Detailing Tennessee, Florida’s Pitching Situations Entering SEC Tournament Championship

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Tennessee and Florida face off for the fourth time this season Sunday afternoon at the Hoover Met. After the Vols swept Florida in Gainesville, the rivals meet with the SEC Tournament Championship on the line.

It’s the final game of a chaotic SEC Tournament that’s seen major rain delays and Tennessee play into the early hours of the mornings the last two nights.

At the end of the week, both the Vols and Gators have used an abundance of pitching. The championship game will be Florida’s sixth game in five days and Tennessee’s fourth game in four days.

Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello and pitching coach Frank Anderson used all four of its normal starting pitchers in the first three games, opening up the door for an usual relief pitcher to get the ball in the championship game.

Vitello wasn’t ready to name his starter following Tennessee’s, 12-2, semifinals win over Kentucky, but right-handers Camden Sewell and Ben Joyce are the most obvious candidates.

“We haven’t talked about it, so I’m going to keep composure and not give you a wrong answer but honestly other than a couple comments thrown out when we met earlier today on pitching— it was just who the options are,” Vitello said. “You named a couple of them (Camden Sewell and Ben Joyce) , maybe one other in there. We need some guys to pitch. It’s a big game. They’re (Florida) going to be in the same deal here. You kind of piece it together and there’s some value to tomorrow on top of there’s a trophy involved.”

Sewell has started nine games in his four-year career, but none this season. However, the senior has been the Vols’ go-to long reliever this season, tallying six outings of three-plus innings this season.

The Cleveland, Tennessee native has had an abundance of success in his career against the Gators— the team he grew up rooting for. Sewell posted six shutout innings in a SEC Tournament Semifinal win a season ago and allowed just one baserunner in 4.1 innings of action out of the bullpen earlier this season in Gainesville.

Joyce has made one start in his Tennessee career, a four inning, three run outing against Georgia earlier this season. 

Midweek starter Zander Sechrist plausibly filis the “one other in there” role Vitello explained.

Here’s a complete breakdown of Tennessee’s pitching staff entering Sunday (day they pitched).

RHP Blade Tidwell – 76 pitches in one game (Thursday)

LHP Kirby Connell – 34 pitches in two games (Thursday, Friday)

LHP Will Mabrey – 11 pitches in one game (Thursday)

RHP Camden Sewell – 17 pitches in one game (Thursday)

RHP Ben Joyce – 11 pitches in one game (Thursday)

RHP Chase Dollander – 99 pitches in one game (Friday) 

RHP Mark McLaughlin – 2 pitches in one game (Friday)

LHP Redmond Walsh – 33 pitches in one game (Friday)

RHP Drew Beam – 71 pitches in one game (Saturday)

RHP Chase Burns – 63 pitches in one game (Saturday)

LHP Wyatt Evans – 15 pitches in one game (Saturday)

LHP Zander Sechrist has yet to pitch.

Here’s a look at Florida’s pitching staff entering Sunday’s title game.

RHP Brandon Sproat – 110 pitches in one game (Wednesday)

3.59 ERA in 82.2 IP this season.

RHP Ryan Slater – 92 pitches in two games (Wednesday, Friday)

4.91 ERA in 51.1 IP

RHP Brandon Neely – 70 pitches in one game (Thursday)

3.58 ERA in 60.1 IP

RHP Fisher Jameson – 74 pitches in two games (Thursday, Saturday)

3.63 ERA in 17.1 IP

LHP Phillip Abner – 12 pitches in one game (Thursday)

8.84 ERA in 19.1 IP

RHP Tyler Nesbit – 30 pitches in one game (Thursday)

4.85 ERA in 29.2 IP

RHP Nick Pogue – 87 pitches in one game (Friday)

4.72 ERA in 34.1 IP

RHP Blake Purnell – 17 pitches in one game (Friday)

2.06 ERA in 48 IP

RHP Anthony Ursetti – 55 pitches in one game (Saturday)

5.06 ERA in 21.1 IP

RHP Nick Ficarrotta – 97 pitches in one game (Saturday)

3.59 ERA in 57.2 IP

LHP Timmy Manning – 90 pitches in one game (Saturday)

4.76 ERA in 22.2 IP

RHP Karl Hartman  (9.00 ERA in 15 IP) and LHP Carsten Finnvold (16.62 ERA in 4.1 IP) haven’t pitched yet this week.

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.