The Collegiate Baseball Newspaper released its 2023 preseason rankings Tuesday morning with Tennessee coming in as the No. 5 team in the country.
Tennessee is the fourth highest ranked SEC team in the poll as the nation’s most dominant conference is well represented in the poll. No. 1 LSU, No. 2 Florida, No. 3 Stanford and No. 4 Texas A&M all come in ahead of the Vols.
The Vols were No. 36 in Collegiate Baseball’s preseason rankings a season ago before climbing to No. 1 in the country where they spent most of the season. Tennessee won the SEC regular season and tournament before Notre Dame upset them in the Knoxville Super Regional.
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The reigning SEC champions lost an abundance of key pieces off of last season’s team including eight of the nine starters in the field. While the Vols lost the majority of their key bats, they bring back talented underclassmen Jared Dickey, Blake Burke and Christian Moore.
Tennessee also added multiple talented transfers including Kansas shortstop Maui Ahuna, third baseman Zane Denton and corner outfielder Griffin Merritt.
While Tony Vitello’s sixth Tennessee team doesn’t return an abundance of talent in the field they do on the mound. Tennessee returns its weekend starting rotation: Chase Dollander, Chase Burns and Drew Beam as well as key bullpen piece Camden Sewell.
Tennessee opens its 2023 season on Feb. 17 at the MLB4 Collegiate Baseball Tournament in Arizona.