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No. 4 Tennessee Baseball at No. 3 Kentucky: How To Watch, Pitching Matchups, Prediction

Photo By Grayson Belanger/Auburn Tigers

Tennessee baseball heads on the road this weekend for its biggest series of the season to date. The fourth-ranked Vols are heading north to take on third-ranked Kentucky in Lexington.

The Vols have won four straight SEC series and are currently in fourth place in the conference while the Wildcats are 14-1 in conference play and are atop the SEC standings.

Here’s everything to know about the weekend series.

More From RTI: Tennessee’s Series Against Kentucky Pits Different Styles Of Play Against Each Other

How To Watch — No. 4 Tennessee (31-6, 10-5 SEC) at No.3 Kentucky (31-5, 14-1 SEC)

Game One

  • 6:30 p.m. ET
  • Stream: SEC Network+
  • PxP: Dick Gabriel, CC: Doug Flynn

Game Two

  • 2 p.m. ET
  • Stream: SEC Network+
  • PxP: Dick Gabriel, CC: Doug Flynn

Game Three

  • 1 p.m. ET
  • Stream: SEC Network+
  • PxP: Dick Gabriel, CC: Doug Flynn

What Tennessee HC Tony Vitello Said About Kentucky

On what he knows about Kentucky

“I am a little short on info, but you get halfway through the year and you start to hear some things and see some things. Hopefully I’m not jumping to conclusions, but a pretty big carry over from last year. Their pitching coach does a great job, and their guys throw strikes. And part of that is that their park is a flip opposite of their old park and plays very friendly to pitchers. So, there’s kind of some forces at work there with the pitching staff. And then on top of that, there’s a lot of pitchers back from last year. It was a good staff, and they just flat-out have good stuff. You can probably start with that, but there’s also some guys on the offensive end there that have really put to practice what they are trying to do, which is come at you from a bunch of different angles. Whether it’s bunting or just finding their way on base or just stealing bases. That’s what we saw last year. A complete offense and a proper pitching staff, or a pitching staff you would be proud of if you were a part of that squad, and you combine the two, and you got yourself a competitive team. I don’t know enough to study the defense, but when you have good athletes that are playing hard, they’re probably capable there, too. Again, it is kind of flipping from their old park to their new one, it is a home-field advantage, too. There’s some unique things going on there. I’ll leave it at that. They’ve won plenty on the road, but like a lot of teams in our league – pretty much all of them – it’s always more of a challenge to go on the road and see what you can do.”

On coaching against a team that runs well

“I think it can come up in practice, but you only have so many days. If you play a Tuesday game, and of course we travel, too, there’s only so much time with our guys, so you want to be efficient with your work and your conversations where, not just that, but what is something unique that goes on here? And we want to put ourselves in a position – we played earlier, it was [Bobby] Peirce from Auburn – ‘Don’t run on him’ [is what we told the guys]. We talked about it, we addressed it, and we only had a short window and explained it and used examples, but we did it anyway. And our guy, who is not fleet of foot (Blake Burke), but gosh dang he can hit, he was safe at third. I probably took him out of the game too early tonight. But he was safe at third. We’re just trying to put him in a position to succeed, and I’m making light of it, but there’s a lot of different things each team does well, and then there’s – with this league – there’s some guys that do things extremely well. You try and point it out to the guys, and then you just have to play ball. They’ll make mistakes – not just Kentucky, any team – the opponent will make mistakes, and we’ll make mistakes, too, because they’re young kids. But you want to compete together and play hard and hopefully you limit those mistakes but also can do some nice things to help your team win a game.”

Projected Pitching Matchups

LHP Chris Stamos (1 GS, 3-0, 3.45 ERA, 15.2 IP, 15 K, 9 BB, .96 WHIP) vs. RHP Trey Pooser (3-0, 4.11 ERA, 35 IP, 33 K, 13 BB, 1.23 WHIP)

RHP Drew Beam (9 GS, 5-1, 3.16 ERA, 51.1 IP, 45 K, 10 BB, 1.27 WHIP) vs. LHP Dominic Niman (7-2, 3.40 ERA, 53 IP, 47 K, 14 BB, 1.09 WHIP)

LHP Zander Sechrist (9 GS, 1-0, 3.34 ERA, 32.1 IP, 37 K, 6 BB, 1.14 WHIP) vs. RHP Mason Moore (7-0, 3.45 ERA, 47 IP, 43 K, 22 BB, 1.17 WHIP)

Bats To Know


1B Blake Burke — .422/.483/.859, 13 HR, 33 EBH, 36 RBI, 16 BB, 21 K

2B Christian Moore — .352/.429/.754, 15 HR, 27 EBH, 36 RBI, 18 BB, 28 K

3B Billy Amick — .359/.455/.796, 12 HR, 20 EBH, 30 RBI, 16 BB, 21 K

OF Kavares Tears — .377/.493/.737, 11 HR, 19 EBH, 30 RBI, 27 BB, 25 K

LF Dylan Dreiling — .333/.461/.789, 13 HR, 25 EBH, 44 RBI, 26 BB, 30 K


Nick Lopez — .403/.459/.636, 4 HR, 20 EBH, 29 RBI, 14 BB, 10 K

Ryan Waldschmidt — .339/.500/.578, 6 HR, 14 EBH, 25 RBI, 27 BB, 20 K, 13 SB

Ryan Nicholson — .312/.432/.670, 11 HR, 17 EBH, 37 RBI, 20 BB, 26 K,

Emilien Pitre — .310/.420/.521, 5 HR, 19 EBH, 35 RBI, 26 BB, 24 K, 19 SB

Devin Burkes — .235/.369/.353, 2 HR, 10 EBH, 23 RBI, 17 BB, 10 K

Last Three Series


  • Swept LSU in Knoxville
  • Won two out of three at Auburn
  • Won two out of three against Georgia at home


  • Swept Auburn on the road
  • Swept Alabama in Tuscaloosa
  • Swept Ole Miss in Oxford


Tennessee heads to Kentucky for its most highly touted series of the season to date. It’s a top five matchup that pits two teams with different styles against one another.

With Kentucky’s small ball style, Tennessee’s defense will be key this weekend. The Vols have been better there this season and this weekend will be a real test.

I think Tennessee is a slightly better team but with this series being on the road and with the ball park and weather playing to Kentucky’s advantage I’m taking the Wildcats to win the series. This one feels like a true toss up and I think all three games will be competitive.

Kentucky wins two out of three

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