#6 Tennessee 30-8 (10-5) hits the road to take on Texas A&M 22-17 (4-11) in College Station. Tennessee looks to bounce back this weekend after losing their first SEC series of the year to #2 Vanderbilt. Despite losing 2 of 3 games, Tennessee still has quite a bit of momentum to lean on. The Vols have hit 9 HRs in the last 3 games, lead by senior Evan Russell who is responsible for 4 HRs, including the game winning grand-slam in Saturday’s win against Vanderbilt.
The Aggies are rebounding from a competitive series loss to #1 Arkansas. However, winning game 2 of the series against the Razorbacks on Sunday to avoid another weekend sweep, plus a midweek victory against Texas Southern should provide the much needed confidence boost going into the weekend. This upcoming matchup against #6 Tennessee will be a challenge, but if the Aggies can put together a couple of good days on the mound, this series could get interesting.
- Opponent: Texas A&M Aggies
- Dates: April 23-25
- Location: Bryan-College Station, Texas
- Venue: Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park
- Watch: SECN+ / SECN
- Listen: Vol Network/UT Gameday App
- Live Stats: UTSports.com
- Game 1: Friday, April 23 – 7:30 p.m. (SEC Network+)
- Game 2: Saturday, April 24 – 6 p.m. (SEC Network+)
- Game 3: Sunday, April 25 – 1 p.m. (SEC Network)
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)
3 Keys for the Vols
- Grind out ABs- Tennessee is overall very disciplined at the plate. Take the count deep, force the pitcher to throw strikes, and when a mistake comes your way, capitalize!
- No Errors- Injuries have forced Tennessee to rely on the bench. Inexperience in the field has ultimately cost the Vols a chance to win the series vs. Vanderbilt. Rule #1, don’t beat yourself!
- Pitch placement- Tennessee leads the SEC in Home Runs allowed (44). Keeping the ball low in the zone is vital, especially with runners on base.
3 Keys for the Aggies
- Throw Strikes- Tennessee is a team that capitalizes on pitching errors and working the pitch count. The Vols are #2 in the nation for “base on balls”. Tennessee is known to wear down pitchers, forcing opponents to go to the bullpen early.
- No Errors- The Vols find ways to move baserunners (steals, wild pitches, bunting, etc.), putting pressure on the defense. Make Tennessee earn everything!
- Build the momentum early and keep it- The Vols have been excellent on the road this year; grinding out some come-from-behind wins in opponent’s stadiums. Blowing a lead is bad, especially in front of your home crowd.
This should be a very interesting matchup. It is possible that runs will come at a hefty premium this weekend, with both teams being at the bottom of the SEC in batting average and slugging percentage. One thing is for certain, Tennessee will find a way to score. Can the Aggies do the same? Tune in and enjoy!