2012 College Baseball Analysis: Getting to Know the Tennessee Volunteers

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The Volunteers come to Columbia for a three game series this weekend. First pitches are at 7:00pm Friday, 8:00pm Saturday and 1:30pm on Sunday.

Tennessee managed to lure Daver Serrano away from Cal State Fullerton in the off season.  They started the season 7-0, then cooled off some, but appear to be gaingin some steam again.  They lost their series at Georgia 2-1, and lost to Kentucky at home 2-1, but they swept Alabama this past weekend and should be confident coming to Columbia.

Pitching...The Pitching staff has been something of a mess.  Junior right hander Zack Godley (4-1, 3.89) will probably get the start on Friday night.  The other probable starter is sophomore right hander Nick Williams (2-2, 2.40).  Godley and WIlliams have been the most consistent starters, but Coach Serrano has used lots of other starters as well.  Junior RHP Nick Blount (15 app., 4.63) will get plenty of time on the mound and may even start a game.  There will probably be many different pitchers used, especially on Sunday, and don't be suprised if they don't stay out there very long.  They are mostly righties with the notable exceptiopns of T.J. Thornton (0-0, 5.40), a senior, and sophomore Dalton Saberhagen (0.00, 10 IP).  Yes, that Saberhagen.  His father is Bret.


Hitting...Davis Morgan, a senior first baseman, is leading the team with a .333 average.  His average is a little higher than that lately since he got off to a slow start to the season.  Senior short stop Zach Osborne, one of the more clutch hitters in the Volunteer line up is batting .307.  He doesn't have a lot of power, but the Gamecock pitchers will be very aware of him.  Outfielder Drew Steckenrider is leading the team in home runs with 4 and has driven in 14 as well.  Another outfielder, Chris Fritts, leads the team in RBIs with 20.

What South Carolina Needs...The Gamecocks plan this week is the same as it was last week: continue to climb out of the hole they put themselves in to begin the season.  The first step toward that was winning a series.  Carolina checked that one off last week.  The next step is getting back to .500 in conference play.  A sweep would get them there quickly this week, but that's too much to expect at this point.  Winning the series should be the goal and will continue to build momentum for the rest of the season.

Get more great South Carolina sports analysis over at Leftover Hot Dog.