Tuesday, May 15 • Nashville • Hawkins Field
Middle Tennessee (25-25-1) vs. Vanderbilt (27-24)
NASHVILLE – Vanderbilt closes the regular season with a four-game homestand beginning Tuesday when the squad takes on Middle Tennessee at 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network Plus.
Tickets are available by visiting vucommodores.com and by calling 615.322.GOLD (4653) or 1-877-44-VANDY. Fans can listen to the game through the vucommodores app as well as locally on WNSR 560 AM/95.9 FM with Joe Fisher on the call.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUP
- RHP Tyler Brown (1-3, 5.40 ERA) vs. RHP RHP Scheldon Paulk (1-0, 5.06 ERA)
NEED TO KNOW
With its series win last weekend at Tennessee, Vanderbilt locked up a spot in the 2018 SEC Tournament, held, May 22-27 in Hoover, Ala. The Commodores are currently in a three-way with Kentucky and Auburn for seventh.
Vanderbilt’s offense clicked in a big way last week against Tennessee and Tennessee Tech. The Dores batted .290 in the four games while averaging 6.25 runs and 10.5 hits per game. The team struck for double-digit hits in three of four outings before finishing with nine hits in the finale at Tennessee.
Vandy’s series win against Tennessee was the program’s first since 2014 and first in Knoxville since 2012. Four Commodore players batted over .300 in the series including JJ Bleday, who led the way at .600 (6-for-10) with three walks, two runs and as many RBIs. All three Stephen Scott (3-for-9) hits went for homers including two in the opener.
With four regular-season games remaining, the Commodores sit at No. 38 in the RPI. Vandy boasts the nation’s fourth-toughest schedule. Middle Tennessee checks in at No. 147 in the RPI while this weekend’s upcoming opponent, Kentucky, is No. 17. Vandy has played a whopping 30 games vs. Top 50 RPI opponents, going 14-16 in those games.
Friday’s win against Tennessee snapped a six-game losing streak overall and six-game drought in series openers. Meanwhile,Saturday’s victory ended a stretch of three-straight losing series. A win on Tuesday would be the first in the midweek since defeating Evansville, 6-1, on April 17.
For the third straight year, the Commodores close the regular season with four straight home games. Vandy is 18-9 at Hawkins Field and is batting .292 and averaging 7.29 runs per game at the facility. Meanwhile, the pitching staff has turned in a 3.63 ERA and limited opponents to a .237 batting average in 238.0 innings.
- The first 500 fans through the gates receive a free Dansby Swanson bobblehead. Two-dollar Tuesday also returns for another week at Hawkins Field with hot dogs and popcorn on sale for just $2 each.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP VS. MIDDLE TENNESSEE
Vanderbilt and Middle Tennessee square off for the 142nd time on Tuesday.
The Commodores own a 97-44 edge all-time including a 24-190 advantage in the Tim Corbin era (2003-present). Vandy has won 12 straight games against Middle Tennessee at Hawkins Field (2006-present).
MTSU secured a 4-3, seven-inning victory in a matchup cut short due to inclement weather at Reese Smith Jr. Field on April 3. An Alonzo Jones eighth-inning grand slam was wiped off the board and called just over an hour later.
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