Feb. 3, 2014
2014 Schedule | UTTIX.com
The start of the 2014 Tennessee baseball season is just 11 days away!
In January and February, UTSports.com will count down the days remaining until the start of the Vols' 2014 campaign (Feb. 14) with looks back at the many players who donned jersey numbers 30-1.
The baseball season in Knoxville kicks off on the diamond on Feb. 14 when the Vols host the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks at Lindsey Nelson Stadium at 4 p.m. With one of the youngest teams in the country in 2013, head coach Dave Serrano and company have the foundation in place on Rocky Top.
The 2014 slate is highlighted by 33 games in Knoxville, including early nonconference matchups against Purdue (Feb. 15-16) and UNLV (Feb. 21-23). The Vols open with a 13-game homestand, starting things off with three straight days of doubleheader action.
Practice has officially begun on Rocky Top and the Diamond Vols are in action throughout this week, with outdoor scrimmages set for Friday and Saturday. All outdoor practices at Lindsey Nelson Stadium are free and open to the public. For more information and to view this week's pitching schedule, visit UTSports.com.
In total, 27 Vols have worn the Orange and White No. 11, and highly touted freshman right-handed pitcher Kyle Serrano will become the 28th in 2014. Today, we rewind a few years and take a look at former Vol and current Cleveland Indians' catcher Yan Gomes, who wore No. 11 as a freshman on Rocky Top.
#11 Yan Gomes
2007-08 | C/INF | R/R | 6-1 | 215 lbs. | Miami, Fla. (Southridge HS)
Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil Yan Gomes came to Rocky Top as a freshman in 2007 and made an immediate impact for the Diamond Vols. The catcher and infielder hit .310 with 70 hits, eight home runs and 47 RBIs, starting all 59 games he played in. He gunned down 11 base runners in 26 game behind the play and recorded 19 multi-hit games and a team-high 13 multi-RBI games.
With teammate and future pro J.P Arencibia absent from the lineup with a back injury, Gomes filled the void behind the plate from Feb. 23 through March 11. He had 11 doubles and home runs in his rookie season. Gomes finished the season with a .422 batting average against left-handers and a .265 average vs. right-handers. He hit .329 with runners in scoring position, had 24 two-out hits and reached base at a team-best .458 clip when leading off an inning (22 of 48). Gomes earned Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American and Freshman All-SEC honors in 2007.
The Miami native played in 52 games as a sophomore, making 50 starts. He started 40 games behind the plate, nine at first base and one as the Vols' designated hitter. He batted third or fourth in the order for 37-of-50 starts and threw out 12 potential base-stealers from behind the dish. Gomes earned a spot on the prestigious Johnny Bench Award watch list.
Gomes hit .316 as a sophomore with eight doubles, one triple, five homers and 35 RBIs. He added a .403 average vs. left-handed pitchers while batting .270 against right-handers and posting a team-best .347 average with runners on base (33-of-95). Gomes led the team with four sacrifice flies, totaled 18 multi-hit games and eight multi-RBI games.
Drated by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 10th round of the 2009 draft, Gomes went on to become the first Brazilian-born Major League Baseball player in the history of the game when he made his debut for the Jays on May 17, 2012 against the New York Yankees. He was 2-for-3 in that game. After one season in Toronto, Gomes was traded to the Cleveland Indians, and as the starting catcher helped lead the Tribe to the playoffs in 2013.
NOTES ON GOMES
- Name pronounced: YON GOMES (last name rhymes with: homes)
- Helped Brazil qualify for its first ever berth in the World Baseball Classic
- Majored in psychology at Tennessee
#11 Kyle Serrano
2014 | RHP | 6-2 | 205 lbs. | R/R | Knoxville, Tenn. (Farragut HS)
A 29th round draftee by the Colorado Rockies out of high school, freshman right-handed pitcher Kyle Serrano chose to play for his father at Tennessee. A Farragut graduate, Serrano was ranked by Perfect Game as the No. 1 prospect in the state of Tennessee, the No. 7 right-handed pitcher in the nation and the 32nd-best overall prospect in the class of 2013. He earned Louisville Slugger First Team All-American status following his senior season with the Admirals, where he posted a 7-1 record with a 1.76 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 63.2 innings pitched. During the campaign he fired a no-hitter against rival Bearden, picking up 13 strikeouts en route to a 2-0 victory.
Serrano earned all-state, all-district, PrepXtra first team and All-KIL honors following his senior season. He's ranked No. 21 on ESPN's Top 100 MLB Draft Prospects and was named a Rawlings Preseason All-American, Perfect Game First Team Southeast Region and a 2012 Perfect Game Underclass Honorable Mention All-American. Serrano helped Farragut go 35-9 and claim the District 4-AAA Championship, Region 2-AAA Championship and finish as the TSSAA State Runner-ups his senior season. Despite missing a large portion of his junior season at Farragut with a cracked rib, returned to post a 4-0 record with a 2.41 ERA and 33 strikeouts in just 33 innings of work.
NOTES ON SERRANO
- Lists his father as the biggest sports influence on his life
- Has two younger brothers, Zach and Parker
- Models his game after the recently retired Roy Halladay
- Major is currently undecided