BASEBALL CENTRAL: #24 Vols Open SEC Play vs. #7 Gamecocks
March 16, 2017


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- For the second straight season, the No. 24-ranked Volunteers (12-2) begin Southeastern Conference play at home as they host the No. 7-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks (11-5) for three games from Friday, March 17 - Sunday, March 19 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

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Game Times & Broadcast Info

  • Opponent: #7 South Carolina Gamecocks
  • Dates: Friday, March 17 - Saturday, March 19
  • Game 1: Fri. 3/17 at 7 p.m. ET (SECN+)
  • Game 2: Sat. 3/18 at 2 p.m. ET (SECN+)
  • Game 3: Sat. 3/19 - 2 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
  • Venue: Lindsey Nelson Stadium (Knoxville, Tenn.)
  • Radio: UTSports.com
  • Live Stats: UTSports.com

#24 Tennessee (12-2)

Roster Schedule 2017 Stats

#7 South Carolina (11-5)

Roster Schedule 2017 Stats

Each of Tennessee's three games this weekend against the Gamecocks will be available for viewing via SEC Network+ and ESPNU broadcasts. The SEC Network will also present a Bases Loaded special Friday, March 17, the Opening Night of SEC baseball, with a live compilation of all conference games taking place that evening across the southeast.

Entering their weekend games, the Volunteers look to continue their best season start since the 2014 campaign, when UT began the year 12-0.

Tennessee Baseball VFL Rusty Ensor will be on the call for for the entire weekend series on Rocky Top alongside former Vol Baseball broadcaster and current Tennessee Titans voice Mike Keith. Meanwhile, Voice of Tennessee Baseball John Wilkerson and Vince Ferrara will continue to deliver the action via the Vol Network Radio's FM 99.1/AM 990/UTSports.com.

Weekend Matchups

  • Fri. March 17 at 7 p.m. ET - RHP Hunter Martin (3-1, 3.68) vs. RHP Adam Hill (0-2, 1.56)
  • Sat. March 18 at 2 p.m. ET - LHP Zach Warren (2-1, 3.44 ERA) vs. RHP Wil Crowe (3-0, 2.25)
  • Sun. March 19 at 2 p.m. ET - RHP Will Neely (1-0, 4.91 ERA) vs. TBA

Tennessee vs. South Carolina All-Time

  • All-time vs. SC: SC leads, 58-36
  • In Knoxville: Tied, 20-20
  • In Columbia: SC leads, 35-14
  • Last Meeting: SC won, 4-3 (4/10/16)
  • Last UT Series Win: 4/24-16/2015
  • Last 10 Meetings: SC leads, 8-2
  • Current Streak: SC won three

Tennessee won its last series vs. South Carolina in April 2015, when the Vols took two of three games in Knoxville.

We See You, South Carolina

  • The No. 7-ranked Gamecocks enter their weekend matchup on Rocky Top after a week of rest, following the postponement of their Tuesday game against Furman.
  • South Carolina is ranked in all six major collegiate rankings, including a No. 7 ranking posted by Perfect Game this week (March 13).
  • Most recently, the Gamecocks went 4-0 last week with wins over The Citadel and Winthrop and two victories vs. Michigan State.
  • As a team, the Gamecocks are hitting .275 with a .354 on-base percentage. Junior Matt Williams is South Carolina's leading hitter after 16 games with a .413 average. Outfielder TJ Hopkins is second on the club with a .300 average and owns a team-high 17 runs scored.
  • South Carolina also owns a team ERA of 3.02 with 176 strikeouts on the year, ranking fifth in the SEC in opposing batting average (.209).

Vols Climb in the Polls

  • After breaking into Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's Top 30 last week at No. 25, a series win over Cincinnati on Rocky Top pushed the Volunteers to a No. 24 spot on CBN's Top 30 poll this week (March 13).
  • The ranking marks UT's highest regular-season ranking since the 2014 squad was tabbed No. 21 on April 14, 2014 by Perfect Game.
  • Prior to last week, CBN last ranked Tennessee during regular season play on March 17, 2014 as the No. 14 team in the nation.
  • On Monday, UT broke into the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) weekly poll at No. 30.

No. 24 Tennessee on [Rocky] Top

UT on NCAA charts (as of March 16):

  • Team Batting Average: 13th (.326)
  • Team ERA: 25th (2.86)
  • Team Home Runs per Game: T-37th (14)
  • Team On Base Percentage: 14th (.419)
  • Team Scoring: 37th (7.4)
  • Team Slugging Percentage: 19th (.488)
  • Team Strikeout-to-Walk Ratio: 14th (3.47)
  • Team WL Pct: T-8th (.857)
  • Team Walks Allowed/Nine Innings: 9th (2.43)
  • Team WHIP: 15th (1.09)
  • Jeff Moberg: .475 average (6th), 28 hits (T-21st), 2.00 hits per game (T-5th), .36 home runs per game (T-31st), .537 OBP (T-18th), 1.36 runs per game (17th), .831 SLG (11th) and 49 total bases (T-20th)
  • Benito Santiago: three triples (T-10th) and .21 triples per game (T-15th)
  • Andre Lipcius: .50 doubles per game (T-32nd)
  • Garrett Stallings: 0.89 ERA (T-40th), 12.00 K/BB ratio (T-16th) and 0.69 WHIP (20th)

As a team, Tennessee ranks among the SEC's Top 5 in the following categories (as of March 16):

  • Team Batting Average: 3rd (.326)
  • Team Slugging Percentage: 3rd (.488)
  • Team On-Base Percentage: 3rd (.419)
  • Team Triples: T-2nd (6)
  • Fewest Hits Allowed: 2nd (103)
  • Fewest Runs Allowed: 1st (48)
  • Fewest Earned Runs Allowed: 1st (40)
  • Fewest Walks Allowed: 1st (34)
  • Fewest Doubles Allowed: T-3rd (18)
  • Fewest Home Runs Allowed: T-2nd (6)

Vols rank among the SEC's Top 10 in the following categories (as of March 16):

  • Jeff Moberg: .475 average (1st), .831 SLG (2nd), .537 OBP (2nd), 19 runs scored (T-7th), 28 hits (T-3rd), five home runs (T-2nd) and 49 total bases (4th)
  • Jordan Rodgers: .411 average (6th) and .607 SLG (8th)
  • Pete Derkay: .508 OBP (5th), four HBP (T-8th) and 13 walks (T-10th)
  • Andre Lipcius: seven doubles (T-6th)
  • Benito Santiago: three triples (T-2nd)
  • Hunter Martin: 29 strikeouts (T-9th), 12 batters struck out looking (T-4th) and three wins (T-4th)
  • Garrett Stallings: 0.89 ERA (6th), fewest runs allowed (3 - T-4th), fewest earned runs allowed (2 - T-4th) and one walk allowed (1st)
  • Zach Linginfelter: fewest hits allowed (12 - T-9th), three walks allowed (T-6th)
  • Will Neely: fewest hits allowed (11 - T-6th)
  • Jon Lipinski: seven games finished (T-2nd)

Quick Hits on the 2017 Vols

  • The Vols' 2017 roster boasts 17 newcomers including 14 true freshmen, two JUCO transfers and one graduate transfer.
  • To start the 2017 season, No. 24 Tennessee has scored first in 10 of its 14 games for an 12-2 record and has produced double-digit hits in 10 of its 14 games this season.
  • Through UT's first 14 games, 14 total newcomers have made their Tennessee debuts in 2017 (including 11 freshmen).
  • Despite losing seven positional starters from the 2016 season, UT returns 18 lettermen including six true seniors.
  • Freshman Andre Lipcius has reached base safely in each of his 14 games to begin his collegiate career. Jordan Rodgers is right behind him, having reached in his last 13 straight games.
  • Garrett Stallings owns a current 11.2-scoreless inning streak dating back to the eighth inning of UT's Tony Gwynn Classic tournament finale vs. UC Irvine, spanning five appearances.

Winning Wednesdays

  • Brodie Leftridge and Pete Derkay hit home runs, nine Tennessee pitchers took the mound and the No. 24 Vols roared back with 18 unanswered runs to take an 18-4 victory over Austin Peay on Wednesday.
  • Down by three runs after the fourth inning, Tennessee (12-2) battled back with six runs in the sixth inning to take an 8-4 lead over Austin Peay (9-7).
  • The Vols poured on seven more in the seventh and three more in the eighth to post their most runs and largest margin of victory since a 20-1 win over Central Michigan on Feb. 28, 2016.
  • Freshman Connor Darling got the starting nod for Tennessee, tossing 1.0 inning as part of the Vols' staff effort vs. the Govs.
  • UT saw relief appearances from Will Heflin (1.0), Zach Linginfelter (1.0), Andrew Schultz (1.0), Kyle Serrano (1.0), Vasquez (2.0), Garrett Stallings (0.2), Jacob Westphal (0.1) and Jon Lipinski (1.0).


     

     

 

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