The baseball Vols at 13-0 are off to a record start. This weekend they'll look to continue their momentum against Fresno State (6-3).
No. 21 Tennessee was perfect last weekend in Pensacola against Louisiana Monroe, Western Kentucky and North Florida. At 13-0, the Vols are off to the best start in program history and could tie the program's longest winning streak with a series sweep this weekend.
Coach Tony Vitello told the media on Thursday that he loves the personality his team has developed in the first month of the season.
"I think they're truly having fun the way they do everyday," he said. "Being who they are and letting their personality shine through and, we just wanted to make sure we were prepared for SEC play. And that's where you make your mark. It doesn't matter what conference you play in. It just so happens our conference is the most unique in the country."
The Big Orange are one of just four unbeaten teams remaining in Division I college baseball entering this weekend's slate of games. The other three are Arizona State (12-0), Florida State (11-0) and NC State (12-0). The Vols pitching staff has made a big impact in the early going. The Vols' pitchers lead the nation with a 0.94 ERA, a 0.71 WHIP, 1.96 walks allowed per nine innings and six shutouts. They also leads the SEC in opponent batting average (.145) and saves (seven).
The Bulldogs are led by head coach Mike Batesole, who is in his 17th season with the program. Batesole has led Fresno State to 10 conference titles and eight NCAA tournament appearances, including a National Championship in 2008.
On the mound, Fresno State is led by Friday-night starter Ryan Jenson. The hard-throwing right hander is 2-0 with a 2.65 ERA and has struck out 18 batters this season. The Bulldogs' weekend rotation has a combined record of 5-1 so far this year.
All three games will be streamed online via SEC Network+ and the WatchESPN app.
Projected Starting Pitchers
Friday: RHP Garrett Stallings (3-0, 0.83 ERA) vs. RHP Ryan Jensen (2-0, 2.65 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Zach Linginfelter (3-0, 1.00 ERA) vs. LHP Nikoh Mitchell (1-1, 6.08 ERA)
Sunday: RHP Will Neely (2-0, 2.87 ERA) vs. RHP Davis Moore (2-0, 4.50 ERA)
Game 1: Friday, March 8 – 6:30 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, March 9 – 6 p.m.
Game 3: Sunday, March 10 – 12 p.m.