The Official Tennessee @ Auburn Series Thread (Fri. April 5th 7PM EST) (Sat. April 6th 4:30PM EST) (Sun. April 7th 2PM EST) (All Games On SECNET+)

#1

NO SIR EEE

The Sultan Of Swat
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#1
Tennessee Volunteers
(24-5) Overall (5-4) SEC

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@
Auburn Tigers
(16-11) Overall (1-8) SEC

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AUBURN, Ala. – No. 4/4 Tennessee will look to keep its string of SEC series wins going as it hits the road this weekend to face off against Auburn down on the plains.
The Vols are coming off back-to-back series wins at home over No. 17 Ole Miss and No. 22 Georgia, winning a pair of Sunday rubber games to do so.

BROADCAST INFO

All three games this weekend will be streamed online via SEC Network+ and the ESPN app.

Fans can also listen to John Wilkerson call the action all series long on the Vol Network (FM 99.1/AM 990) and its baseball affiliated stations across the state. A free audio stream will also be available on UTSports.com, the Tennessee Athletics App and the Varsity App.

PROJECTED STARTING PITCHERS

GAME 1: RHP AJ Causey (5-1, 3.53 ERA) vs. RHP Dylan Watts (0-0, 2.77 ERA)
GAME 2: RHP Drew Beam (3-1, 4.06 ERA) vs. TBD
GAME 3: TBD vs. TBD

SERIES HISTORY

Overall: Tigers lead, 97-41
in Knoxville: Tigers lead, 41-23
in Auburn: Tigers lead, 54-18
at Neutral Sites: Tigers lead, 1-0
Last Series: W, 17-4; L, 8-6; W, 5-3 (April 29 - May 1, 2022 in Knoxville)

UT will be looking to snap a lengthy drought in Auburn, where it hasn't won a series since 2005. The Vols are 3-12 in their last five series on the plains and were swept during their last visit in 2019. Despite the lopsided win-loss record, there have been some close games in Tennessee's last couple of visits to Auburn, with all five losses in that span coming by three runs or fewer. The Big Orange did win their most recent series against the Tigers, taking two of three in Knoxville during the 2022 season.

NOTABLE

Feeling Grand
With a pair of grand slams in last Saturday's 16-11 victory over Georgia, Tennessee has already tied the single-season program record of seven, which was set in 1998. Seven different players have hit a grand slam for the Vols this season: Dean Curley, Reese Chapman, Robin Villeneuve, Cal Stark, Billy Amick, Dylan Dreiling and Dalton Bargo.

Burke on Verge of Becoming UT Home Run King
Junior slugger Blake Burke enters this weekend just one home run shy of breaking Luc Lipcius' program record of 40 (2017-22) after tying his mark with a solo blast last Saturday against Georgia. The California native is tied for the team lead with 10 long balls this season and has hit double-digit dingers in each of his three seasons in Knoxville.

The Kirby & Zander Show Hits the Road
With the series in the balance and a pitching staff that had struggled to that point against Georgia's potent lineup, Tennessee turned to a pair of veteran lefties in Kirby Connell and Zander Sechrist, and they delivered two of the best outings of their careers to lead the Vols to a series win over the Bulldogs last weekend.

With Georgia have scored seven runs already in the third inning to take a 7-3 lead on Saturday, Connell steadied the waters with a career-high five innings of stellar relief to hold the Dawgs at bay as UT was able to rally and even the series with a win. Connell limited UGA to just three runs and struck out a pair in his five innings of work to pick up his third win of the year.

Sechrist picked up where Connell left off, earning the start in Sunday's series finale and tossing a career-best six shutout innings with seven strikeouts and just one walk while giving up only four hits to earn his first victory of the year. Reliever Nate Sneadheld the Bulldogs off the board for the final three innings as the Vols became the first team this season to shut out Georgia. Sechrist, a Buford, Georgia, native, was named the D1Baseball.com SEC Extra Pitcher of the Week for his efforts against his home state school.

OPPONENT SCOUT

Auburn Tigers (17-11, 1-8 SEC)
  • Head Coach: Butch Thompson (9th season)
  • 2023 Postseason: NCAA Auburn Regional (0-2)
  • Rankings: D1Baseball – NR | USA Today – NR | Baseball America – NR | NCBWA – RV | Perfect Game – NR
  • 2024 SEC Preseason Poll: 5th in Western Division
  • Preseason All-Conference Selections (2)
    • DH/UTL Ike Irish (1st Team)
    • OF Bobby Pierce (2nd Team)
  • Stat Leaders:
    • Batting Avg: Cooper McMurray (.371)
    • Runs: Ike Irish (35)
    • Hits: Ike Irish (41)
    • Home Runs: Cooper McMurray (11)
    • RBI: Ike Irish (45)
    • Stolen Bases: Cooper Weiss (24)
    • Wins: Conner McBride & Cam Tilly (3)
    • Saves: Four tied (1)
    • ERA (min. 15 IP): John Armstrong (2.08)
    • WHIP (min. 15 IP): John Armstrong (1.15)
    • Innings Pitched: Chase Allsup (33.1)

ON DECK

The Vols return home for four home games next week, starting with a midweek contest on Tuesday against Alabama A&M at 6 p.m. UT hosts LSU at Lindsey Nelson Stadium next weekend.
 
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#9
#9
Just got home Easter evening 9:30pm Central. Had already heard about the basketball team, so went to the Baseball Forum first thing.

Wow! Very exciting score to beat GA that way after Friday! Can't wait to find highlights, and then we head south to create some more highlights on the Plains.
 
#10
#10
Alright so I’ll ask…any idea when AJ Russell gets back? Zander pitched great yesterday against that loaded lineup. When AJ gets back, having a weekend staff of Russell, Beam, and either Causey or Zander is stout, allowing one of Zander/Causey to be a top bullpen option.

Obviously, Beam needs to get it going. He will. Ideally, I prefer Causey out of the pen. Having him and Snead available for long innings of relief would be huge for this staff. But all of this is contingent on Russell coming back (and being himself), Beam getting back to normal, and Zander continuing to pitch well.
 
#11
#11
I think you will see a mix-up in the starting rotation this weekend or at least when Russell can get back. Don't expect to see him for several more weeks. Last I heard, all they said was he would be back this year. I know it takes you about the same amount of time to get back full speed as you take off so he has been gone 2 weeks already and I don't think he is throwing yet. Causey will struggle with an umpire that does not give him corners or can call the slider for a strike which was Friday night, but so will Kirby and Zander and maybe others.
 
#12
#12
Alright so I’ll ask…any idea when AJ Russell gets back? Zander pitched great yesterday against that loaded lineup. When AJ gets back, having a weekend staff of Russell, Beam, and either Causey or Zander is stout, allowing one of Zander/Causey to be a top bullpen option.

Obviously, Beam needs to get it going. He will. Ideally, I prefer Causey out of the pen. Having him and Snead available for long innings of relief would be huge for this staff. But all of this is contingent on Russell coming back (and being himself), Beam getting back to normal, and Zander continuing to pitch well.
I think Kirby just showed he is going to be in the mix for a top option out of the pen.
 
#13
#13
<snip> Causey will struggle with an umpire that does not give him corners or can call the slider for a strike which was Friday night, but so will Kirby and Zander and maybe others.
Causey definitely got squeezed on the lower part of the zone, as soon as he had to elevate just a bit they hit him pretty hard
 
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