PREVIEW: #15 Vols Welcome Sycamores for Four-Game Weekend Slate

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – No. 15 Tennessee continues its 10-game homestand this weekend as Indiana State visits Lindsey Nelson Stadium for a four-game series.

UT Baseball / Credit: UT Athletics

The Vols and Sycamores open the series on Friday and will play a doubleheader on Saturday before concluding the series on Sunday afternoon. UT is off to a 5-0 start after an opening weekend sweep at Georgia Southern and a pair of midweek wins over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

GAMEDAY INFORMATION

Relying on the expertise of public health authorities, the state of Tennessee, appropriate university and government agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we are implementing a number of new initiatives at Tennessee Baseball gamedays this spring. The well-being of our student-athletes, fans and staff are our top priorities and guide our decisions. Exposure to COVID-19 is an inherent risk in any public location where people are present; we cannot guarantee you will not be exposed during your visit.

The Southeastern Conference in August released several conference-wide fan health and safety guidelines for all member institutions this fall. The Tennessee-specific measures outlined on this page are in line with, and in addition to, the SEC’s guidelines.

Parking
Baseball parking is located primarily in Lots GF1, G16, and C1.

Additional on-street parking is located in C10 along Todd Helton Dr. and Chamique Holdsclaw Dr. and along West Volunteer Blvd.

Handicap parking is located in marked handicap spaces on Pat Head Summitt St. and in the G16 Volunteer Blvd. garage.

The 2021 parking map can be seen HERE (PDF).

For more information and gameday info, visit the Tennessee Baseball Gameday Information page by clicking HERE.

Ticket Information
Season tickets for this season are sold out. There are limited seating options still available for select games in the Porch and Deck areas. Fans should contact Maggie Coates at 865-974-9579 or mcoates4@utk.edu for more information.

There are no single-game general admission tickets being sold at the stadium this season. Single-game tickets can be purchased via Vivid Seats by clicking HERE.

BROADCAST INFO

All four of this weekend’s contests are slated to be streamed on Watch ESPN and the ESPN app.

Fans can also listen to the games on UTSports.com and the UT Gameday app, as John Wilkerson and Vince Ferrara call the action.

SERIES HISTORY

Overall: First Ever Meeting
In Knoxville: N/A
In Terre Haute: N/A
Neutral Sites: N/A
Last Meeting: N/A

This weekend’s series will be the first time the Vols and Sycamores have ever met on the diamond.

NOTABLE

Pitching Staff in Midseason Form
With veteran pitching coach Frank Anderson at the helm, UT has come to expect great pitching and this season has been no different. Through five games, the Vols’ pitching staff ranks among the top 25 nationally in strikeout-to-walk ratio (8th – 5.89),WHIP (19th – 0.94) and walks allowed per nine innings (5th – 1.69).

In two midweek wins against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, the Vols recorded 26 combined strikeouts, 16 on Tuesday and 10 on Wednesday. The Golden Lions had just four hits in Tuesday’s game with only two coming against Tennessee’s bullpen over the final seven innings.

Bats Starting to Heat Up
After a somewhat slow start in the team’s first three games, Tennessee’s bats broke out in a big way in two midweek wins over Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Vols score 21 runs on 16 hits in Tuesday’s victory against the Golden Lions and followed that up with 14 more runs on 12 hits in Wednesday’s win.

The Big Orange enter this weekend’s series ranked sixth nationally with nine home runs. UT has hit at least one long ball in every game this season. The Vols also rank in the top 25 nationally in hits (10th – 50), runs (3rd – 52), runs per game (14th – 10.4), doubles (3rd – 15), triples (13th – 2), slugging percentage (20th – .522) and walks (6th – 31).

Vols in the Polls
Tennessee entered the 2021 season ranked in the Top 25 nationally in four of the six major polls. This year marked the first time that the Vols had been ranked in the preseason Top 25 since 2007, when UT was ranked as high as No. 11 to begin the season.

The Vols moved up in most of the polls this week, jumping five spots to No. 15 in the NCBWA rankings, two spots from No. 19 to No. 17 in the Baseball America Top 25 and one spot to No. 18 in D1Baseball.com’s poll. UT is just outside the Top 25 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper rankings, coming in at No. 27.

Current Top 25 Rankings
NCBWA                                #15
USA Today                          #16
Baseball America              #17
D1Baseball.com                 #18

Non-Conference Dominance
Tennessee has been extremely successful against non-conference competition since the start of the 2019 season, posting a 46-7 record in that time.

The Vols’ 26 victories against non-conference teams during the 2019 season were their most since winning 30 in 2000. UT was 15-2 in non-league games last season and is off to a 5-0 start this year.

OPPONENT SCOUT

Indiana State Sycamores

  • 2021 Record: 1-2 (0-0 MVC)
  • 2019 Postseason: NCAA Nashville Regional (Runner-Up)
  • Head Coach: Mitch Hannahs (8th season) // Since taking over the program in 2013, Hannahs has led the Sycamores to over 200 wins, a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances and five top-3 finishes in the Missouri Valley Conference.
  • The Sycamores were picked to finish fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference Preseason Poll and boast a pair of preseason all-conference selections in pitchers Tristan Weaver and Tyler Grauer.
  • Grauer was also named to preseason All-America teams by the NCBWA (first team) and D1Baseball.com (third team). The redshirt senior reliever had five saves and a 1.59 ERA in 11.1 innings last season.
  • Projected Friday starter Geremy Guerrero got the start in ISU’s season-opening win against Pittsburgh and earned the win after pitching 5.1 scoreless innings.
  • Redshirt junior infielder Jordan Schaffer is the team leader in batting average (.462), hits (six) and runs (two) entering the weekend.
  • The Sycamores won their season opener against Pittsburgh but lost the next two games to drop the series last weekend.
  • Indiana State had one of its best seasons in program history in 2019, defeating Dallas Baptist to win the MVC Tournament. The Sycamores advanced to the NCAA Nashville Regional Championship game before falling to top-ranked Vanderbilt.

GAME PROMOTIONS

Upcoming promotions for all Tennessee athletics home events can be found on the UT Fan Experience page by clicking HERE.

Fans are encouraged to download the My All App for their phones and devices this season. The app is available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store and will allow fans to participate in in-game trivia, the custom filter selfie cam and more throughout the year.

ON DECK

Following this weekend’s series, the Vols welcome Dayton to Rocky Top for a Wednesday midweek matchup on March 3. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m.

-UT Athletics

Blogs