Advertise with usContact UsRTI Team

Tennessee Freshman All-American ‘Not Very Far Off’ From Return To Mound

NCAA Basketball: UCLA Without Jaquez?

Tennessee heads to Oxford, Mississippi for a big-time three-game series this weekend with No. 1 Ole Miss, but Vols’ head coach Tony Vitello provided a positive injury update Thursday before the team hits the road.

Sophomore Blade Tidwell continues to work back from shoulder soreness and stiffness that has sidelined him the first five weeks of the season, but the high-end talent is nearing the end of his rehab.

“Blade just threw this morning and he’s not very far off at all from being able to see game action,” Vitello said.

Tidwell was incredibly impressive in his freshman season last year, posting a 10-4 record and 3.74 ERA on his way to earning freshman All-American honors. 

The Loretto, Tennessee native was expected to be Tennessee’s ace this season before the injury sidelined him, and despite being a sophomore Tidwell’s age makes him eligible for the MLB Draft this summer.

Missouri transfer Seth Halvorsen has been Tidwell’s rehab buddy this season while working back from an elbow injury. The power arm isn’t as close to returning as Tidwell, but isn’t too far off himself.

“Seth Halvorsen was ahead of him (Tidwell ) but has had a couple setbacks, the main one being wisdom teeth being pulled so he missed a few days of throwing there but he won’t be far behind Blade,” Vitello said.

Tennessee’s pitching staff has been fantastic this season without the duo and that makes adding Tidwell back to the mix as an interesting possibility. All three of the Vols’ weekend starters have been great, but it’s hard to keep an arm of Tidwell’s talent in the bullpen.

According to Vitello, both Tidwell and Halvorsen are itching to get thrown in the deep end when their time to return comes.

“Both guys I can tell you are literally in my face about, ‘I don’t need to be babied when I’m back. I want to be in the fire,’’ Vitello said. “I appreciate that but it’s also the coaching staff’s job to put our team and also them in the best position to be successful. The one thing we don’t want with either guy as far as that category goes is the old two steps forward, one step back. It has been a little slow for folks like you or fans and definitely the two kids but we’re building up at a pretty good rate right now.”

No. 5 Tennessee opens up its three-game series with the No. 1 Rebels Friday night at 7:30 p.m. ET. The SEC Network+ will stream the game.

Similar Articles


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tweet Us