Baseball Preview: #5 Vols Head to Lone Star State for Showdown with Aggies

Vols RHP Chad Dallas / Credit: UT Athletics

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – No. 5 Tennessee will make just its second-ever trip to Texas A&M this weekend for a three-game series against the Aggies at Blue Bell Park in Bryan-College Station, Texas.

Both teams will be looking to rebound with series wins after dropping their respective series last weekend to No. 2 Vanderbilt and No. 1 Arkansas.

The Vols defeated Tennessee Tech on Tuesday for their 30th win of the season, while the Aggies earned a 9-4 win over Texas Southern.

BROADCAST INFO

Friday and Saturday’s contests will be streamed live on SEC Network+ and the ESPN app. Sunday’s series finale will be televised on the SEC Network with Dave Neal (PxP) and Chris Burke (color) on the call.

Fans can also listen to the official Vol Network radio call for all three games on Sports Radio WNML (FM 99.1 / AM 990), as well as UTSports.com and the UT Gameday app. The Voice of Tennessee baseball John Wilkerson will call the action.

PROJECTED STARTING PITCHERS

Game 1: RHP Chad Dallas (5-1) vs. LHP Dustin Saenz (5-4)
Game 2: LHP Will Heflin (2-1) vs. RHP Bryce Miller (2-1)
Game 3: RHP Blade Tidwell (4-2) vs. RHP Nathan Dettmer (3-1)

SERIES HISTORY

Overall: Texas A&M leads, 9-4
In Knoxville: Texas A&M leads, 6-3
In College Station: Texas A&M leads, 2-1
Neutral Sites: Texas A&M leads, 1-0
Last Meeting: W, 6-4 (April 22, 2018)

The Vols are 4-9 in the all-time series but earned their first series win over Texas A&M during Tony Vitello‘s first season in 2018, taking two of three games from the 14th-ranked Aggies in Knoxville.

NOTABLE

Road Vols
Tennessee has proven to be a tough opponent when playing away from home this season. After a midweek win at Western Carolina last Tuesday night, the Vols are 9-3 on the road this season, including series victories in all three of their weekend road trips, including SEC series wins at Georgia and Alabama.

We Hit Dingers
Tennessee put up some impressive power numbers over its four games last week, blasting 10 home runs, including four homers each on Saturday and Sunday against No. 2 Vanderbilt. Entering this weekend’s series, the Big Orange rank 21st  nationally with 45 home runs this season.

Russell on Another Level
Senior outfielder Evan Russell put up another record-setting performance in UT’s 8-4 victory over the Commodores last Saturday. Russell hit three home runs, including the game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning with the Vols trailing 4-3. It marked the second three-homer game for Russell this season after also accomplishing the feat in a win over LSU on March 27. The Lexington, Tennessee, native is the only player in program history to have multiple three-homer games in their career. His six RBI on the day were also a career high.

Walk-Off Wins
The Vols recorded their fifth walk-off win of the season on Tuesday night against in-state foe Tennessee Tech, earning a 3-2 victory thanks to an RBI single by Max Ferguson in the bottom of the ninth inning. Tennessee has a pair of walk-off wins in conference play, as well, knocking off then No. 14 LSU in consecutive games in walk-off fashion to sweep the Tigers back in March.

OPPONENT SCOUT

Texas A&M Aggies

  • 2021 Record: 22-17 (4-11 SEC)
  • Rankings: Not Ranked
  • 2019 Postseason: NCAA Morgantown Regional (2-2)
  •  Head Coach: Rob Childress (16th season) // Has led Texas A&M to 13 straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
  • Predicted SEC Finish: 5th (Western Division)
  • Preseason All-SEC Selections: N/A
  • Stat Leaders:
    • Batting Avg: Will Frizzell (.352)
    • Runs: Will Frizzell (32)
    • Hits: Will Frizzell (51)
    • Home Runs: Will Frizzell (12)
    • RBI: Will Frizzell (31)
    • Stolen Bases: Ray Alejo (11-12)
    • Wins: Dustin Saenz (5)
    • ERA (min. 15.0 IP): Alex Magers (2.53)
    • Innings Pitched: Dustin Saenz (53.0)
    • Strikeouts: Dustin Saenz (71)

ON DECK

The Vols return to Knoxville for four straight home games next week, hosting Lipscomb on Tuesday, April 27 before a Thursday-Saturday series against Kentucky. Tuesday’s midweek game against the Bisons will begin at 6:30 p.m. and be streamed on SEC Network+.

-UT Athletics

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