Tennessee Baseball Repeats As SEC East Champions

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For the second straight season, Tennessee baseball is SEC East champions after Vanderbilt beat Georgia to put the Bulldogs seven games behind the Vols with six conference games left to play.

Tennessee is 42-6 (20-4 SEC) with eight regular season games left on the schedule. The Vols jumped out to an insane 33-1 start to the season including the longest winning streak in program history.

Tony Vitello’s fifth Tennessee team followed the lead of his fourth team, winning the division. The division title marks the first time the Vols have won the SEC East back-to-back seasons since 1994-95.

After Tennessee lost number of key players from last season’s team, the media picked the Vols to finish fourth in the SEC East.

Tennessee is coming off its first series loss of the season as Kentucky won two-out-of-three games in Lexington. The Vols struggled for one of the first times all season before finding a way to salvage the weekend with a series finale victory.

“You never want to lose a series,” Tennessee first baseman Luc Lipcius said. “But yes I was thinking the same exact thing. We had this aura that we were the invincible team. We were just going to come in and we were going to beat you. Now, we know we do actually have to try. I think it is really good for us going down the stretch that we can’t take anything for granted.”

After clinching the SEC East, Tennessee is eyeing its first conference championship since 1995. With six games left in the season, the Vols hold a four-game lead in the SEC over second place Arkansas. Tennessee needs a combination of two UT wins and Arkansas losses to earn a share of the conference title and three UT wins and Arkansas losses to win the outright title.

Tennessee returns to Lindsey Nelson Stadium for a midweek matchup against Bellarmine on Tuesday before hosting Georgia for a three-game series Thursday through Saturday.

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.