The final weekend of the regular season is upon us and Tennessee is right back where it has been the past two seasons: fighting for one of the final spots in the SEC Tournament in Hoover. Whether the Vols will make it three straight appearances is yet to be discovered as they are currently tied for last in the SEC, one game behind Missouri and Auburn who are sitting in the final two tournament spots.
Last week the Vols were hosting LSU in Knoxville but lost all three games. They followed that up by crushing ETSU on Tuesday. Tennessee took the early lead in the third on a Vincent Jackson RBI single. They added four more in the fourth on a Max Bartlett sacrifice fly, a Chris Hall RBI single, and a Nick Senzel two RBI double. ETSU finally got on the board in the fifth after a wild pitch. UT put together an outstanding 6th inning to respond, with a Brodie Leftridge RBI triple and RBI singles by Chris Hall, Derek Lance, and Tyler Schultz (2 RBIs) to go along with a Brett Langhorne RBI ground out. ETSU managed an RBI single of their own in the 8th, but the Vols rolled on to the 11-2 victory.
Tennessee leads the series with Georgia 118-111 all-time. They have not had much luck lately though, having lost ten of the last twelve meetings. The last series victory by the Vols was in 2010 in Athens where they Vols swept the Bulldogs.
Georgia is coming off of a mid week loss at Turner Field against Georgia Tech. They took two of three against Missouri last weekend in Columbia. The Bulldogs also have SEC series victories at home against both Alabama and South Carolina.
Current SEC Standings
* - Clinched Tournament Berth
As you can see in the current SEC standings Tennessee is tied with Arkansas for 13th and 14th in the SEC. The top twelve teams (regardless of division) make it to the tournament in Hoover. The big issue standing in the way of that trip is the fact that Tennessee lost the season series against both teams currently sitting one game ahead of them (Auburn and Missouri). Thankfully though the only other team who has not secured their spot in the tournament is Georgia, the team Tennessee is facing this weekend.
If UT wins out this weekend against Georgia they will probably make the tournament, unless a large group of teams all end up tied and it goes to the tie breakers. If they only win two games they still have a chance of making it but would need a combination of at least two of the following: Missouri to lose out (at Kentucky), Auburn to lose out (at Vandy), or Arkansas to lose at least one (at Mississippi State). If they manage only a single win they would be eliminated because Missouri and Auburn would hold the tie breakers over UT and Arkansas in the event of a four way tie (due to their record against LSU).
Although the on field production has not always been there this year, the Vols have succeeded in the classroom as they have graduated eight seniors this season and posted the highest GPA in program history.
Tennessee Volunteers (27-26) (7-20 SEC) at Georgia Bulldogs (26-27) (10-17 SEC)
Date: Thursday-Saturday May 19-21, 2016
First Pitch: 7 p.m. ET Thursday, 7 p.m. ET Friday, and 12 p.m. ET Saturday at Foley Field, Athens, GA
TV: Saturday on the SEC Network
Live Audio: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday on UTSports
Internet Video: Each Game on WatchESPN
Live Stats: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday on GameTracker
Probable Starting Pitchers:
UT RHP Will Neely (1-2, 3.95 ERA) vs UGA LHP Bo Tucker (3-4, 3.38 ERA)
UT LHP Zach Warren (5-5, 3.89 ERA) vs UGA RHP Robert Tyler (3-5, 4.15 ERA)
UT LHP Aaron Soto (4-2, 4.19 ERA) vs UGA LHP Connor Jones (5-6, 4.87 ERA)
Players to Keep an Eye on:
|UT||LHP||Andy Cox||6.11||1.66||60||.261||3-6 (3)|
|UGA||LHP||Bo Tucker||3.38||1.37||41||.251||3-4 (3)|