Vanderbilt Baseball Start SEC Tournament Against Ole Miss

The Vanderbilt baseball team will try to defend its 2019 SEC Championship tonight when it takes on Ole Miss in Hoover, Alabama at 8 p.m. CST in the SEC Baseball Tournament.

The Commodores have had a great season so far putting together a record of 39-13 overall and a conference record of 19-10. The are currently ranked No. 3 nationally behind SEC rival Arkansas at No. 1 and ahead of cross-state rival and SEC East champ Tennessee (No. 4).

The defending national champions also picked up some major SEC awards early this week. Sophomore and pitching sensation Jack Leiter, son of former Mets and Yankees pitcher Al Leiter, has won SEC Newcomer of the Year, being fifth in ERA with a mark of 2.12, while owning a record of 8-2 on the campaign.

Leiter along with junior Kumar Rocker and freshman Enrique Bradfield Jr. were named to the All-SEC First team. Rocker and Leiter finished first and second, respectively, in strikeouts with a combined, 256 K’s.

Bradfield also took home the SEC Freshman of the Year award and was the only Commodore named to the SEC All-Defense Team. Bradfield is the first Vandy player to win since Tony Kemp in 2011. He ranks among the top three in the SEC across four offensive categories, including: first in stolen bases (42), second in on-base percentage (.478), fourth in batting average (.366), and ninth in runs scored (48).

Vandy enters the conference tournament as the fourth seed taking on Ole Miss, the fifth seed. The tournament is double elimination but, last time around, Vandy won four-straight to clinch the conference title. Ole Miss beat Auburn 7-4 in their first game of the SEC Tournament on Tuesday night led by one inside-the-park from Justin Bench and one outside-the-park from Hayden Dunhurst. Freshman shortstop Jacob Gonzalez, went 4-for-5 at the plate with one double as part of his second career four-hit performance.

The first pitch is set for 8 p.m. CST with freshman Christian Little taking the mound for the Commodores. The full lineups for both teams will be announced later this evening.

Steven Boero