Monday, April 12, 2021

WCU Baseball - #3 Tennessee

The #3 nationally ranked Tennessee Volunteers travel to Cullowhee to face the Catamounts for the second part of this season's home and home between the two teams. This will be the 29th meeting between the two teams on the diamond, the Cats and Volunteers last played in Knoxville on March 30, 2021.   

When: Tuesday, April 13, 2021, at 5:00 pm 
Where: Hennon Stadium, Cullowhee, NC
TV/video:  ESPN+
Live Stats:  WCU Live stats
Conference: SEC
Mascot: Volunteers
UT Fan Message Board: VolNation

Head Coach: Tony Vitello - head coach at UT since 2017 -
Vitello's Record at UT: 102-54 (4th Year) 
 Alma Mater: Missouri (‘02) Hometown: St. Louis, Mo. 
2021 UT Baseball Record: 27-6 overall, 9-3 SEC, 19-3 home, 8-3 away, 0-0 neutral
2020 UT Baseball Record: 15-2 overall, 0-0 conf., 12-2 home, 0-0 away, 3-0 neutral

The Series: The Cats are 6-22 overall against Tennessee, and have lost the last five games played against the Volunteers. The Cats last win occurred in April 2010 in Knoxville, a 14-9 victory.  The Cats are 2-5 in games played in Cullowhee vs. the Volunteers. 

Positional Starters Returning/Lost: 8/2
Pitchers Returning/Lost: 11/3
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 21/8
Newcomers: 17

After finishing 2020 ranked second nationally in home runs with 31, the Vols have continued to hit the long ball at a high rate.  UT is averaging over one homer per game and ranks 26th in the country with 24 this season. Drew Gilbert and Jordan Beck are tied for the team lead with five homers each. Jake Rucker (3), Luc Lipcius (3), Liam Spence (2), and Max Ferguson (2) have also gone yard multiple times. 

The Volunteers have faced two SoCon teams this season, a three-game series vs. UNCG and 1 game vs. ETSU, winning all four games.  After taking the first two games of the weekend series, No. 4 Tennessee was unable to complete the series sweep over No. 9 Florida, falling 7-6 Sunday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

UT is ranked No. 3 in the USA Today Top 25 and Perfect Game top 25 poll.  This will be the second meeting between the two programs this season after the Vols earned a 9-2 win in Knoxville on March 30. The Catamounts enter Tuesday's contest on a five-game winning streak.

Projected Starting Pitchers:
WCU – Fr. RHP #44  Carson Lowder (0-0, 4.15) vs. TENN – Fr. LHP Jake Fitzgibbons (1-0, 6.14)