Baseball Preview: #6 Vols Cap Homestand vs. Western Carolina

Vols OF Evan Russell / Credit: UT Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – No. 6 Tennessee will look to keep rolling after a 4-0 showing last week, as a tough Western Carolina team visits Lindsey Nelson Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Volunteers have won five in a row and 10 of their last 11 games entering Tuesday’s contest with the Catamounts. UT swept No. 14 LSU last weekend, marking just their second series sweep over the Tigers in program history.

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.

Single game tickets may be available for select games based on visiting team ticket returns. Fans are encouraged to call the Ticket Office at 865-656-1200 for individual game availability. For weekend series, please contact the Ticket Office on Fridays before 5:00 p.m. Single-game tickets can also be purchased through Vivid Seats by clicking HERE.

In order to keep Lindsey Nelson Stadium as full as possible during a season with limited capacity, we are encouraging season ticket holders who are unable to use their tickets for a game(s) to either transfer your tickets to someone else (Instructions HERE), sell them on VividSeats (Instructions HERE) or participate in our new Seats for Student program (Instructions HERE).

BROADCAST INFO

Tuesday’s game will be streamed live on WatchESPN.com and the ESPN app.

Fans can also listen to the official Vol Network radio call on Sports Radio WNML (FM 99.1 / AM 990), as well as UTSports.com and the UT Gameday app. John Wilkerson and Vince Ferrara will call the action.

SERIES HISTORY

Overall: Tennessee leads, 22-7
In Knoxville: Tennessee leads, 16-4
In Cullowhee: Tennessee leads, 5-3
Neutral Sites: Tennessee leads, 1-0
Last Meeting: W, 17-3 (March 27, 2018)

Tennessee has won the last five meetings in the series, including a pair of victories in 2018. WCU has not beaten the Vols in Knoxville since a 14-9 victory back in 2010.

NOTABLE

Keeping Knoxville Clean
With last weekend’s sweep over No. 14 LSU, the Vols recorded their fourth series sweep of the year, marking their most in a season since sweeping six opponents in 2004. Prior to last weekend’s series, Tennessee had swept the Tigers just once in program history (2008).

Starting SEC Play Strong
With the series sweep over LSU, Tennessee is now 5-1 in SEC games this year, its best start in conference play since 2001 when it started 8-1. It is also the first time the Vols have won each of their first two conference series since 2001 when they swept Florida and took two of three from South Carolina.

Walk-Off Wins
Tennessee posted back-to-back walk-off wins on Sunday against LSU. Drew Gilbert hit a walk-off home run in the 11th inning of the first game and Luc Lipcius singled with the bases loaded in the series finale to give UT its fourth walk-off victory of the season. All four of the Vols’ walk-off wins have come in extra innings, where they are 5-0 this season and have won six straight extra-inning games dating back to 2019.

Russell Ties Home Run Record
Senior outfielder Evan Russell had an historic performance in Tennessee’s Game 2 victory over the Tigers. The Lexington, Tennessee, native tied the program’s single-game home run record after hitting three bombs in the Vols’ 9-8 victory. Russell became the fifth player in program history to accomplish the feat and the first since 2009. He also set a new career high with five RBI in the win.

Three Homer Games (UT History)
Evan Russell vs. LSU (March 27, 2021)
Cody Hawn vs. Ohio (March 6, 2009)
Todd Helton vs. Arkansas (March 25, 1995)
Alan Cockrell vs. Austin Peay (March 16, 1983)
Rusty Ensor vs. Vanderbilt (April 2, 1981)

OPPONENT SCOUT

Western Carolina Catamounts

  • 2021 Record: 13-4 (2-0 SoCon)
  • Rankings: Not Ranked
  • 2019 Postseason: N/A
  •  Head Coach: Bobby Moranda (14th season) // Has led the Catamounts to a pair of Southern Conference regular-season championships and a SoCon Tournament title in 2016.
  • Predicted SoCon Finish: T-5th (Coaches) // 6th (Media)
  • Preseason All-SoCon Selections:  Zach Franklin (1st Team – RP), Luke Robinson (1st Team – C), Justice Bigbie (1st Team – OF)
  • Stat Leaders:
    • Batting Avg: Daniel Walsh (.407)
    • Runs: Justice Bigbie (29)
    • Hits: Luke Robinson (27)
    • Home Runs: Justice Bigbie/Luke Robinson (5)
    • RBI: Daylan Nanny (22)
    • Stolen Bases: Justice Bigbie/Daylan Nanny/Daniel Walsh (4)
    • Wins: Zebby Matthews (4)
    • ERA (min. 15.0 IP): Davis Tyndall (1.20)
    • Innings Pitched: Zebby Matthews (31.0)
    • Strikeouts: Zebby Matthews (30)
  • Notable: Lead the nation in on-base percentage (.445) and rank second in the country in runs per game (9.7).

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

The Vols head to Tuscaloosa to square off against the Alabama Crimson Tide this weekend. First pitch for Friday’s series opener is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.

-UT Athletics

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