The No. 1 team in the country hits the road again this weekend, as Tennessee will travel down to Florida for a three-game series. They’ll do so without Tony Vitello for the first two games, with Tennessee’s head coach finishing up the final two games of his four game suspension for making contact with an umpire last Saturday.
Tennessee won two games without him against Alabama last weekend, and rolled against Bellarmine on Tuesday night.
“You do the WatchESPN, and you’re a minute behind, and that’ll drive you crazy,” Vitello said of his gameday experience while being suspended. “But, you know, we’ve gotten to this point. The penalty is what it is, and probably deserving. So knock those two games out, and I cannot look forward to Sunday any more than I normally do.”
Attention now turns to the Gators, which are 23-14 on the year and 6-9 in SEC play. Florida will be without top starter Hunter Barco (5-2, 2.50 ERA), who is experiencing elbow discomfort. That moves Ryan Slater to the top spot tonight, with Brandon Sproat and Brandon Neely getting the go on Saturday and Sunday for Florida.
Tennessee is looking to remain perfect in true road games this season, currently sitting with a 6-0 record on the year. The Volunteers are just the sixth team all time to begin 14-1 in conference play, and they’re already looking for their sixth series win in SEC play.
Weekend schedule, projected starters
Game 1 – Friday, April 22 (SEC Network+, 6:30 p.m.)
RHP Chase Burns (6-1, 2.22 ERA) vs. RHP Ryan Slater (2-1, 3.52 ERA)
Game 2 – Saturday, April 23 (SEC Network+, 6:30 p.m.)
TBD vs. RHP Brandon Sproat (4-3, 4.91 ERA)
Game 3 – Sunday, April 24 (SEC Network+, 12 p.m.)
RHP Drew Beam (8-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. RHP Brandon Neely (1-0, 4.30 ERA)