KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Riding an eight-game winning streak, No. 2/3 Tennessee baseball looks to keep it going with another weekend series on Rocky Top, hosting Gonzaga for a three-game set on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The Volunteers (8-2) have been on fire at the plate thus far during the homestand, recording double-digit hits in five of the seven games. That offensive charge continues to be spearheaded by Blake Burke who has homered in Tennessee’s last three games and leads the team in hits, average and runs batted in.
The pitching staff has been equally as locked in all season, combining for a 1.27 team ERA, a 0.74 team WHIP and a .148 team batting average against. The weekend rotation of Chase Dollander, Chase Burns and Drew Beam each hold individual WHIPs under 1.00 and have allowed 7 combined earned runs in 32.2 total innings of work.
Limited tickets for the weekend series are available on a first come, first serve basis at the ticket booth two hours prior to first pitch.
All three games of the weekend series will stream on SEC Network+ and the ESPN app with Andy Brock (PxP) on the call Friday night and Roger Hoover (PxP) in the booth Saturday and Sunday. Cody Hawn will serve as the analyst for all three games. The online broadcast can be accessed on any mobile device through WatchESPN. WatchESPN can be accessed through the ESPN App, or online at espn.com/watch.
Fans can also listen to the Voice of Tennessee Baseball, John Wilkerson, and Vince Ferrara call the action for all three games on the Vol Network (FM 99.1/AM 990) or via a free audio stream on UTSports.com and the Tennessee Athletics Gameday App.
Overall: Tennessee leads, 1-0
in Knoxville: 0-0
in Spokane: 0-0
at Neutral Sites: 1-0
Last Meeting: W, 3-1 (March 13, 1992, in Seattle, Washington)
BURKE POWERING THE OFFENSE EARLY ON
Sophomore slugger Blake Burke is off to a red-hot start this season, leading the team in batting average (.417), OPS (1.434), hits (15), home runs (6), RBIs (16), total bases (35) and slugging percentage (.972). Burke’s six homers rank third nationally and second in the SEC behind Florida’s Jac Caglianone (8). His 16 RBIs are tied for 13th in the nation, as well.
During this week’s two midweek contests against Charleston Southern, Burke totaled five hits, including a pair of home runs, and drove in nine of the team’s 14 runs.
After blasting 14 homers in just 95 at-bats as a freshman in 2022, Burke is already up to 20 big flies in his Tennessee career as just a sophomore and is currently averaging a home run every 6.7 at-bats for his career.
THE LNS EFFECT
Tennessee has been extremely tough to beat at home over the past two-plus years thanks in large part to having one of the best home field advantages in college baseball. The Vols are 88-16 when playing at Lindsey Nelson Stadium since the start of the 2020 season and continue to set attendance records along the way.
UT sold out 29 of its 45 home games last season and set new program records for total (181,517) and average attendance (4,221). The Big Orange has sold out four of their seven home games already this season and has posted an attendance of over 4,000 in all seven of those contests.
PITCHING PROWESS ON FULL DISPLAY
Tennessee’s pitching staff has been the driving force behind the team’s early-season success. The Vols enter this weekend’s series vs. Gonzaga leading the country in ERA (1.27), WHIP (0.74), shutouts (three) and hits allowed per nine innings (4.45) while also ranking fourth nationally in strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.57).
UT has not allowed more than three earned runs in any game this season and has posted eight straight games allowing two of fewer runs scored. The Big Orange held Dayton to just three runs on nine combined hits over three games last weekend.
- 2023 Record: 1-7 (0-0 WCC)
- 2022 Record: 37-19 (20-7 WCC)
- 2022 Postseason: NCAA Blacksburg Regional
- 2023 WCC Preseason Poll: 1st (6 first-place vote)
- Head Coach: Mark Machtolf (20th season)
- Preseason All-Conference Selections (4):
- 3B Cade McGee, 2B Savier Pinales, OF Grayson Sterling, RHP Owen Wild
Tennessee plays host to Boston College for a midweek on Tuesday, March 7 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The game will mark the Vols’ first midweek against a Power Five opponent since April 16, 2013, when they played Virginia Tech in the Hokie-Smokey Classic in Greenville, Tennessee. It will be the first midweek game against a major conference opponent played on Rocky Top since March 11, 2009, when UT hosted Louisville.
Tickets for non-conference home games can be purchased at AllVols.com.