The final weekend of the regular season has now arrived and the Vols still have a chance to fight for a spot at Hoover. They host Mississippi State this weekend for a three game series beginning tonight. The Bulldogs are currently last in the SEC, one half game behind the Vols.
The Vols ran into trouble against UNC Asheville in the midweek game Tuesday. The Bulldogs took the early lead on a home run in the first, but Nick Senzel tied it up with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the frame. UNCA retook the lead in the fourth on a Simcox fielding error. Jared Pruett and Christin Stewart both reached on walks in the fifth, and were driven home on an A.J. Simcox double to take the lead. UNCA responded back in the sixth to tie it up and it stayed tied until the tenth, when Nick Senzel hit a walk-off RBI double to end the game.
Tennessee and Mississippi State are both still alive for the final spot in the SEC tournament, but they are going to need to get some help from Arkansas. The Vols are a game behind Georgia for the 12th (and final) seed, but lost the series against them earlier this year. Tennessee needs Georgia to lose at least two games this weekend against the Razorbacks to have a chance. Tennessee can also make the tournament if they win out and Alabama is swept by Vanderbilt. For a full breakdown of the SEC tournament standings going into this weekend check out TeamSpeedKills' write up.
Tennessee is 26-55 all-time against Mississippi State, and have only won two games in the last four series. The last series victory for the Vols was in 2009. Last season saw Tennessee win one game in Starkville before losing the final two games of the series, both in extra innings. MSU is coming off of a series loss at Ole Miss.
Hopefully the Vols can win the series this weekend and get some help to extend their season.
Tennessee Volunteers (21-25) (8-18 SEC) vs Mississippi State Bulldogs (24-27) (8-19 SEC)
Date: Thursday-Saturday May 14-16, 2015
First Pitch: 6 p.m. ET Thursday, 6 p.m. ET Friday, 1 p.m. ET Saturday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, Knoxville, Tn
TV: SEC Network on Saturday
Internet Video: Thursday and Saturday via WatchESPN (Not Friday due to the NCAA Softball Regional for the Lady Vols)
Probable Starting Pitchers:
UT LHP Andy Cox (2-3, 3.79 ERA) vs MSU LHP Lucas Laster (4-3, 3.39 ERA)
UT LHP Drake Owenby (2-6, 4.57 ERA) vs MSU RHP Preston Brown (5-7, 4.39 ERA)
UT TBA (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs MSU RHP Austin Sexton (4-4, 4.11 ERA)
Players to Keep an Eye on: