The Tennessee Volunteers, the new No. 1 baseball team in the country, are set for a massive series this weekend in Nashville against rival Vanderbilt at Hawkins Field. The Vols got the brooms out last weekend in Oxford, spanking then No. 1 Ole Miss to make a huge statement in early SEC play.
Tennessee is now 24-1 on the year, climbing to the top of the college baseball polls for the first time in school history. They now gear up for powerhouse Vanderbilt, which has dominated this series lately. Tennessee hasn’t won a series in Nashville since way back in 2009.
The Commodores are 20-4 on the year, coming off of a series loss to South Carolina last weekend. That loss tumbled them down in the polls, all the way down to No. 11, per Baseball America. Vandy is looking for a bounceback this weekend, and all eyes in the college baseball world will be watching.
Tennessee’s pitching has been lights out all season long, and it’s set to get even better with the return of ace Blade Tidwell. He was able to get some work in this week against Western Carolina, marking the first time we’ve seen him all year following shoulder stiffness. With Burns, Dollander and Beam rolling along, Tidwell’s role over the next couple of weeks will be interesting to follow. You can probably expect Vitello to ease him in through the bullpen, then we’ll see what happens from there.
Game 1 – Friday, April 1 (ESPN2, 7 p.m. ET)
RHP Chase Burns (5-0, 0.80 ERA) vs. RHP Chris McElvain (4-0, 1.95 ERA)
Game 2 – Saturday, April 2 (SEC Network, 8 p.m. ET)
RHP Chase Dollander (4-0, 2.67 ERA) vs. LHP Carter Holton (4-1, 4.02 ERA)
Game 3 – Sunday, April 3 (SEC Network+, 2 p.m. ET)
RHP Drew Beam (5-0, 1.12 ERA) vs. TBA