Heading into the highly anticipated weekend series with Ole Miss, Tennessee set out with murder on their mind as the Volunteers wanted to show they deserved to be called the best team in College Baseball. Friday and Saturday night were the statements as the Volunteers dominated the Rebels by a combined score of 22-4, setting up for the series sweep on Sunday. On Sunday, to finish out the series sweep over Ole Miss, the Volunteers defeated the Rebels 4-3 to head back to Knoxville with a 22-1 record and a 17 game winning streak.
If you follow College Baseball, you might have had the pleasure of watching the explosive Tennessee lineup that has given opponents fits dating back to last season when the Volunteers earned their way to the College World Series.
Despite last season’s success, Coach Vitello and his Tennessee Baseball team have been underappreciated and not taken as a serious contender to do it again this Spring. That was until this weekend when Ole Miss overlooked Tennesee, and the Volunteers made the Rebels pay a very big price of a series sweep and loss of the number ranking that Ole Miss was proud to hold.
It’s College Baseball, and anything can happen, but at this point in the season, Tennessee is the best team in all of College Baseball with a roster that competes with any high-level Baseball team. From a weekend starting rotations of pitchers that consistently throw strikes and hit within the mid-’90s on the radar gun, with a Ben Joyce in the bullpen hitting 100 on any given pitch, the Volunteers easily have the best pitching staff in all of College Baseball. Not to mention, Tennessee has the most explosive lineup in all of College Baseball, with 266 total runs scored in two months of playing.
When opponents see Tennessee on their schedule, Coach Vitello and his Volunteers have earned the right to be called the SEC’s most respected and dangerous team as we make the turn for the postseason.
Some will try to steal the thunder of the Volunteers by saying the best team in March usually doesn’t finish as the best team at the end of the season, but; if there’s a favorite to win the National Championship at this point in the College Baseball season, it would be Tennessee.
Tennessee has the best roster, and the Volunteers are playing the best baseball. A lot can change in two months, but College Baseball fans should prepare for the Volunteers to make a very strong stand to make it back to the College World Series with a very real chance of bringing home a trophy back to Knoxville with them.