This Week in Baseball - April 8

After a rough start to the week against ETSU, the Vols rebounded strong against in-state rival #5 Vanderbilt, winning 2 of 3 games. This was the first series victory over a top 5 team for Tennessee since 2009 against #1 LSU. Coach Dave Serrano described the series victory as a "defining moment" for the team. The Vols are currently 6th in the East, but only 2 games behind the leader South Carolina. The entire SEC is actually only 4 games apart at most (Missouri holding the worst record at 4-8, Alabama the best at 8-4).

Tennessee looks to build upon the momentum this week when they travel to scoring juggernaut Tennessee Tech and Georgia. Tennessee Tech leads the nation in runs scored (287 total), and is second nationally with 38 home runs. They are scoring an obscene 8.7 runs per game (3rd nationally) and bat .317 (6th nationally), so its safe to say our pitchers and fielding will really need to be on the mark Tuesday or it will be a long night. Tennessee lost its last meeting with TTU.

Georgia is the only remaining unranked team that Tennessee will play a weekend series against with 6 weekends left in the season. Georgia is coming off of 2 straight SEC series wins (Mizzou and Texas A&M). The last series win against Georgia for Tennessee was in the 2010 season.

Tennessee in the Polls: Perfect Game #21 (Last week 25), USA Today Coaches' Poll #23 (NR), National Collegiate Baseball Writers #27 (28)

What the Vols are Doing Well:
Stolen Bases - 54 total. 14th Nationally. 2nd SEC.
Triples - 12 total. 16th Nationally. 1st SEC.
Fielding Percentage - .977. 22nd Nationally. 4th SEC.
Shutouts - 4. 23rd Nationally. 5th SEC.
WHIP - 1.16. 24th Nationally. 7th SEC.
ERA - 2.85. 33rd Nationally. 7th SEC.

Last Week: 2-2

  • Tuesday April 1, 2014 vs ETSU: ETSU 2 - Vols 1. The Vols outhit ETSU 6 to 3, but were unable to overcome the 2 run homerun that defending national player of the week Clinton Freeman of ETSU hit in the top of the 4th inning. Freeman then switched to the mound to close the game, and struck out 4 of the 6 batters he faced.
  • Friday April 4, 2014 vs Vanderbilt: Vandy 6 - Vols 4. Tennessee got off to a fast start, scoring 3 runs on Vandy's ace with 2 outs in the first. Vandy responded back with 6 runs across 3 innings (thanks in part to their 6 doubles). Taylor Smart added a solo-homer to close the gap, but the Vols bats just didn't come alive.
  • Saturday April 5, 2014 vs Vanderbilt: Vols 10 - Vandy 9. Vandy continued to pick up doubles, with 2 RBI doubles and a home run to take the 3-0 lead. The Vols and Vandy would trade 2 runs in the bottom of the 3rd and top of the 4th to make it 5-2. Thanks to some Vanderbilt errors, Tennessee put together a 2 hit, 6 run 4th inning to take the lead 8-5. Vandy then loaded the bases in the 5th, and scored 4 runs thanks to a sac fly and a double. Tennessee was down 9-8 in the 9th inning when 2 walks and a hit batter loaded the bases. Maggio was down 0-2 in the count with 2 outs, but worked it full and hit a game winning 2 RBI single to left field.
  • Sunday April 6, 2014 vs Vanderbilt: Vols 7 - Vandy 0. Kyle Serrano got off to a rough start, walking a batter, committing an error, and hitting another batter, but managed to rebound and threw 5.1 innings of solid pitching. Nick Senzel reached twice on catchers interference, the first of which he scored on thanks to a single from Christin Stewart. Stewart ended up with 3 RBIs on 2 hits.

This Week: ?-?

  • #21 Tennessee (21-9) (5-7) at Tennessee Tech (25-8) (9-6)

    April 8, 2014
    First pitch: 7 p.m. ET at Bush Stadium at Averitt Express Baseball Complex, Cookeville, TN
    Live Audio: via The Sports Animal
    Internet Video: via OVC Digital Network
    Live Stats: via TTU
    Probable Starting Pitchers
    : UT RHP Bret Marks (2-0, 0.00 ERA) vs TTU RHP Jacob Honea (3-1, 4.43)

  • #21 Tennessee (21-9) (5-7) at Georgia (18-13-1) (5-6-1)

    April 10-12, 2014
    First pitch: 7:30 p.m. ET Thursday, 7 p.m. ET Friday, and 4 p.m. Saturday at Foley Field, Athens, GA
    Television: Thursday on ESPNU
    Live Audio: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday via UT Sports
    Internet Video: Thursday via WatchESPN, Friday and Saturday via Georgia Dogs
    Live Stats: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
    Probable Starting Pitchers:
    UT RHP Nick Williams (3-2, 2.68 ERA) vs UGA RHP Jared Cheek (5-3, 2.92)
    UT RHP Hunter Martin (2-1, 2.33) vs UGA LHP Ryan Lawlor (2-2, 3.95)
    UT RHP Kyle Serrano (3-1, 4.68) vs UGA RHP Robert Tyler (3-2, 1.37)

    Thursday is Tennessee's 3rd televised game of the year, the previous being a 4-2 loss to Auburn on March 22nd and a 10-9 win over Vanderbilt on April 5th.

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