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Tony Vitello Details Tennessee Baseball’s Pitching Plan For Game Three Of Super Regional

Photo By Kate Luffman/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee baseball is on the verge of elimination after dropping game two of the Knoxville Super Regional on Saturday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

Evansville totaled 10 runs in game two of the series, forcing Tennessee to use five pitchers and having success against starter Drew Beam and top reliever Nate Snead in the matchup.

So what does Tennessee’s pitching staff have left in the tack for Sunday’s matchup? It starts with left-handed pitcher Zander Sechrist.

“That’s kind of been a non-issue for the week,” Tennessee coach Tony Vitello said about the liner Sechrist took off his leg. “That’s our guy in the locker room. It’s our guy on the field so he’s got the ball and we’ll worry about the rest later.”

Sechrist is coming off of three of his bets performances of the season, combining to allow two earned runs (five total runs) in 16.2 innings pitched in his last three starts.

Behind Sechrist, Vitello isn’t ruling out any of Tennessee’s pitchers from throwing against the Purple Aces with the season on the line.

“I don’t think we’ve done anything to gas anybody out this particular weekend,” Vitello said.

Drew Beam seems the least likely to pitch in game three after throwing 82 pitches on Saturday. The most taxed arm behind Beam is AJ Causey who also threw 82 pitches but in the series opener on Friday. That extra day of rest should make the highly effective reliever available at least in a short spurt.

More From RTI: Everything Tennessee Coach Tony Vitello Said After Game Two Loss Against Evansville

There are other pitchers that may not be able to pitch extensively including Nate Snead (28 pitches on Saturday) and Kirby Connell (34 pitches on Friday and nine pitches on Saturday), but both of those guys will be available to pitch in short spurts and everyone else should be able to pitch extensively.

Other high end reliever Aaron Combs threw 20 pitches on Friday and opener Chris Stamos threw 27. Both those guys may not be fully worked up but should be able to throw for multiple innings. Combs availability is extremely important due to Snead’s struggles on Saturday and Causey’s workload on Friday.

Evansville’s pitching staff is running out of reliable options especially after star reliever Shane Harris threw 44 pitches on Friday and 24 high leverage pitches in the ninth inning on Saturday.

But much like Tennessee, everyone who is capable of throwing a single pitch for Evansville will be available. That could possibly include Friday starter Kenton Deverman (89 pitches) and Saturday starter Donovan Schultz (48 pitches)

First pitch from Lindsey Nelson Stadium is at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday evening. ESPNU is broadcasting the game.

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  1. Time for the VOLS to break the post season trend. Good luck TN!

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