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PREVIEW: No. 5 Vols take on Tennessee Tech Tuesday night

The Vols will be looking to rebound from their first series loss of the season
Tennessee baseball
Tennessee baseball(Tennessee Athletic Communications)
Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 3:47 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - No. 5 Tennessee continues its stretch of games against in-state opponents with a midweek matchup at home against Tennessee Tech on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m.

The Vols will be looking to rebound from their first series loss of the season after dropping Sunday’s rubber game to No. 2 Vanderbilt.

PROJECTED STARTING PITCHERS

RHP Jason Rackers (1-0) vs. TBD

SERIES HISTORY

Overall: Tennessee leads, 70-30-1

In Knoxville: Tennessee leads, 45-12

In Cookeville: Tennessee leads, 25-18-1

Last Meeting: W, 15-10 (May 14, 2019)

The Vols have won four of the past five meetings against the Golden Eagles and are 1-1 against them under Tony Vitello after posting a 15-10 win in Knoxville in 2019.

Tennessee vs. In-State Foes

Tennessee has been successful against in-state competition since Vitello took over as head coach in 2018. The Vols are 19-11 against in-state teams in that span, including a 16-5 record against non-conference in-state foes.

We Hit Dingers

Tennessee put up some impressive power numbers over its four games last week, blasting 10 home runs, including four homers each on Saturday and Sunday against No. 2 Vanderbilt. Entering Tuesday’s contest, the Big Orange rank 19th nationally with 44 home runs this season. After Jackson Greer hit his first long ball as a Vol on Sunday, UT has now had 13 different players leave the yard this season.

Russell on Another Level

Senior outfielder Evan Russell put up another record-setting performance in UT’s 8-4 victory over the Commodores on Saturday. Russell hit three home runs, including the game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning with the Vols trailing 4-3. It marked the second three-homer game for Russell this season after also accomplishing the feat in a win over LSU on March 27. The Lexington, Tennessee, native is the only player in program history to have multiple three-homer games in their career. His six RBI on the day were also a career high.

Non-Conference Dominance

UT has been close to unbeatable in non-conference and midweek games in the past couple of years. Since the start of the 2019 season, the Vols are 60-10 against non-conference foes. The Big Orange have also posted an impressive 36-6 record in midweek games since Vitello became head coach in 2018. Tennessee is 19-3 in non-conference games this season, including a 8-1 record in midweek contests.

OPPONENT SCOUT

Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles

2021 Record: 12-16 (6-9 OVC)

Rankings: Not Ranked

2019 Postseason: N/A

Head Coach: Steve Smith (2nd season) // Spent 21 years as Baylor’s head coach, where he is the winningest coach in Baylor Athletics history (744 wins).

Predicted OVC Finish: 10th

GAME PROMOTIONS

Upcoming promotions for all Tennessee athletics home events can be found on the UT Fan Experience page by clicking HERE.

Fans are encouraged to download the My All App for their phones and devices this season. The app is available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store and will allow fans to participate in in-game trivia, the custom filter selfie cam and more throughout the year.

ON DECK

The Vols hit the road for another important conference series this weekend against Texas A&M. First pitch for Friday’s series opener is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET. Friday and Saturday’s contests will be streamed on SEC Network+ and the ESPN app while Sunday’s series finale will be televised on the SEC Network.

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