March 10, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – After leading the Vols to a midweek sweep of La Salle and a series win at No. 24 Arizona State, freshman designated hitter and Knoxville native Nick Senzel has been named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, marking the second-straight week a Vol earned the award.
The Farragut High School alum hit .417 for the week, going 5-for-12 at the plate with a double and four runs scored. Senzel led UT with seven RBIs, drew three walks and was 3-for-3 on stolen base attempts. He enters Tuesday’s midweek matchup at MTSU on an eight-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in all 14 games he’s played this season.
Not only does the freshman currently lead the Vols in batting average (.405), RBIs (16) and on-base percentage (.527), he also leads all SEC freshmen in those categories as well as slugging percentage (.595) and runs scored (15).
The Vols have now recorded back-to-back SEC Player of the Week accolades following Will Maddox’s honor last week. Dating back to 1985, Tennessee has earned consecutive SEC Player of the Week awards on just one occasion. In 1995, Scott Vieira (April 17) and Todd Helton (April 24) took home consecutive player of the week honors. Prior to last week, the Vols hadn’t had a SEC Player of the Week since Drew Steckenrider earned the award on Feb. 20, 2012.
Off to the best start in program history at 14-1, Tennessee moved up and into the national ranks in all five college baseball polls this week. UT is ranked as high as No. 17 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and USA Today Coaches’ polls. The Vols also entered the ranks in the Perfect Game (No. 19), Baseball America (No. 22) and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (No. 26) charts. It’s the first time UT has been ranked in all major polls since the 2007 preseason rankings.
Tennessee continues its season-long seven-game road stretch when it visits Middle Tennessee (5-9) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET. The Big Orange opens SEC play on the road at Missouri (6-7) from March 14-16.
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