Baseball Preview: Fourth-ranked Vols Battle EKU in Midweek Clash

UT Baseball Team / Credit: UT Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Fresh off another series victory, the fourth-ranked Tennessee baseball team hosts Eastern Kentucky on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. in the first of four home games this week at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

After dropping the series opener at Alabama last weekend, the Vols responded with back-to-back wins on Saturday and Sunday to take the series and improve to 7-2 in SEC play this season. Tuesday’s matchup with the Colonels will be the second meeting between the two teams this season after UT defeated EKU 13-5 earlier this year.

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

Lindsey Nelson Stadium continues to operate with reduced capacity to align with state and local social-distancing guidelines for public gatherings. Season tickets, as well as single-game tickets for upcoming series are currently sold out.

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 SEC Network+ and the ESPN app with Bob Kesling (PxP) and Charlie Puleo (color) on the call.

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, 30-4
In Knoxville: UT leads, 18-2
In Richmond: UT leads, 3-0
Neutral Sites: N/A
Site Unknown: UT leads, 9-2
Last Meeting: W, 13-5 (March 23, 2021)

Tennessee’s 13-5 win over the Colonels just a few weeks ago improved its record to 18-2 all-time against EKU in Knoxville. The Vols have won 13 of the past 14 meetings in the series.

NOTABLE

Vols Continue Rankings Climb
UT’s enters this week as a consensus top-10 team. Its No. 4 ranking by USA Today, Collegiate Baseball News and the NCBWA is its highest since finishing at No. 4 in the final NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball News polls in 2001.

Extra Innings Magic
Tennessee improved its record to 6-0 when going to extra innings this season with last Saturday’s 8-4, 11-inning win at Alabama. The Vols have won their past seven games that have gone to extras dating back to 2019.

Starting SEC Play Strong
With last Sunday’s win over the Crimson Tide, the Big Orange improved to 7-2 in SEC play this season, their best start to league play since 2001 when they were 8-1. UT has also won its first three conference series for the first time since that 2001 season. The Vols have won both of their SEC road series, as well, marking the first time they have done that since 2005 (Auburn and Kentucky).

Non-Conference & Midweek Dominance
UT has been close to unbeatable in non-conference and midweek games in the past couple of years. Since the start of the 2019 season, the Vols are 58-10 against non-conference foes. The Big Orange have also posted an impressive 34-6 record in midweek games since Tony Vitello became head coach in 2018. Tennessee is 17-3 in non-conference games this season, including a 6-1 record in midweek contests.

Streaking Vols
A handful of Vols carry impressive streaks into Tuesday’s game. Liam Spence (31), Max Ferguson (22) and Jake Rucker (14) all have double-digit on-base streaks while Rucker (14) and Spence (11) both have lengthy hitting streaks, as well.

OPPONENT SCOUT

Eastern Kentucky Colonels

  • 2021 Record: 9-17 (4-8 OVC)
  • Rankings: Not Ranked
  • 2019 Postseason: N/A
  •  Head Coach: Chris Prothro (1st season) // Helped lead South Alabama to two conference titles and two NCAA Regional appearances as an assistant coach.
  • Predicted OVC Finish: 6th
  • Preseason All-SoCon Selections: Daniel Harris IV (1st Team – 2B)
  • Stat Leaders:
    • Batting Avg: Santiago Peralta (.333)
    • Runs: Caleb Upshaw & Cam Ridley (21)
    • Hits: Caleb Upshaw (30)
    • Home Runs: Caleb Upshaw (7)
    • RBI: Caleb Upshaw (26)
    • Stolen Bases: Cam Ridley (6-11)
    • Wins: Louis Davenport III & Bryce Travis (2)
    • ERA (min. 15.0 IP): Will Brian (2.60)
    • Innings Pitched: Darren Williams (35.2)
    • Strikeouts: Louis Davenport III (43)
  • Notable: EKU has beaten two ranked teams this season with wins over No. 15 Georgia Tech (Feb. 20) and No. 7 Louisville (March 16).

 

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

A top-10 matchup awaits this weekend as the Vols host No. 10 Florida at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. First pitch for Game 1 of the series is slated for 6:30 p.m. on Friday night.

-UT Athletics

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