HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawaii baseball team will face the defending national champions in the regular season for the first time since 2004 (Rice, 2003) when they head to Nashville, Tenn., to take on Vanderbilt at Hawkins Field this weekend for a three game series.
UH is off to it’s best 10-game start since 2012 when the Bows started the season 7-3, matching the 2012 squad with a 7-3 record.
Hawaii is coming off a four-game split series with Washington State, as the Rainbow Warriors were led offensively by junior shortstop Kole Kaler.
Kaler, will carry a .417 batting average into the series and leads the nation in triples (3).
Sophomore outfielders Tyler Best (.364) and Scotty Scott (.345), both have gotten out to hot starts to begin the 2020 campaign.
Best filled in as the lead-off batter for Hawaii the final two games of the series with Washington State after Scott rested the final two games.
On the pitching side, sophomore Aaron Davenport went a career-high 7.1 innings on Friday night, scattering 10 hits in the effort before giving way to junior Jeremy Wu-Yelland and freshman Vince Reilly, who picked up his second save of the year in the outing.
Reilly is one of two freshman in the country with two saves so far this year.
Vanderbilt is on a six game winning streak after topping South Alabama in a two-game midweek series and a weekend sweep of Illinois-Chicago after dropping two games to open the season at the MLB 4 Collegiate Baseball Tournament.
Vandy’s two losses came at the hands of 2019 runner-up Michigan and Big West foe Cal Poly.
The Commodores are led by top 2021 MLB prospect Kumar Rocker, according to D1Baseball. Rocker threw a no-hitter in the 2019 Super Regional as a freshman.
Rocker was one of two Vanderbilt pitchers to be named D1-Baseball Preseason First-Team All-American along with shortstop Austin Martin.