College baseball is right around the corner. The multiple NCAA baseball outlets recently released the top-25 rankings across the sport, and the Tennessee Volunteers were shown some love.
At Baseball America, Tennessee rolled into the polls at number 19, sandwiched between conference foe South Carolina and Big Ten representative Michigan. In the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, Tennessee received a number 16 nod, putting them between the ACC’s Miami Hurricanes and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
There are nine total Southeastern Conference entrants in the Baseball America poll: Florida (1), Ole Miss (4), Vanderbilt (6), Mississippi State (8), LSU (10), Arkansas (14), South Carolina (18), Tennessee (19), and Alabama (25).
Tennessee opens up its schedule on the road on February 19 at Georgia Southern for three games. Its first home series begins February 23 against Arkansas Pine-Bluff for a pair of games. The first SEC game doesn’t come until March 19 when the club heads to Athens to take on the Georgia Bulldogs.
Other games of note include a home matchup against the East Tennessee State Buccaneers, an in-state matchup which has become a fun game (or set of games) between the two schools which are only separated by an hour and a half. The top ranked Gators travel to Knoxville between April 9-11 for three games. In-state rival Vandy heads to Rocky Top April 16-18 for three games. Tennessee will also host Kentucky for three games between April 29-May 1. Nashville area university Belmont is also scheduled for a one-off matchup on May 18.
Tennessee’s 2020 record was 15-2 before the season was ended due to the pandemic. The Volunteers’ two losses came shortly before the season was cancelled, both of which came against Wright State. But the club had picked up wins against the 25th fifth ranked Stanford Cardinal, 7-2, as well as the first ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders, 6-2. It was certainly an unfortunate occurrence to see such a promising season ended prematurely. But the “baseVols” will get back on the diamond within the next week with eyes set on continuing to improve off last season’s results.