Baseball Preview: #1 Tennessee Concludes Regular Season at Mississippi State

Baseball Preview: #1 Tennessee Concludes Regular Season at Mississippi State

STARKVILLE, Miss. – No. 1/1 Tennessee wraps up the 2022 regular season with a three-game set at Mississippi State beginning Thursday night at Dudy Noble Field. 

Tennessee, having already clinched the regular-season championship and the top seed in the upcoming SEC Tournament, is looking to finish the regular season strong facing last year’s national champion on the road.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for this week’s series against the Bulldogs can be purchased through HailState.com.

BROADCAST INFO

Thursday’s game will be broadcast on the SEC Network with Tom Hart (PxP) and Kyle Peterson (Analyst) on the call. Friday and Saturday’s contests will be streamed on SEC Network+ and the ESPN app with Bart Gregory (PxP) and Charlie Winfield (Analyst) calling the action.

The online broadcasts can be accessed on any mobile device through WatchESPN. WatchESPN can be accessed through the ESPN App, or online at espn.com/watch.

Fans can also listen to the Voice of Tennessee Baseball John Wilkerson and Vince Ferrara call the game on the Vol Network (FM 99.1/AM 990) as well as UTSports.com and the Tennessee Athletics App.

New Vol Network Radio Affiliates

The Vol Network had added multiple radio affiliates to broadcast remaining Tennessee baseball SEC games this season. The complete list of new affiliates is below. Please check your local listings prior to each weekend. Game coverage varies by station.  

Chattanooga: WFLI (FM 97.7, FM 100.3, AM 1070)
Cleveland: The Buzz (FM 101.3)
Cookeville: WKXD (FM 104.7)
Lawrenceburg: WWLX (FM 106.1, FM 93.1, AM 590)
Muscle Shoals, AL: WSBM (FM 97.9, AM 1340)
Nashville: The Zone (FM 104.5) – Saturday Only
Oneida: WBNT (FM 105.5)
Pulaski: WKSR (FM 107.7, FM 100.9, AM 1420)

SERIES SCHEDULE/PROJECTED STARTING PITCHERS

Game 1 – Thursday, May 19 (6 p.m. CT/7 p.m. ET)
RHP Chase Dollander (7-0, 2.54 ERA) vs. RHP Brandon Smith (3-4, 4.99 ERA)

Game 2 – Friday, May 20 (6 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET)
RHP Chase Burns (7-1, 2.34 ERA) vs. RHP Preston Johnson (3-3, 5.55 ERA)

Game 3 – Saturday, May 7 (2 p.m.)
RHP Drew Beam (8-1, 2.54 ERA) vs. RHP Cade Smith (4-3, 3.66 ERA)
 

SERIES HISTORY

Overall: Mississippi State leads, 60-31
in Knoxville: Mississippi State leads, 23-17
in Starkville: Mississippi State leads, 35-11
at Neutral Sites: Tennessee leads, 3-2
Last 10 Meetings: Series tied, 5-5

Tennessee is looking to claim its first series victory in Starkville since 2004. The Vols have only taken one of the last nine games played at Mississippi State

NOTABLE 

Freshman Phenoms
Tennessee’s freshman class has been nothing short of outstanding this season. The dominance and ability of the freshman class has been on full display in the SEC Weekly Awards. Entering the season, only eight Vols were named SEC Freshman of the Week since the award began in 2006. This season alone, seven Vols have earned SEC Freshman of the Week and five different play-ers have taken home those honors.
 
Fight at the Bat Rack
Tennessee leads the country in home runs (126) and slugging percentage (.605) while ranking inside the top 15 in runs per game (6th), total runs (4th), batting avg (14th), on-base percentage (5th), hits (15th), doubles (11th), triples (13th) and walks (3rd).
 
Commanding the Zone
UT couples its tremendous offense with superb pitching, leading the nation in ERA (2.32), WHIP (0.94), hits allowed per nine innings (6.05), walks allowed per nine innings (2.43) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.48), while also ranking seventh nationally in strikeouts per nine innings (10.9).
 
1-2 Nationally
Chase Dollander and Drew Beam enter the weekend series ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the country in WHIP respective tallies of 0.76 and 0.80.

OPPONENT SCOUT

Mississippi State Bulldogs

  • Record: 26-27 (9-18 SEC)
  • 2021 Postseason: National Champions
  • 2022 SEC Preseason Poll: T-2nd in West
  • Head Coach: Chris Lemonis (4th year)
  • Preseason Conference Honors:
    • C Logan Tanner (1st Team)
    • SP Landon Sims (1st Team)
    • DH/UTL Luke Hancock (2nd Team)
  • Stat Leaders:
    • Batting Avg: RJ Yeager (.354)
    • Runs: Hunter Hines (49)
    • Hits: James/Yeager (62)
    • Home Runs: RJ Yeager (17)
    • RBI: RJ Yeager (55)
    • Stolen Bases: Kamren James (13)
    • Wins: Smith/Stinnett (4)
    • Saves: Three players tied (0)
    • ERA (min. 20 IP): Brooks Auger (3.05)
    • WHIP (min. 20 IP): Cade Smith (1.33)
    • Innings Pitched: Smith/Johnson (71.1)

ON DECK

The Vols head to Hoover, Ala. to begin postseason play at the SEC Championship starting Wednesday.

-UT Athletics

Vols RHP Chase Burns / Credit: UT Athletics

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