Tennessee Baseball Lands In Preseason Top 20

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Look Out For Florida State To Upset Duke Tonight

Tennessee baseball is the No. 19 team in D1Baseball’s preseason top 25 rankings. The Vols are the eighth highest ranked team in a loaded SEC.

After making the 2021 College World Series and finishing No. 6 in D1Baseball’s final 2021 rankings, Tennessee comes in behind No. 2 Arkansas, No. 3 Vanderbilt, No. 4 Mississippi State, No. 5 Ole Miss, No. 8 LSU, No. 9 Florida and No. 16 Georgia.

The Vols fall from the end of the year rankings to the preseason rankings due to the turnover within the program. Tennessee lost the bulk of its infielders including the top three hitters in its batting order — Liam Spence, Max Ferguson and Jake Rucker. On the mound, Tennessee lost weekend starters Chad Dallas and Will Heflin and top reliever Sean Hunley.

Tennessee’s coaching staff suffered turnover as well with Volunteer Assistant Coach Ross Kivett leaving for a full time role at Houston and strength and conditioning coach Quentin Eberhardt leaving for the Chicago Cubs.

Still, there’s reason for high expectations. Tennessee signed the nation’s No. 5 recruiting class including instant impact players Chase Burns and Christian Moore. According to D1Baseball, Tennessee has the No. 15 newcomers class in which you factor in transfers.

The Vols brought in talented pitchers Seth Halvorsen (Missouri) and Chase Dollander (Georgia Southern).

D1Baseball’s preseason top 25 is the second Tennessee landed on so far this year after coming in at No. 21 in Perfect Game’s rankings.

Tony Vitello’s fifth Tennessee team opens its season on Feb 18. against Georgia Southern.

Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.