The Vols sport a sparkling 29-5 record and an SEC-best 9-3 record inside the conference. Carson-Newman carries a 27-20-1 record.
These two schools haven't met since 1999, when the Eagles stunned the Vols 10-5 in Jefferson City. The Vols had previously won 11 straight against Carson-Newman.
The Vols will send sophomore right-hander Luke Hochevar to the mound against the Eagles. He has a 1-0 record and boasts a 0.00 ERA. This will be his first start since a hand injury he suffered during batting practice on March 13th. In his only start this season he pitched superbly against Morehead State, tossing seven innings of no-hit baseball.
The Eagles are expected to send Junior left-hander Charlie Munroe to the mound. He boasts a 3-1 record with a 5.62 ERA.
The Vols are playing the best baseball they have all season. They are coming off an amazing three-game sweep of the Georgia Bulldogs, who at the time were in second place in the SEC East. South Carolina has since overtaken the Bulldogs for the No. 2 spot but the Gamecocks are three full games behind the division-leading Vols.
Tennessee has won nine games in a row and boasts some of the hottest hitters in the conference. Josh Alley carries a nine-game hitting streak and a .312 batting average. Designated Hitter Alex Suarez is sporting a .600 batting average and a six-game hitting streak.
If there is one thing the Vols must do in this game it is to stay focused. Mid-week games like this mean a lot in the rankings and the Vols can't afford to slip up and lose to the Eagles. Tennessee can't afford to look past Carson-Newman to this weekend's huge SEC showdown against the Ole Miss Rebels, who are tied for the lead in the SEC West.