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Tennessee Baseball Weekly Update (5/18)

May 18, 2014



May 18, 2014
Overall Record: 31-22, 12-18 SEC
Record Last Week: 2-2, 1-2 SEC
Last Week's Results
MON. 12
WED. 14
SUN. 18
This Week's Schedule
Home Game
MON. 19
TUES. 20
Vanderbilt
9:30 am CT
Hoover, Ala.
WED. 21
TBA
TBA
Hoover, Ala.
THUR. 22
TBA
TBA
Hoover, Ala.
FRI. 23
TBA
TBA
Hoover, Ala.
SAT. 24
TBA
TBA
Hoover, Ala.
SUN. 25
TBA
TBA
Hoover, Ala.
Player of the Week Nomination
TAYLOR SMART
Senior
3B - 5-11 - 180
Maple Valley, Wash..

Weekly Stats: .438 (7-for-16), 7 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 14 TB, .875 SLG, .571 OBP, 5 BB, 1-2 SB-SBA

Season Stats: .298 (54-for-181), 37 R, 9 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 29 RBIs, 77 TB, .425 SLG, .404 OBP, 29 BB, 8-13 SB-SBA

Notes: Senior third baseman Taylor Smart picked up his game just when his team needed it the most, launching a pair of game-tying home runs in Tennessee's series against No. 13 Florida. For the week, he hit .438 (7-for-16) with a double, seven runs scored and six RBIs and played flawless defense for the Vols on the hot corner.

The Maple Valley, Wash., native opened the week with two hits, three runs scored and a pair of RBIs in Tennessee's Tuesday tilt against Morehead State, helping the Vols outlast the Eagles, 14-13, in 12 innings in the longest game in program history (4:57).

The short turnaround to Thursday's opener against the Gators didn't faze Smart at all as he hit a clutch, game-tying three-run home run in a 2-for-5 effort at the plate. The 5-11 senior's bat stayed hot the following day when he blasted another game-tying longball, his third in three consecutive SEC games and fourth of the season, off of the left-field foul pole en route to posting another multi-hit game.

Playing to keep his collegiate career alive on Saturday, Smart reached base three times with a pair of walks and a base hit and scored two more runs as the Volunteers downed No. 13 Florida, 7-5, to advance to the postseason for the first time since 2007.

For the season, Smart is hitting .298 with 29 RBIs and eight stolen bases. He is second on the team with four home runs, all of which have come in conference play this year. He ranks second on the team with 16 multi-hit games for the season, including four in his last five games.

Tennessee Weekly Notes

Thanks to a 7-5 victory over No. 13 Florida on the final day of the regular season, the Tennessee baseball team will make its first appearance in the postseason since 2007. The Volunteers are the 11-seed in the SEC Tournament and will face sixth-seeded Vanderbilt in the event's first game at 9:30 a.m. CT/10:30 a.m. ET.

Tuesday's matchup against the Commodores will be the fourth this season as the Vols won two of three games in Knoxville earlier this year. It is the 10th all-time showdown between the two squads in the SEC Tournament with UT holding a 6-3 record in the previous nine contests. Tennessee's last postseason win was against Vanderbilt when the Big Orange opened the 2007 SEC Tournament with a 6-3 victory.

During Friday's quarterfinal matchups in Hoover, former Vol letterman and Tennessee Baseball Hall of Famer Phil Garner will be recognized as one of this year's SEC Baseball Legends.

Last week, the Volunteers opened a four-game homestand to close out the regular season with the longest game in program history, outlasting Morehead State, 14-13, in 12 innings in a game that lasted four hours and 57 minutes. UT had a quick turnaround from there, hosting No. 13 Florida Thursday through Saturday.

The series opener against the Gators also went to extra innings, marking Tennessee's school record fourth consecutive extra-inning affair including the final two games of last weekend's series at Mississippi State, with the Vols coming up short, 6-5, in 11 innings. Another close contest followed on Friday as UF edged the Vols, 4-2, to seal the overall SEC title.

Knowing that a win would secure their first postseason berth in seven years, the Vols overcame three deficits against Florida in the series finale and held off a late rally in the ninth to defeat the Gators, 7-5. Sophomore southpaw Andy Cox moved his record to 5-1 on the year with seven gutsy innings for the Vols, while fellow classmate Andrew Lee nailed down his fourth save with a scoreless ninth to send Tennessee to Hoover.

Senior Taylor Smart blasted two game-tying home runs in the series against UF and hit .438 (7-for-16) with a double and a team-high six RBIs on the week. Another senior, Scott Price, led the Vols in hitting over last week's four-game schedule with a .471 clip (8-for-17), including UT's first five-hit effort of the year against Morehead State on Tuesday. He is the first Vol with five hits in a game since he accomplished the feat in his debut with the Vols in last year's season opener at UNLV.

For the most up-to-date information on Volunteer baseball, visit www.UTSports.com/Baseball, follow @Vol_Baseball on Twitter and Instagram at @Vol_Baseball, and like the Vols at Facebook.com/VolBaseball. To purchase tickets to upcoming games, visit UTTix.com


 

 

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