There is a new excitement surrounding the University of Tennessee Baseball program.
After sweeping Vanderbilt in the season finale, that no quit attitude has carried over to the Volunteer Baseball program this fall.
Fall practice officially got underway on September 20 and will go until October 30, with UT playing seven Orange and White World Series during that period.
The one thing that has third year head coach Todd Raleigh smiling the most is the amount of depth he has going into fall ball.
"In the past it was hard to push someone at one position when he didn't have a back up," Raleigh told InsideTennessee.com in an exclusive one on one interview recently. "Our motto this fall and spring is to "Earn It", bringing a new level of competition at every position."
Raleigh and his coaching staff have brought in a number of new faces, and a top 10 recruiting class.
"We feel we are building this program the right way," Raleigh said. "Expectations are really high this fall and spring. We finally feel that we are finally getting there. Competition is the key focus this fall; we have enough quality players to push each other to be better."
One of the Volunteers strengths last spring was hitting the long ball, Raleigh feels that will once again be strength this fall and spring.
"We were second in school history last season," Raleigh said. "We didn't really lose very many of those sticks plus we have added a lot of strength there also with this recruiting class."
One area that Raleigh feels is the biggest need of improvement is pitching.
"We finally have a big group of sophomore and junior pitchers," Raleigh said. "We had some talented freshmen last year, but they made some freshmen mistakes. Now they are all a year older and all had great summers. I definitely think we will be better in this area, we have to be."
One thing that Raleigh and his coaching staff have focused on while building this team, is physical size and strength.
"We have a lot of size," Raleigh said. "We are going to be very athletic and a really physical ball club. That's how we want to build this program, and it's going in the right direction in that area."
EDITORS NOTE: This is part one of a three part series, breaking down the Tennessee Baseball team. Over the next few weeks we will be introducing you to a lot of new players with player's profiles and photos. It's our goal at InsideTennessee.com to bring all Volunteer fans the very best in baseball coverage this fall and spring.