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Tony Vitello Announces Tennessee Baseball’s Starting Pitcher For SEC Tournament Quarterfinals

Photo By Ian Cox/Tennessee Athletics

HOOVER, Ala. — Right-handed pitcher Drew Beam will start for Tennessee baseball in its SEC Tournament Quarterfinals matchup on Friday night. The Vols will face the loser of Thursday night’s Mississippi State-Vanderbilt game in an elimination game at the Hoover Met.

“Beam is a very routine-orientated guy, and it’s good that instead of him coming in and throwing the eighth inning or ninth inning or something, that he gets a start tomorrow,” Tennessee coach Tony Vitello said. “I don’t know what we’ll do pitch count-wise. We’ll wait to see when the game starts.”

Beam, the SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year, is making his 15th start of the season on Friday night. He enters the matchup with an 8-2 record, 3.59 ERA and 1.29 WHIP on the season. Beam has struck out 71 batters and walked 19 in a team-high 80.1 innings pitched.

After using eight pitchers in a bullpen game during its 13-4 loss against Vanderbilt on Wednesday, Tennessee turned to its normal series opening stack of Chris Stamos and AJ Causey on Thursday. The duo combined to throw 7.1 innings allowing just three runs.

More From RTI: How Tennessee Baseball Got It Done On Thursday Against Texas A&M

Behind Stamos and Causey’s strong outings, Tennessee held a stout Texas A&M lineup at bay and stayed alive in the SEC Tournament by knocking off the Aggies 7-4.

With Tennessee using its normal game one pitching plan on Thursday it made natural sense to go to its game two starter Beam for the quarterfinal matchup. Star reliever Aaron Combs has been relieving Beam in the back half of SEC play and that seems like the most likely scenario again on Friday.

“Combs, we had kind of a set rest plan for him, kind of how we did bullpen stuff. He wasn’t really available today,” Vitello said. “We’d like to get Combsy a little action tomorrow.”

Tennessee baseball faces the loser of Thursday night’s Mississippi State-Vanderbilt game. First pitch is at approximately 7:30 p.m. ET on the SEC Network.

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