The No. 6 Tennessee Volunteers head down to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on a 6-game winning streak. The Crimson Tide welcomes the Vols with a 6-game streak of their own. Only, Alabama’s stretch is the inverse of the Volunteer’s.
Tennessee keeps climbing the rankings in most composites, while Bama has completely dropped out of the Top 25 for any list. Head coach Tony Vitello and Co. have even garnered a reputation in the conference. At the very least, they have spoiled the fun for some traditional powerhouses in the SEC.
The Vols look to keep rolling while the Tide are desperate for a bounce-back spot. Here are some news and notes going into the conference matchup.
What sets these teams apart is an approach at the plate and performance on the bases
- Tennessee is fifth in the conference in OBP (.389)
- Alabama is 12th in OBP (.367)
- The Vols are second in stolen bases (32)
- The Tide are 1oth in runs scored (154)
- UT is second in triples (10) and third in doubles (47)
- Bama has 40 triples and doubles combined
A deep pitching staff has been key for Tennessee. Will the Crimson Tide arms hold up?
- Alabama will still be without sophomore Connor Prielipp. The pitcher’s only appearance this season came in February against McNeese. Prielipp was ranked the No.4 pitcher in college by Baseball America back in February
#Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon: "Connor Prielipp's actually had a good week to this point. He won't pitch this weekend (vs. Vols) but has made some progress, which is really positive."
Bohannon said there's no formal timetable for Prielipp to return.
— Charlie Potter (@Charlie_Potter) March 31, 2021
- Weekend starters Chad Dallas (senior) and Blade Tidwell (freshman) have a combined record of 7-1 in 63 IP Together, the two Volunteers have 77 SO and just 15 BB.
- Alabama Juniors Tyler Ras and Dylan Smith have a combined ERA of 2.62 despite a 3-4 record. They are the only Bama pitchers to log over 30 IP.
- The Vols have allowed 28 doubles (t-3rd), the Tide 42 (13th)
- Both team have a propensity for throwing strikes. Tennessee is first in the league in walks allowed (63), while Alabama is third (70).
Keys to victory for both Tennessee and Bama
- The Vols are 5-1 through the first five innings of SEC play. They have outscored opponents 23-9 in those frames.
- The Tide has a 2-4 F5 record. They have outscored opponents 16-11 in those frames. *This includes a 10-run second inning against Arkansas
- Senior Sean Hunley and Sophomore Kirby Connell have been superb in relief for Tennessee. The two are 5-0 with a .72 WHIP and .96 ERA (22 apps)
- Alabama has just 4 saves on the season
- The Vols star player is senior Liam Spence. The shortstop leads in many categories, including OPS (1.068), TB (54), and SLG(.568).
- The Tide have sophomore Peyton Wilson leading the charge with 62 total bases and a slash line of .343/.420/.608