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Tennessee at Southern Miss: How To Watch, Bats To Know, Predictions

Photo by Ian Cox/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee baseball heads to Hattiesburg, Mississippi needing two wins to return to the College World Series for the first time since 2021.

The Vols are back in the super regionals for the third straight season after sweeping through the Clemson Regional while Southern Miss is hosting a super regional for the second straight season after climbing out of the losers bracket to win the Auburn Regional.

Here’s everything you need to know about the NCAA Tournament series between Tennessee and Southern Miss.

More From RTI: ‘‘A Little Bit Crazy’: Camden Sewell’s Competitiveness Exemplifies Tennessee Baseball

Game Times — Tennessee (41-19, 16-14 SEC) vs. Southern Miss (45-18, 22-8 Sun Belt)

Game one (Saturday): 3 p.m. ET

Game two (Sunday): Approximately 3 p.m. ET

Game three (Monday if necessary): TBD

How To Watch

Game one: ESPNU. WatchESPN stream. ESPN+ stream

Game two: ESPN. WatchESPN stream. 

Game three: TBD.

What Tony Vitello Said About Southern Miss

On playing at Southern Miss

“You get to this time of year and we’ve seen it whether it be at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, or this last weekend — fortunately I’ve coached long enough, Frank has too. You get to this time of year. No one is not going to be pouring their heart and soul out on to the field. You can come up with whatever set of circumstances you want. For coaches, players, fanbases. Everyone is going to give it their best go. It is a baseball game, so there’s a lot of crazy things that can happen. Really, whatever competitive edge you’re looking for, it’s got to be based off of what your team has become throughout the year and there were teams last year that served as good examples for us now of, maybe the quickest path or the best path from point A to point B isn’t a straight line. And for us, there’s no way it’s been a straight line. I think whether we’re playing in Hoover, Clemson, at home, we finished the year in South Carolina. Our zig-zag path, ups and downs, rollercoaster, whatever it’s been throughout this year — it’s who we are, so stay true to who we are. And who are is a group of guys who are pretty capable when we’re playing our best or close to it. Throwing out the word best is ironic because I don’t think we’ve necessarily found that yet, especially over the course of a complete weekend.”

On Southern Miss starter Tanner Hall

“He takes advantage of hitters who are overzealous. Really preys on hitters who are overzealous. We go back to the point of everyone wants to give it their best, well it’s important to define what that is. Because try-hard isn’t necessarily your best and he doesn’t have a lot of try-hard in him, but if you’ve got a hitter in the box who is a little over-zealous, he takes advantage of them. And then he’s looking for you to beat the ball into the ground. His stuff matches up with that approach and it’s worked well for him to get ground balls, in particular against Samford in the regional outing he had. I know he came back and threw again on Monday, but that game in particular. It takes two to tango. He could face a hitter that’s either really talented or has the perfect approach, but he’s good enough to get guys out Mano e Mano as well. And then as we try to get our pitchers to understand, especially when they’re freshman. There’s other things besides pitching you gotta be well-rounded by getting in a rhythm on the mound, defending your position, holding on runners and he’s really well-rounded at all of those things that you could define as extra. But as a coach, you throw them all in the same hat of being a pitcher.”

On if he notices any Southern Miss weaknesses

“Coach [Scott] Berry covers those up. It’s why he is who he is. That program has been very well known in the baseball world for a while. The park tends to play a little offensive, so they’ve always had good offenses. If you watch the way they ae done things since he’s been there, there’s a well-rounded offense. It all stems from guys being competitive. You have a group of guys – and when you get to this time of the year, you can say it about anybody – there’s older guys who have experience before and they are hungry to get to whatever the next thing is in the playoffs. that’s what is going on there. The pitching staff, heck we saw one of their guys who was a part of a great pitching staff last year in [Florida pitcher Hurston Waldrep] and even though he is not a part of it there, there’s more. They’ve got a closer that’s done well for them. We haven’t really ever declared a closer, but again we can go back to that Burns example, you got a starter who is coming out of the bullpen and he’s able to give you 100 pitches. [Justin] Storm has done the same for them and [tanner] hall is leading the way for them. Pretty good club. If I wasn’t fortunate enough to be standing here talking about this weekend, which we are, you could rattle off any of the teams who are still alive and it’s going to be the case for all of them.”

Projected Pitching Matchups

Game one: RHP Andrew Lindsey (3-2, 2.40 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 64 K, 17 BB, 63.2 IP) vs. RHP Billy Oldham (8-3, 4.33 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 84 K, 23 BB, 72.2 IP)

Game two: RHP Chase Dollander (6-6, 4.50 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 111 K, 27 BB, 78 IP) vs. RHP Tanner Hall (12-3, 2.08 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 119 K, 32 BB, 108 IP)

Game three: TBD vs. TBD

Bats to Know


Jared Dickey — .335 BA, .405 OBP, .960 OPS, 12 HR, 21 XBH, 47 RBI

Griffin Merritt — .306 BA, .388 OBP, 1.076 OPS, 18 HR, 29 XBH, 46 RBI

Christian Moore — .321 BA, .466 OBP, 1.113 OPS, 17 HR, 28 XBH, 48 RBI

Zane Denton — .277 BA, .412 OBP, 1.004 OPS, 15 HR, 27 XBH, 55 RBI

Maui Ahuna — .304 BA, .423 OBP .959 OPS, 7 HR, 27 XBH, 40 RBI

Southern Miss

Dusin Dickerson — .328 BA, .421 OBP, .968 OPS, 10 HR, 33 XBH, 50 RBIs, 13-16 SB

Matthew Etzel —.317 BA, .384 OBP, .856 OPS, 7 HR, 26 XBH, 51 RBIs, 23-28 SB

Slade Wilks — .291 BA, .383 OBP, .995 OPS, 20 HR, 34 XBH, 58 RBIs

Danny Lynch — .257 BA, .409 OBP, .919 OPS, 13 HR, 27 XBH, 53 RBIs

Christopher Sargent — .256 BA, .327 OBP, .798 OPS, 13 HR, 25 XBH, 43 RBIs


Both Tennessee and Southern Miss have unfinished business on their mind after each fell in the super regionals a season ago. While neither team was a regional host, Tennessee is headed to Hattiesburg, giving them an added chip on its shoulder.

Southern Miss is a good team but Tennessee is more talented and has had a more impressive resume this season. I think it’s a relatively good matchup for Tennessee too. The Golden Eagles are heavy on right-handed pitching and aren’t aggressive on the base paths.

I predict the depth and talent of Tennessee’s pitching staff will overpower the Golden Eagles over the course of a three game series. The biggest question to me is how effective Southern Miss ace Tanner Hall will be after throwing over 150 pitches last week in the Auburn Regional. If Tennessee gets to Hall I don’t see Southern Miss path to victory.

Tennessee wins in two games

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