Head coach Dave Serrano, who previously won big at Cal State Fullerton and others, is in his fifth season at UT and continues to struggle. UT is just 21-16 (4-11 in the SEC) and has not won a conference series this season. Despite these facts, look for the Vols to be a formidable opponent this weekend.
UT is the top batting team in the SEC East with a .306 overall team average. Left fielder Vincent Jackson is UT's top batter 50 hits and 46 RBIs along with six homers. Four other regular UT starters are batting over .330. Sophomore Benito Santiago has an over .400 on-base percentage. Second baseman Derek Lance went 6 for 10 in UT's series with South Carolina. Third baseman Nick Senzel is on the Golden Spikes watch list.
The Vols are ninth in the SEC in team earned run average at 3.96. Lefty Aaron Soto is set to start on Friday night against Vandy's Jordan Sheffield. Soto has 23 strikeouts against 13 walks. Another lefty, Zach Warren will get the start on Saturday. He was drafted in the 23rd round by the Pirates organization in the 2014 MLB Draft. Sunday's starter is to be announced but it might be another lefty, Andy Cox, who started last week at Auburn. Righty Jon Lipinski has three saves for the Vols.
Looking at the Vandy-UT stats comparison, the Vols have the edge in batting average, hits and doubles. The Commodores get the nod in runs scored, triples, home runs, ERA, strikeouts, opponent batting average, runs, and home runs.
Friday's gets started at 5 pm while Saturday's gets going at three. Sunday's game will begin at 1 pm. All three games will be on the SEC Network Plus. Listen at VUCommodores.com or on your radio at WNSR AM or FM.
For VandyMania.com and Scout, this is Don Yates.