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No. 1 Tennessee Baseball vs. Northern Kentucky: How To Watch, What To Know

Photo By Emma Ramsey/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee baseball opens up NCAA Tournament play on Friday night when it hosts Northern Kentucky in its first game of the Knoxville Regional.

The first two games are extremely critical in the regional and while Northern Kentucky is a four-seed, they boast one of the top offenses in the country from a statistical standpoint.

Here’s everything to know about Tennessee’s NCAA Tournament opening matchup.

More From RTI: Tony Vitello Details Pitching Plan For Knoxville Regional

How To Watch — No. 1 Tennessee (50-11, 22-8 SEC) vs Northern Kentucky (35-22, 19-11 Horizon)

  • Game time: 7 p.m. ET
  • Watch: SEC Network
  • Stream link: SEC Network+

What Tony Vitello Said About The Norse

On what stands out about Northern Kentucky

“Scrappy is a word that comes up often and I’m referring to their team. I think we have the ability to do that too but I think by nature that’s been who they are. They’re very well coached and it’s easy if you hear their coach speak. He’s very well spoken. Since they’ve been there, they’re certainly no stranger to SEC opponents or SEC caliber opponents. I know they’ve played Kentucky and gone in and beaten Mississippi State before. They’ve beaten Missouri. Then on top of that, to win their league you have to beat a team like Wright State which obviously everyone standing here, not just me, has a ton of respect for that program. On offense, very aggressive. Not just at the plate but on the bases and then we’ll see a right-handed pitcher (Tanner) Gillis that had an outstanding year for them. And he’s older. He’s been there, done that. So with that experience I’m sure he knows what to expect and how to handle with what comes with a regional.”

How They Got Here

The Norse finished second in the Horizon League in the regular season before knocking off regular season champion Wright State to win the conference tournament and make it to the NCAA Tournament. The Norse are playing strong baseball and have won 10 of their last 12 games including a season finale series victory against Wright State. Northern Kentucky have played a number of bigger schools this season. Here’s how they fared. Georgia swept the Norse but two games were decided by one run. Northern Kentucky won two out of three at Missouri. They lose midweek games against Indiana and Louisville.

Tennessee is the top seed in the NCAA Tournament after winning the SEC Regular Season and Tournament Championship. The Vols were particularly impressive in the back half of SEC play.

Projected Pitching Matchup

  • Tennessee LHP Chris Stamos (3-0, 3.34 ERA, 1.08 WHIP) vs. Northern Kentucky RHP Tanner Gillis (8-2, 4.60 ERA, 1.16 WHIP)

Bats To Know


2B Christian Moore — .382/.447/.789, 28 HR, 44 EBH, 63 RBI, 26 BB, 40 K

1B Blake Burke — .372/.441/.7001, 17 HR, 42 EBH, 51 RBI, 27 BB, 37 K

3B Billy Amick — .317/.388/.663, 19 HR, 32 EBH, 53 RBI, 21 BB, 43 K

RF Kavares Tears — .337/.433/.658, 17 HR, 30 EBH, 48 RBI, 35 BB, 59 K

LF Dylan Dreiling — .317/.439/.663, 17 HR, 35 EBH, 60 RBI, 42 BB, 52 K

Northern Kentucky:

Trevvin Moss — .388/.450/.675, 11 HR, 39 EBH, 66 RBI, 27 BB, 20 K, 29 SB

Liam McFadden-Ackman — .362/.493/.729, 15 HR, 37 EBH, 76 RBI, 58 BB, 56 K, 16 SB

Cleary Simpson — .345/.504/.517, 5 HR, 21 EBH, 48 RBI, 54 BB, 43 K, 16 SB

Tyler Shaneyfelt — .366/.496/.495, 2 HR, 13 EBH, 37 RBI, 44 BB, 33 K, 18 SB

John Odom — .340/.422/.667, 10 HR, 25 EBH, 37 RBI, 16 BB, 39 K, 11 SB

Recent Results


  • Went 4-1 to win the SEC Tournament (wins over Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and LSU)
  • Swept South Carolina in Knoxville
  • Won two out of three against Vanderbilt in Nashville

Northern Kentucky

  • Went 3-0 to win the Horizon League Tournament (wins over Milwaukee, Wright State and Youngstown State)
  • Won two out of three at Wright State
  • Won two out of three against Purdue Fort Wayne

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