BSB PREVIEW: #1 Vols Host #23 Gamecocks to Close Out Regular Season
Courtesy / UT Athletics

BSB PREVIEW: #1 Vols Host #23 Gamecocks to Close Out Regular Season

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The 2024 regular season comes to a close this weekend as No. 1/1 Tennessee and No 23/24 South Carolina square off in a top-25 matchup on Rocky Top starting Thursday night at 6:30 p.m.

MORE INFO

GAME & BROADCAST INFO

#1/1 TENNESSEE (43-10, 19-8 SEC)

 Roster Schedule Stats Notes 

#23/24 SOUTH CAROLINA (33-18, 13-14 SEC)

 Roster Schedule Stats UT Baseball Record Book Tickets Gameday Central Follow @UTGameday Official Gameday App Buy Tennessee Gear

The Vols enter the matchup with the Gamecocks having won eight straight weekend series, which is the longest streak of any power conference team, and will look to reach the 20-win mark in SEC play for the third time in the last four seasons.

TICKET INFORMATION

Season and single-game tickets for all SEC home contests are SOLD OUT. Limited standing room only tickets will go on sale for all games 90 minutes prior to first pitch at the Lindsey Nelson Stadium ticket office.

Single-game tickets for all games can also be purchased through Ticketmaster, the exclusive resale marketplace for Tennessee Athletics, by clicking HERE.

In order to keep Lindsey Nelson Stadium as full as possible, we are encouraging season ticket holders who are unable to use their tickets for a game(s) to transfer your tickets to another Vols fan (Instructions HERE).

If you’re a season ticket holder and can’t make it to a baseball game this season, you also now have the option to donate your tickets. Your tickets will be donated back to Tennessee Athletics and will be distributed to the military and/or local charities in the Knoxville area.

All ticket donations will be accepted until 5 PM the business day before a game. After donating your tickets a gift receipt equal to the ticket value will be emailed to you. You may save that receipt for your tax records. 

NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LINDSEY NELSON STADIUM

As we prepare for the next phase in renovations, please pardon our progress… and our dust. Once completed, Lindsey Nelson Stadium will offer fans an unrivaled experience and be among the nation’s finest college baseball venues. We appreciate your support and patience when you enter Lindsey Nelson Stadium this season. Please be advised changes may occur from game to game.

BROADCAST INFO

All three games of the series will be streamed on SEC Network+ and the ESPN app as Andy Brock handles play-by-play duties. He’ll be joined by Caylan Arnold for Thursday’s series opener and VFL Cody Hawn for Friday and Saturday’s broadcasts.

Fans can also listen to John Wilkerson and Vince Ferrara call the action all series long on the Vol Network (FM 99.1/AM 990) and its participating affiliates throughout 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: LHP Chris Stamos (5 GS, 3-0, 3.33 ERA) vs. RHP Ty Good (2 GS, 5-1, 3.21 ERA)
GAME 2: RHP Drew Beam (13 GS, 7-2, 3.75 ERA) vs. TBA
GAME 3: LHP Zander Sechrist (13 GS, 1-1, 4.57 ERA) vs. TBA

SERIES HISTORY

Overall: Gamecocks lead, 67-45
in Knoxville: Vols lead, 25-24
in Columbia: Gamecocks lead, 40-18
at Neutral Sites: Gamecocks lead, 3-2
Last 10 Meetings: Vols lead, 8-2
Last Meeting: W, 12-1 (7 Inn.) – May 20, 2023 in Columbia, S.C.

For the third time in the last four years, Tennessee closes out the regular season with a series against South Carolina. The Vols won the previous two series in that scenario, both of which occurred in Columbia (2021 and 2023). UT has won four straight series overall against USC and is 9-6 against the Gamecocks under head coach Tony Vitello.

NOTABLE

Eight Straight Series Wins, Vols Chasing SEC Title
The Vols continue to take care of business on the weekends as they posted their eighth straight SEC series win last week by toppling Vanderbilt in Nashville, winning each of the first two games before dropping the series finale on Sunday, which ended a nine-game winning streak against the Commodores.

Entering play this week, the Big Orange are squarely in the mix for the SEC regular season title, sitting one game behind first-place Kentucky and tied with Arkansas for second overall in the league standings at 19-8. If Tennessee were to clinch an SEC regular-season title this weekend, it would mark their second under Vitello and fifth overall in program history.

C-Mo On Verge of Another Home Run Record
Christian Moore, who has already topped UT’s career home run record with 51 and counting, is one away from breaking the program’s single-season mark, as well, after hitting his 24th long ball of the year in Tuesday’s midweek win over Belmont to pull even with Sonny Cortez, who also hit 24 back in 1998.

40-Win Seasons Becoming the Norm
With a 6-3 midweek win over Queens on May 7, the Vols notched their 40th victory of the season, marking the fourth straight year that they have reached the 40-win plateau. Entering this weekend, Tennessee and Arkansas are the only two programs nationally to post 40-plus wins in each of the last five full seasons (2019, 2021, 2022, 2023).

Vols vs. Ranked SEC Foes
During the Vitello era, Tennessee has played 38 SEC series against ranked teams and is 23-15 in those series with a 63-51 overall record. Since 2021, the Vols are 18-6 in such series with a 47-25 overall record, including five series wins and a 12-6 overall record this season.

OPPONENT SCOUT

South Carolina (33-18, 13-14 SEC)

  • Head Coach: Mark Kingston (7th season)
  • 2023 Postseason: NCAA Gainesville Super Regional
  • Rankings: D1Baseball – 24 | USA Today – 23 | Baseball America – NR | NCBWA – 24 | Perfect Game – NR
  • 2024 SEC Preseason Poll: 4th in Eastern Division
  • Preseason All-Conference Selections (2)
    • C Cole Messina (1st Team)
    • OF Ethan Petry (1st Team)
  • Stat Leaders:
    • Batting Avg: Blake Jackson (.310)
    • Runs: Cole Messina (51)
    • Hits: Cole Messina (56)
    • Home Runs: Ethan Petry (19)
    • RBI: Cole Messina (52)
    • Stolen Bases: Blake Jackson (15)
    • Wins: M. Becker / T. Good (5)
    • Saves: Garrett Gainey (6)
    • ERA (min. 20 IP): Garrett Gainey (3.05)
    • Innings Pitched: Eli Jones (58.2)
    • Strikeouts: Ty Good (63)
    • Opp. B/Avg (min. 20 IP): Ty Good (1.92)

WEEKEND PROMOTIONS/GIVEAWAYS

FRIDAY:

  • Giveaway: Car Air Fresheners Courtesy of Zips Car Wash to first 2,500 fans

SATURDAY:

  • Giveaway: Coca-Cole Pit Viper Sunglasses to first 1,000 fans
  • Ceremonial First Pitch: Jim Worthington (Tennessee catch, 1947-49)
    • Oldest living Tennessee baseball letterwinner

ON DECK

Tennessee will head to Hoover, Alabama, for the 2024 SEC Baseball Tournament where it will open postseason play on Wednesday (Time TBD).

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