Rivera's through for year

Freshman right fielder Michael Rivera will undergo surgery on his left thumb today that will sideline him for the remainder of the Vol baseball season. The Miami, Fla., native suffered the injury in the fifth inning of Saturday's game at LSU when he ran into the wall in right field attempting to make a catch on a deep fly ball hit by the Tigers' Quinn Stewart.

"This is a huge loss for our ball club, especially as we head down the stretch," said UT head man Rod Delmonico. "Michael has played such a key role for us all season as both an outfielder and infielder. He will be missed."

Rivera had started all 43 games he played, making 33 starts in right, five at third, four at first and one at shortstop. He was tied for second on the team with 14 multi-hit games to go along with a .283 batting average, two home runs and 26 RBI.

Sophomore Chad LeGate is expected to take over for Rivera. LeGate started in right when Rivera played other positions and is batting .301 with two home runs and 16 RBI.

Tennessee takes on the UNC Asheville Bulldogs tonight at 7 in Asheville. The Vols visit the Tennessee Smokies in an exhibition Wednesday at 7:15 p.m at Smokies Park in Kodak. The Volunteers then open a seven-game home stand with the No. 22 Alabama Crimson Tide this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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