NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With ASUN Conference play set to get under way this weekend, the Lipscomb baseball team gets one final tuneup on Tuesday in what will be its toughest test to date.
Lipscomb heads downtown to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores at 6:30 p.m. inside First Tennessee Park, the home of the Nashville Sounds.
Tickets are $15 for field seating and $8 for general admission. Get your seats now through the Sounds’ box office, online by CLICKING HERE or by calling 615-690-4487, ext. 2. The Bisons dugout will be on the third-base side of the field as they are the home team.
The squads have met on 23 occasions, with Vanderbilt holding a 20-3 edge in the series. The Commodores have won 11 of the last 12 meetings, including three straight.
Last season in the first-ever meeting between the schools at First Tennessee Park, the Commodores knocked off the Bisons, 10-0, behind a complete-game, 1-hit performance from hurler Chandler Day.
Lipscomb enters the contest 10-13 overall after splitting a pair at Purdue on Friday. The Purple and Gold won a 3-1 decision in game one, before falling 6-2 in game two. The finale was canceled after snow blanketed Alexander Field, thus making it unplayable the rest of the weekend.
Kyle Kemp will be making his first start of the season on the bump after seeing eight appearances out of the bullpen. The junior has a team-high four saves after serving as the Bisons primary closer this season.
There will be no live broadcast of the game, but live stats will be available HERE.
Lipscomb – Kyle Kemp – (0-2, 4.11 ERA, 15.1 IP, 7 ER, 24 K, 8 BB)
Vanderbilt – Jake Eder – (1-2, 3.26 ERA, 19.1 IP, 7 ER, 21 K, 8 BB)
The Dores enter Tuesday 17-7 overall and 5-1 in Southeastern Conference action.
Vandy took 2-of-3 from No. 19 LSU at home over the weekend, bouncing back from an 8-5 midweek loss to Belmont last Wednesday. It was a season-high in runs allowed by the Commodores.
The pitching staff has been lights out for the Black and Gold this season. As a team, they hold a 2.88 ERA – which is 22nd in the nation – and are only allowing 6.95 hits per nine innings pitched (8th).
Offensively, JJ Bleday leads the team with a .387 batting average with 29 hits in 75 at-bats. Ethan Paul paces the Dores in home runs (4), RBI (27), doubles (8) and runs scored (22).
Vanderbilt’s 47 stolen bases rank eighth nationally. Austin Martin leads the way with 11.
AROUND THE HORN:
- Blake Thomas leads the ASUN and ranks 24th in the nation with 12 stolen bases. He has not been thrown out a single time this season. He leads the team after having reached base in 18 straight games leading into Tuesday.
- Zeke Dodson paces the squad with a .365 batting average and 17 RBI. The junior moved to second base for the first time in his Lipscomb career against Purdue. He had started 125 career games at third base.
- Dodson leads the team with 10 multiple-hit and six multiple-RBI games.
- Jeffrey Crisan has recorded a base hit in 4 of his last 5 games. He is second on the team with a .344 batting clip and 16 RBI.
- Cade Sorrells is second in the ASUN with 20 walks on the season. That total ranks 41 across Division I.
- Sorrells is also the 40th-toughest batter in the country to strike out, having only punched out six times in 84 at-bats this season. He strikes out once in every 14 at-bats.
- After hitting seven home runs a season ago, preseason All-Conference selection Jake Perry, hammered his first long ball of the season on Friday at Purdue. He is batting .218 with seven RBI.
- Five different players have two home runs this season (Dodson, Crisan, Tevin Symonette, Maddux Houghton, Josh Martinez).
- Robbie Knox has made a team-high 13 appearances out of the bullpen this season for Lipscomb. He is 28th nationally and fourth in the ASUN with a 1.38 ERA.
- Kemp leads the team with four saves, while Knox has three.
Lipscomb opens ASUN play this weekend with a three-game series against NJIT at Ken Dugan Field. With it being Easter weekend, the set is scheduled to open at 6 p.m. on Thursday.