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Trio Of Tennessee Baseball Players Enter The Transfer Portal On Monday

Robin Villeneuve runs to first base against Georgia // Photo via UT Athletics

A trio of Tennessee baseball players hopped in the transfer portal on Monday just a day before the portal closes, On3’s Pete Nakos and Eric Cain first reported and a Tennessee spokesperson confirmed to RTI.

Versatile fielder Robin Villeneuve, middle infielder Bradke Lohry and right-handed pitcher Derek Schaefer entered the transfer portal after spending one year each with Tennessee baseball.

All three players had promising roles entering and early in the season but never ended up having significant roles by the end of the season. In fact, Lohry was the only player on Tennessee’s active roster at the College World Series. Villeneuve was on the trip but not active while Schaefer had already begun summer ball and was not with the Vols in Omaha.

Villeneuve was a junior college transfer and was one of the Vols’ best bats in pre-conference action, starting in the corner outfield or at designated hitter. But the right-handed bat’s production fell off a cliff in SEC play where he hit .152 with two home runs and a staggering 53% strikeout rate.

While Villeneuve struggled mightily in SEC play, he still flashed promise over the course of the season and hit .288 with five home runs and 22 RBIs. With Tennessee losing an abundance of bats to the MLB Draft, Villeneuve would have competed for a starting spot this offseason.

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Bradke Lohry was Tennessee’s opening day starter at second base while Christian Moore started at shortstop. But Lohry’s role was diminished when Dean Curley grabbed the reins of the starting shortstop spot and Moore slid back over to second base.

A junior college transfer, Lohry ended his lone season in Knoxville hitting .241 in 29 at-bats. The middle infielder started game two of the Knoxville Super Regional against Evansville while Moore started at designated hitter with a banged up hamstring. Lohry hit one of his three doubles on the season in the game.

A highly touted prep recruit, Schaefer came to Tennessee with a chance to earn a meaningful role as a freshman. But things didn’t come to fruition for Schaefer as he posted a 9.35 ERA in 8.2 innings pitched. Schaefer pitched just once in SEC play, allowing five earned runs in one inning pitched against Georgia.

The Vols have now lost six players to the transfer portal this offseason with the trio joining left-handed pitchers Wyatt Evans and Matthew Dallas as well a third baseman Zane Denton. Evans committed to South Carolina and Denton committed to Austin Peay late last month while Dallas is still in the portal.

The transfer portal closes on Tuesday so there’s just one more day for Tennessee players to hop in the portal and retain eligibility next season. Players can still commit to schools after the portal officially closes.

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