored six times in the third inning with Bleday swatting his national-best 24th home run. Julian Infante added the major damage by rocketing a two-out, bases-clearing three-run double into the left field corner to put the Commodores ahead 7-1.

Right fielder JJ Bleday unlocked a four-all tie in the ninth with his 25th home run and the No. 2 Commodores struck four long balls on the day, outlasting Kentucky 7-4 in the regular season finale. With the win, Vanderbilt (45-10, 23-7 SEC) registered its 18th win in the last 19 matchups. Vandy opens the SEC Tournament in double-elimination action on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. from Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Alabama. The Dores will face the Game 3 winner between No. 8-seed Auburn and No. 9-seed Tennessee.