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Tennessee’s Offense Ineffective In SEC Tournament Opening Loss Against Texas A&M

Photo via Tennessee Athletics

HOOVER, Ala. — Tennessee baseball’s trip to the SEC Tournament was a short one as the Vols fell to Texas A&M 3-0 Tuesday afternoon at the Hoover Met.

Aggies starter Troy Wansing dominated Tennessee’s lineup while the Vols’ pitching staff did enough to keep Tennessee in striking distance throughout the afternoon.

Here’s everything to know about Tennessee’s SEC Tournament opening loss.

Texas A&M’s Troy Wansing Dominates Tennessee

Tennessee totaled four earned runs in 1.1 innings against Texas A&M’s Troy Wansing back in Knoxville the second weekend of conference play.

Wansing completely flipped the script and dominated Tennessee in the SEC Tournament opener. The Aggies’ weekend starter retired the first 16 Tennessee batters he faced with Christian Scott ending the perfect game with a single to right field in the sixth inning.

But even after surrendering his first hit, Wansing effectively got back to work. Scott didn’t advance to second in the sixth inning and the soft throwing lefty wouldn’t allow another baserunner before a rain delay ended his day after eight innings pitched.

The delay kept Wansing from a likely complete game shutout as he allowed just one hit, zero runs and np walks while striking out seven. The lefty kept Tennessee off balance all afternoon and turned in the exact opposite outing that he did against the Vols in the regular season.

Tennessee has played better baseball the second half of SEC play but offensive inconsistency away from Lindsey Nelson Stadium has been one struggle to persist. With the SEC Tournament opening loss, Tennessee will almost certainly head on the road to open the SEC Tournament.

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Seth Halvorsen And Camden Sewell

Neither Seth Halvorsen or Camden Sewell were great for Tennessee but they were both solid and picked up valuable outs for the Vols as they stayed within striking distance.

As the rain fell in Hoover, Halvorsen’s command wasn’t at its best leading to three walks and Texas A&M consistently having baserunners. However, the former Missouri starter never let things blow up on him. He retired the side around a leadoff walk in the second before allowing one run in each of the third and fourth innings.

It led to a four inning outing where Halvorsen allowed two earned runs and six baserunners while striking out six in four innings pitched. Perfect? No. But Halvorsen was solid for the Vols and more than gave them a chance.

It was much of the same for Tennessee reliever Camden Sewell who was the first Vol out of the bullpen. Sewell’s start was shaky as he threw six straight balls before picking off the runner at first and striking out the batter for out number two.

Sewell steadied the ship after that and was largely effective in three innings pitched. Jace LaViolette launches a solo homer off of him that extended the Aggies’ lead to 3-0 but the super senior was otherwise impressive.

The Cleveland, Tennessee native allowed just one run and two baserunners while striking out three batters. Much like Halvorsen, Sewell wasn’t perfect but he was effective and kept the Vols’ within striking distance.

Some Bad Luck Sprinkled Amongst The Bad Offense

Tennessee’s offense was definitely bad against Texas A&M. When you have one baserunner the entire game and strikeout eight times there’s no getting around the offense being bad.

But there was a handful of bad breaks mixed in with the unproductive at-bats. Cal Stark flew out to the warning track in center in a ball that would have been a two-run homer at Lindsey Nelson Stadium and Hunter Ensley roped a one-out liner in the fourth inning right at shortstop Hunter Haas.

The best example of Tennessee’s bad luck came in the eighth inning when the Vols were starting to work some more competitive at-bats against Wansing.

Christian Moore worked the count full before roping a liner to shortstop for out number one. Zane Denton followed it up by roping a liner right at the third baseman. Neither defender had to move while making the plays.

Tennessee’s offense was bad against Texas A&M and was largely uncompetitive at times. That is a concern for Tennessee as they head on the road for the NCAA Tournament especially against soft throwing left-handed pitchers.

But there were plenty of at-bats that had a good process and poor results for Tennessee against the Aggies.

Final Stats

Up Next

Tennessee returns to Knoxville where it’ll await its NCAA Tournament fate. The NCAA Tournament selection show is on Memorial Day — Monday, May 29 — at noon ET. ESPN2 is broadcasting the event.

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