Home Stand Continues for Vanderbilt Baseball

Greg Arias

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Fourth-ranked Vanderbilt continues its homestand this weekend, welcoming Illinois-Chicago for a three-game series beginning at 4:30 p.m. Friday. Saturday’s middle game gets underway at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s finale is set for 1 p.m.

Vanderbilt (3-2) swept a two-game series against South Alabama during the midweek highlighted by a strong effort on the mound. The Commodores held the Jaguars to a .085 average (5-for-59) while posting a 33-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio as part of two shutout victories.

Illinois-Chicago (0-4) is the preseason favorite to win the Horizon League according to the conference’s head coaches. The Flames, who qualified for the program’s sixth NCAA Tournament appearance a season ago, were swept in a four-game set at Auburn last weekend.

All three matchups between the Commodores and Flames will be streamed on the SEC Network Plus. SEC Network subscribers can tune in through WatchESPN and the ESPN app.

Fans can also listen to the game via the VUCommodores app and locally on WNSR 560 AM/95.9 FM.

PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS

– FRIDAY: RHP Mason Hickman (0-0, .00 ERA) vs. RHP Jacob Key (0-1, 7.50 ERA)

– SATURDAY: RHP Kumar Rocker (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Nick Oliff (0-1, 18.56 ERA)

– SUNDAY: TBA vs. RHP Bobby Nicholson (0-1, 12.27 ERA)

PROMOTIONS

The Vanderbilt ticket office has announced that kids will be admitted to a select number of games at no cost. The promotion, which applies to those in eighth grade and younger the day of the game, will allow kids in free to all nonconference games through March 31. This promotion will be limited based on ticket availability.

Complimentary kids’ tickets must be claimed at the Hawkins Field box office on the day of game only, no earlier than 2 ½ hours before the first pitch.

NEED TO KNOW

Vanderbilt is 22-6 all-time against Illinois-Chicago with the last meeting coming in 2017 at Hawkins Field. The Flames took 2 of 3 in that series, defeating the Commodores twice in extra innings. Vanderbilt is 26-6 all-time against current Horizon teams.

Vanderbilt is 471-165-1 (.740) all-time at Hawkins Field including a 363-106-1 (.773) mark since 2007. Against nonconference opponents at the facility, Vanderbilt is 272-51 (.842). Since 2007 at home vs. nonconference teams, the Commodores are 206-34 (.858).

Vanderbilt’s 15-member freshman class has made a big impact. Twelve total student-athletes have made debuts. Commodore freshmen have accounted for 60 percent (14 of 23) of the team’s RBIs, 41 percent of runs (10 of 24) and 34 percent (13 of 38) of hits. True freshmen pitchers have registered a 1.77 ERA alongside a 29-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio across 20.1 innings.

UP NEXT

Vanderbilt continues its 11-game homestand by playing host to Evansville at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and Saint Louis at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Both games will be streamed on the SEC Network Plus. Vanderbilt will enter Tuesday riding a 10-game win streak in midweek nonconference home games.

Follow Greg on Twitter @GregAriasSports and @SIVanderbilt or on Facebook at Vanderbilt Commodores-Maven

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