Preview: Vols Host Missouri needing 2 more wins than UGA for SECT

UT vs. Missouri / Credit: UT Athletics

Preview: Vols Host Missouri needing 2 more wins than UGA for SECT

UT vs. Missouri / Credit: UT Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Volunteers host the Missouri Tigers for the final regular-season conference series of 2017 from Thursday, May 18 – Saturday, May 20at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

The Vols enter their last weekend series with a 27-22 overall record, including a 7-18 mark in Southeastern Conference play while the Tigers (32-21, 11-16 SEC) look to take their second series win over UT in Knoxville.

The two programs have met 12 times with all 12 meetings coming since Mizzou joined the SEC for the 2013 season. In the last matchup between the schools, Missouri completed a three-game sweep over the Vols in Columbia. Tennessee won the first two series between the squads in 2013 and 2014.

UT’s Thursday, May 18 series opener will be broadcast on the WatchESPN App, with Vol Network’s John Wilkerson (play-by-play) and Vince Ferrara (analyst) delivering the game action via radio broadcast.

Weekend Pitching Matchup

  • Thurs. May 18 @ 6:00 p.m. ET – RHP Hunter Martin (5-6, 3.87) vs. LHP T.J. Sikkema (7-1, 2.59 ERA)
  • Fri. May 19 @ 6:00 p.m. ET – RHP Garrett Stallings (3-3, 3.61) vs. TBA
  • Sat. May 20 @ 2:00 p.m. ET – TBA vs. TBA

Tennessee vs. Missouri All-Time

  • All-time vs. Missouri: Mizzou leads, 7-5
  • In Knoxville: Tied, 3-3
  • In Columbia: Mizzou leads, 4-2
  • Last 10 Games: Mizzou leads, 7-3
  • Last Meeting: Mizzou won, 8-3, in Columbia (5/1/16)

An Eye on the Tigers

  • Mizzou is coming off of a 13-4 midweek win over Eastern Kentucky on Tuesdaynight. The Tigers scored their most runs since April 12 as freshman Kameron Misner drove in four runs, including a three-run homer.
  • Missouri has won more than 30 games for the first time since 2012 (33 wins while advancing to the NCAA Tuscon Regional) while the team’s 11 SEC wins are its second-most since joining the league.
  • On the mound, the Tigers are led by freshman T.J. Sikkema. The Iowa native owns a 2.59 ERA, a team-high seven wins and four saves through 20 appearances. Thursday will mark just his second start for Mizzou this season.

Serrano to Finish Stint at UT

  • Tennessee Head Baseball Coach Dave Serrano notified Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics John Currie on Wednesday of his intention to resign at the conclusion of UT’s season.
  • One of only 12 coaches in NCAA history to lead two programs to the College World Series, Serrano was introduced as Tennessee’s head coach on June 15, 2011, and this marks his sixth season guiding the program.
  • Under Serrano’s leadership in 2015, Tennessee baseball posted its highest team GPA in program history, at 3.12. He also was at the helm when UT baseball posted a program-record 1.000 single-year APR for 2014-15.
  • Just last week, Tennessee baseball recorded its highest-ever multi-year APR score with a 979.
  • During his six seasons guiding the Vols, Serrano coached 14 Tennessee baseball players who went on to be selected in the MLB Draft, including first-round picks Nick Senzel (Cincinnati, 2016) and Christin Stewart (Detroit, 2015) as well as current Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Godley.
  • To view the full release from Tennessee Athletics, read HERE.

Back in the U.S.A.

  • In 2016, Missouri’s right-handed pitcher Tanner Houck competed on the Collegiate National Team with Tennessee lefty Zach Warren.

2017 Con-GRAD-ulating Vols

  • Prior to the series finale on Saturday (5/20), Tennessee will honor its seniors with a special senior day ceremony.
  • Five active members of UT’s roster and two student assistant coaches received their degrees from the University of Tennessee during commencement ceremonies last week: Max Bartlett, Jon Lipinski, Matt Waldren, Eric Freeman, Quint Robinson along with VFLs Taylor Smart and Steven Gruver.
  • Baseball recorded its highest multi-year APR with a 979, which is up 14 points from last year and 45 points from three years ago, when it was at 934.
  • Among the graduates, Eric Freeman received 2016-17 CoSIDA Academic All-District honors as he boasts a 3.91 cumulative GPA while pursuing a degree in Kinesiology and acceptance into medical school.
  • First-team Academic All-District honorees advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® Team ballot, where first-, second- and third-team All-America® honorees will be selected later this month.

Tennessee on [Rocky] Top

UT on NCAA charts (as of May 16):

  • Hunter Martin: three complete games (17th), 13 games started (20th) and 5.33 K/BB ratio (T-45th)
  • Will Neely: 1.03 WHIP (49th)

As a team, Tennessee ranks among the SEC’s Top 10 in the following categories (as of May 17):

  • Team On-Base Percentage: 10th (.361)
  • Team Triples: T-3rd (13)
  • Team Walks: 8th (207)
  • Team Stolen Bases: 7th (52)
  • Team Hit by Pitch: 4th (52)
  • Team ERA: 10th (3.99)
  • Batters Struck Out Looking: 9th (122)
  • Runners Picked Off: 7th (7)
  • Fewest Hits Allowed: 10th (430)
  • Fewest Runs Allowed: T-8th (228)
  • Fewest Earned Runs Allowed: 9th (195)
  • Fewest Walks Allowed: 4th (162)
  • Fewest Doubles Allowed: T-7th (78)
  • Fewest Home Runs Allowed: 6th (34)

Vols rank among the SEC’s Top 10 in the following categories (as of May 17):

  • Jeff Moberg: three triples (T-5th) and 10 HBP (10th)
  • Jordan Rodgers: .340 average (8th) and 66 hits (T-10th)
  • Pete Derkay: .445 OBP (10th), 37 walks (T-4th) and 1.000 fielding percentage (T-1st)
  • Benito Santiago: four triples (T-1st) and eight runners caught stealing (T-10th)
  • Matt Waldren: 1.000 fielding percentage (T-1st)
  • Andre Lipcius: 412 putouts (3rd) and 33 double plays fielded (T-4th)
  • Hunter Martin: 83.2 innings pitched (5th), 80 batters struck out (10th), 31 batters struck out looking (T-2nd), 13 games started (T-1st) and fewest walks allowed (15 – 7th)
  • Garrett Stallings: fewest walks allowed (12 – T-2nd)
  • Will Neely: fewest runs allowed (25 – T-7th) and fewest walks allowed (13 – T-4th)
  • Zach Linginfelter: three runners picked off (T-4th), fewest hits allowed (46 – 8th) and fewest earned runs allowed (22 – T-7th)
  • Jon Lipinski: 17 games finished (5th)

Tuesday’s Gone

  • A sacrifice fly from third baseman Brandon Chinea in the 11th inning lifted Tennessee past Morehead State, 4-3, as the Vols held off the Eagles to claim the Tuesday-night win at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
  • With the victory, the Volunteers improved to 27-22 (7-18 SEC) on the season, including a 20-4 mark in non-conference play and a 6-1 record in extra-inning games.
  • Offensively, eight players tallied at least one hit in the outing for UT with catcher Pete Derkay going 2-for-3. Outfielder Justin Ammons, infielder Jordan Rodgers and Chinea each drove in a run during the outing.
  • On the mound, Will Neely (3-1) got the nod for UT, throwing 5.0 scoreless innings and striking out a career-high six batters in the no-decision.
  • The Vols then went to Daniel Vasquez (2.0 IP) and Andrew Schultz (0.1 IP) in middle relief before handing the ball over to senior Jon Lipinski. The Florida native fired five strikeouts through 3.2 scoreless innings to pick up his sixth win of the season.

Quick Hits: 2017 Volunteers

  • Tennessee is 20-4 in non-conference action this season, including a 6-0 mark during games played on Wednesdays.
  • Walk This Way: Over five games last week, Pete Derkay extended his team-leading walk count to 37. He is tied for fourth in the SEC with 37 free passes on the year.
  • Rodger(s) That: Senior Jordan Rodgers owns a team-best 18 multi-hit games this season and leads the Volunteers’ offense in batting average (.340), hits (66), home runs (9), RBI (35) and slugging percentage (.541).
  • More on Martin…: Senior Hunter Martin ranks tied for second in the SEC with 31 batters stuck out looking as well as fifth with 83.2 innings pitched on the year. With his complete game effort on April 28 at Vanderbilt, Martin posted his third complete game of the year. He is the first UT pitcher to record multiple complete games in a single season since Zack Godley did so in 2013 (6).
  • The Vols have combined for 121 extra-base hits this year, including 32 home runs (already surpassing 2016’s complete season total 21).
  • The Vols’ 2017 roster boasts 17 newcomers including 14 true freshmen, two JUCO transfers and one graduate transfer.
  • Despite losing seven positional starters from the 2016 season, UT returns 18 lettermen including six true seniors.

Freeman: SEC Community Service Honors

  • Eric Freeman has been named one of the 2016-17 Brad Davis Southeastern Conference Community Service Leaders of the Year, as announced by Commissioner Greg Sankey and the league office on May 3.
  • Freeman was chosen by a committee of faculty athletics representatives from SEC universities and will receive a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship, provided by the SEC.

-UT Athletics


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