Tennessee baseball’s dynamic duo of junior left fielder Alerick Soularie and left-handed pitcher Garrett Crochet continue to wrack up preseason accolades heading into the 2020 season.
On Monday afternoon, Soularie and Crochet were both named to Baseball America’s Preseason All-American teams. Crochet was named to the publication’s first team, while Soularie was named to the second team.
Crochet and Soularie were both named preseason third team All-Americans by Perfect Game earlier this month. Soularie also earned preseason All-America first-team honors from D1Baseball.com.
“Baseball America annually polls major league organizations’ scouting departments to vote on the team and asks that they make their selections based on performance, talent and professional potential,” the publication wrote. “In the past, the Baseball America Preseason All-America team has been a predictor both of the first round of the draft and of team success.”
Crochet was one of six SEC players named to the first team. He was one of three SEC pitchers who made the cut as well. The publication touted Crochet’s fastball as the best in the entire country.
“Crochet ran up a 4.77 ERA in 128.2 innings as a starter and reliever in his first two seasons at Tennessee,” Baseball America said of the Vols ace. “Still, scouts loved the progress he showed last fall and think he might have the best fastball in the country. It’s an upper-90s heater that explodes out of his 6-foot-5 frame.
“Crochet has also flashed plus with his slider, but he will need to improve the consistency and control of his breaking pitch this spring.”
In two seasons in Knoxville, Crochet is 10-9 with a 4.76 ERA. The Ocean Springs, Mississippi native has recorded 143 strikeouts in 128.2 innings of work while allowing 135 hits and 48 walks. Coming out of high school, the 6-foot-6 lefty was drafted in the 34th round by the Milwaukee Brewers but chose to come to Tennessee instead.
Soularie was one of five SEC players named to the second team. He helped guide Tennessee to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2005 last season.
In his first season in Knoxville, the junior left fielder hit .357, smashed 11 home runs, and tallied 46 RBI. Soularie led the team in batting (.357), slugging (.602), and on-base percentage (.466). He also finished second on the team in hits (70) and led the team in runs scored (52).
Soularie was named a D1Baseball All-America Third Team selection, a Rawlings/Perfect Game All-America Honorable Mention, and an ABCA/Rawlings South All-Region Second Team selection following his performance last season. He was also named to the All-SEC First Team
Head coach Tony Vitello will begin his third season as the Vols’ skipper on Feb. 14th when he and his team welcomes in Western Illinois to town for a three-game series.
Tennessee will play 37 games at Lindsey Nelson Stadium this season. The Vols will also play four neutral-site games, including one at nearby Smokies Stadium against UT-Martin on March 24. The Vols will play 20 games against teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year. That includes 11 games against programs that made it to the Super Regionals and seven versus teams that made it to the College World Series.