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LSU Baseball Weekend Preview: LSU vs. #2 Vanderbilt

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The SEC grind continues as the #2 team in the country visits Alex Box.

Hello and welcome to another edition of the ATVS Baseball Weekend Preview! Last weekend saw the True Tigers of LSU defeat the False Tigers of Auburn in a three game series. LSU finally got their first SEC series victory of the season, and it could not have come at a better time. The team gained some confidence I'm sure, so let's hope they build on that momentum because we are going to have another doozy of a series this weekend. The very, very, very good Vanderbilt Commodores are coming to town. Like Texas A&M two weeks ago, Vandy is scary good.

Vanderbilt Commodores

Record: 24-5 overall, 6-3 SEC, 5-2 on the road

Recent Form: Won 2 out of 3 against South Carolina, beat Lipscomb in midweek, swept Mizzou two weeks ago

Rank: #2 CBI Composite Poll

RPI: #9

ISR: #6

The good thing about playing Vanderbilt is that even a loss won't hurt LSU too badly. LSU is currently 25th in the RPI and 35th in the ISR. If LSU somehow manages to win the series, it will be a big boost to both stats. Just winning one game should be a boost in itself.

Vandy Bats

Player

Yr

Pos

BA

Slg%

OB%

R

HR

RBI

Ethan Paul

FR

IF

0.343

0.537

0.489

19

2

17

Jeren Kendall

SO

OF

0.333

0.564

0.410

33

5

31

Alonzo Jones

FR

IF

0.309

0.468

0.393

21

1

27

Team

0.289

0.433

0.397

239

20

211

Overall, Vandy is about as solid a hitting team you are going to get in the SEC.  What's most impressive is how young the guys at the top of the hitting stats are. Alonzo Jones and Ethan Paul are hitting extremely well in their first years, so those are two guys to watch for seasons to come. Vandy continues to recruit well and should be good for the foreseeable future.

Vandy doesn't overwhelm you with a lot of power, but they have power throughout the lineup that you have to respect. Much like LSU, they like to push the action and try to make things happen on the base paths. Vandy is 49-69 in stolen bases on the year with Jeren Kendall accounting of 17-22.  Whether it's Jordon Romero or Michael Papierski behind the plate, expect Vandy to run at them early.

Vandy Arms

Player

Yr

Pos

IP

ERA

K

BB

BAA

Kyle Wright

SO

RHP

33.2

1.60

40

11

0.246

Jordan Sheffield

RS SO

RHP

43.2

2.27

60

20

0.202

Ben Bowden

JR

LHP

3.62

32.1

44

8

0.230

Matt Ruppenthal

SO

RHP

26.1

1.71

31

14

0.125

Team

266

2.77

319

105

0.209

Well, this is about as typical Vanderbilt as it gets. It seems like every year they just reload with more good talent on the mound. The rich get richer as they say.  Even looking at their bullpen, there is not a whole lot of weakness on the mound for Vandy. LSU needs to take advantage of any scoring opportunity they get against Vanderbilt. If LSU gets a runner in scoring position with less than two outs, they are going to have to score it to even stand a chance.

Should you be worried?

Yes. Vanderbilt won't overwhelm you at the plate like Texas A&M, but they will pitch circles around you if you let them.

What's the weather going to be like?

HOT DAMN!

Go to this series. The weather will be perfect and it's against good competition.

Best old logo on google image search

This dude has a cannon. Don't mess with the guy that has a cannon. It won't end well for you.

Prediction

To hell with it. LSU takes two out of three and gets a big series win. Let's get some of the Alex Box magic going this weekend. Great weather and a good opponent should get the fans out in force and give LSU a great environment to pull off an upset.