Baseball Preview: Second-Seeded Vols Begin SEC Tournament Run on Wednesday

UT Baseball / Credit: UT Athletics

HOOVER, Ala. – No. 4 Tennessee begins postseason play on Wednesday afternoon at the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama.

The Vols will play the winner of the first round game between South Carolina and Alabama at approximately 2 p.m. ET on the SEC Network. The Big Orange enter the tournament as the No. 2 seed after claiming their first SEC Eastern Division title since 1997. UT is a top-four seed for the first time since 2005.

Win or lose on Wednesday, the Big Orange are guaranteed to play at least one more game on Thursday since they earned a bye into the double elimination rounds of the tournament due to securing a top-four seed.

BROADCAST INFO

On the call for Tennessee’s tournament opener on Wednesday afternoon will be Tom Hart (PxP), Ben McDonald (color) and Chris Burke (color).

Hart, McDonald and Burke will call all of the day games Tuesday through Friday while Dave Neal (PxP), Kyle Peterson (color) and Todd Walker (color) will commentate the night games. Hart, Peterson and Burke will call all the games on the weekend.

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. The Voice of Tennessee Baseball John Wilkerson will call the action.

VOLS SEC TOURNAMENT HISTORY

Overall Record: 25-25
In Hoover: 4-14
Other Sites: 21-11
Last 10 Games: 3-7
Last Game: L, 5-3 to Auburn (May 21, 2019)
Tournament Appearances (Last): 16 (2019)
Tournament Titles (Last): 3 (1995)

The Vols will be looking to end a six-game losing streak at the SEC Tournament this week. Tennessee’s last postseason win in Hoover was a 6-4 victory over Vanderbilt in its opening game of the 2007 tournament.

NOTABLE

SEC East Champs
Tennessee won its first SEC Eastern Division title since 1997 and its first outright division championship since 1995 after finishing with a 20-10 conference record. The Vols won five of their six series against eastern division opponents and went 12-6 in those contests.

The Vols’ 20-10 record in league play was their best since finishing 22-8 in 1995. UT’s winning record in conference play was its first since 2005. Tennessee’s 42 regular-season wins are its most since winning 43 in 1995. UT has won 40-plus games in back-to-back full seasons for the first time since 2000 and 2001.

SEC Postseason Honors
The Vols had three players earn SEC postseason accolades on Monday. Liam Spence (SS) and Jake Rucker (3B) were named first-team All-SEC while pitcher Blade Tidwell was named to the SEC All-Freshman team. Spence was also named to the SEC All-Defensive team.

UT had multiple first-team selections for the first time since 2005 and Tidwell is the first Vol to be named to the SEC All-Freshman team since Andre Lipcius in 2017.

We Hit Bombs
The Vols are one of the top power hitting teams in the SEC and the nation this season, blasting 75 home runs, their fifth most ever in a single season and most since hitting 81 in 2010. UT’s 75 homers rank 13th nationally heading into the postseason and its 45 home runs in conference games this season ranked third in the SEC. The Big Orange homered in 16 of its last 17 league games heading into the SEC Tournament.

#RoadVols
Tennessee has been one of the best road teams in the country this season with 16 road wins, which are the most in a single season in program history. With a series win at South Carolina to end the regular season, the Vols posted wins in all of their conference road series for the first time since 1994 and won five SEC road series for the first time ever. Including non-conference play, Tennessee was a perfect 6-0 in road series this season.

ON DECK

Following the SEC Tournament this week, the Vols will likely return home to host their first NCAA Regional since 2005. The NCAA Selection Show will air on Monday, May 31 at noon ET on ESPN2.

-UT Athletics

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