Baseball Preview: #4 Vols Return Home to Host Lipscomb

UT Baseball / Credit: UT Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – No. 4 Tennessee opens a four-game homestand with another in-state matchup on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. against Lipscomb.

The Vols are coming off a series win on the road at Texas A&M after winning Sunday’s rubber game, 20-7. The 20 runs scored were the most by Tennessee in an SEC game since defeating Georgia 25-5 on May 8, 2010.

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.

Single-game tickets for remaining midweek games may be purchased by calling the Tennessee Athletic ticket office at 865-656-1200 or online at Allvols.com. For SEC Conference games, a limited number of single game tickets will go on sale at Lindsey Nelson Stadium 90 minutes prior to first pitch.

Single-game tickets may also be available for select games at the baseball ticket office 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 (Information available at UTSports.com/cantmakethegame) 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 as Roger Hoover (PxP) and Charlie Puleo (color) have 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.

PROJECTED STARTING PITCHERS

RHP Jason Rackers (1-0) vs. RHP Ike Buxton (3-3)

SERIES HISTORY

Overall: Tennessee leads, 11-1
In Knoxville: Tennessee leads, 8-0
In Nashville: Tennessee leads, 2-1
Neutral Sites: Tennessee leads, 1-0
Last Meeting: W, 11-2 (April 9, 2019)

Tennessee has won 11 of its 12 meetings against Lipscomb, including six straight entering Tuesday’s contest. The Vols have never lost to the Bisons in Knoxville.

NOTABLE

Rucker & Gilbert Take Home SEC Weekly Honors
Junior third baseman Jake Rucker and sophomore outfielder/pitcher Drew Gilbert both earned SEC weekly honors on Monday after big weekends at Texas A&M.

Rucker was UT’s best hitter last week, leading the team with a .556 batting average, 10 hits, six runs, four doubles, 17 total bases, a .944 slugging percentage and a .579 on-base percentage. Rucker recorded hits in all four games last week and tied his career high with three hits in all three games against Texas A&M over the weekend. The Greenbrier, Tennessee, native went 3-for-5 with two doubles and set a new career high with four runs scored in Sunday’s series finale. He also drove in a pair of runs as the Vols hammered the Aggies, 20-7, to take the series.

Gilbert showcased his versatility last week, doing damage at the plate while also pitching two scoreless innings in Tuesday’s midweek win over Tennessee Tech. The Stillwater, Minnesota, native had a hit in three of Tennessee’s four games and was second on the team with six RBI last week. His six hits also ranked second on the team for the week. Four of those hits came in Sunday’s rubber game at Texas A&M, tying a career high. He also scored two runs and had three RBI on the day to lead UT to an emphatic series-clinching win.

Going Yard
Tennessee has been on a major power surge recently. In the past two weeks, the Vols have hit 20 home runs in a span of just eight games, including nine in their series win at Texas A&M last weekend. The Big Orange blasted a season-high six homers in Sunday’s 20-7 victory to increase their season total to 54, which ranks fourth in the SEC and ninth in nation. Senior Evan Russell has been responsible for 12 of those 54 homers, which is tied for fifth in the SEC and 12th nationally. His 10 long balls in SEC play are the most in the league.

Non-Conference 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 61-10 against non-conference foes. The Big Orange have also posted an impressive 37-6 record in midweek games since Vitello became head coach in 2018. Tennessee is 20-3 in non-conference games this season, including a 9-1 record in midweek contests.

Tennessee vs. In-State Foes
Tennessee has been successful against in-state competition since Vitello took over as head coach in 2018. The Vols are 20-11 against in-state teams in that span, including a 17-5 record against non-conference in-state foes.

OPPONENT SCOUT

Lipscomb Bisons

  • 2021 Record: 13-22 (5-10 ASUN)
  • Rankings: Not Ranked
  • 2019 Postseason: N/A
  •  Head Coach: Jeff Forehand (15th season) // Winningest coach in program history (382 wins) and had led the Bisons to two Atlantic Sun titles and the program’s only two NCAA Tournament appearances (2008 & 2015).
  • Predicted ASUN Finish: 4th
  • Preseason All-ASUN Selections:
    • Tyler Guilfoil (RP)
    • Chaz Bertolani (C)
    • Haddon Adams (2B)
    • Maddux Houghton (OF)
  • Stat Leaders:
    • Batting Avg: Haddon Adams (.295)
    • Runs: Haddon Adams (25)
    • Hits: Haddon Adams/Tiger Borom (33)
    • Home Runs: Chris Bashlor (5)
    • RBI: Chris Bashlor (26)
    • Stolen Bases: Tiger Borom (9-13)
    • Wins: Tyler Guilfoil/Ike Buxton (3)
    • ERA (min. 15.0 IP): Tyler Guilfoil (1.11)
    • Innings Pitched: Max Habegger (41.0)
    • Strikeouts: Logan Van Treeck (44)

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 host SEC eastern division foe Kentucky for a Thursday through Sunday series later this week. Thursday’s series opener against the Wildcats is slated for a 7:30 p.m. first pitch on ESPNU.

-UT Athletics

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