Rucker was named the SEC Co-Player of the Week, while Gilbert earned Newcomer of the Week honors after helping lead the Vols to three victories last week, including a series win 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. The junior third baseman 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.
Rucker is the first Vol to take home SEC Player of the Week honors since Andre Lipcius on May 13, 2019.
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.
Gilbert is the first Tennessee player to be named SEC Newcomer of the Week after the honor was created by the conference this season to award sophomores who did not get a chance to play any SEC games last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.