2002 Tennessee Baseball Outlook

Jan. 7, 2002

Javi Herrera

The Tennessee Volunteers look to repeat the success of the 2001 season when they advanced to their third College World Series and finished tied for third in the tournament. With the road to Omaha being long and hard, every team needs a few breaks. Although the Vols lost five starters and seven pitchers from that team, the nucleus to build another contender is in tact.

The 2002 Volunteers will be a young team with 18 freshmen or sophomores dotting the roster. As a result, the 10 juniors and seniors will have to provide the leadership needed to make another run to the College World Series.

The schedule will again be challenging with 24 games against 10 teams that reached NCAA postseason play in 2001, including a season-opening series versus the defending national champion Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes.

"With such a young team, we have a lot of work ahead of us," said head coach Rod Delmonico. "Our goals are the same every year, to win the Southeastern Conference title and reach the College World Series to challenge for the national championship.

"Last year was a good taste of what winning was like. Now our returning players will have to instill in the newcomers the amount of hard work it takes to reach our goals.

"We filled our needs in the field with some newcomers and I think we will have a very productive pitching staff that will surprise some people across the league and the country. I look forward to carrying on the success of last season."



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