KNOXVILLE (UTSports.com) - Tennessee head baseball coach Todd Raleigh announced the rosters Thursday for the first annual Orange & White World Series, a five-game fall intrasquad series set to begin Friday at Robert M. Lindsay Field at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Friday’s game begins at 3 p.m. and is scheduled for seven innings.
The White Team, managed by assistant coach Bradley LeCroy, will send junior right-hander Aaron Everett to the mound Friday. Everett’s 2.82 ERA from a season ago is the best of any returning Vol, and his four wins last year are tied for the most among returners. In 44 2/3 innings as a sophomore, the Loudon, Tenn., native recorded 46 strikeouts against just 12 walks while limiting opposing batters to a .234 average.
Redshirt freshman left-hander Bryan Morgado gets the start for assistant coach Fred Corral’s Orange Team Friday. It will provide Volunteer fans with their first opportunity to see the highly touted Morgado in action, as he sat out the 2007 season after undergoing surgery for an arm injury that he suffered before his enrollment at UT.
Offensively, the White Team is led by senior second baseman Andy Simunic. The versatile Collierville, Tenn., native is Tennessee’s top returning hitter after posting a .333 average last season and leading the Vols in hits (75) and leading the Southeastern Conference in stolen bases (29). Simunic spent the majority of his 58 games played last year in the outfield but has earned praise from head coach Todd Raleigh for his smooth transition to the middle infield—as well as his leadership—this fall.
Other returning position players on the White roster are senior outfielder Daniel Beasley, senior outfielder Shawn Griffin, junior infielder Cody brown, junior outfielder Jarred Frazier and sophomore catcher Michael Moore. First-year Vols rounding out the White Team lineup are junior infielders Trey Burstrom and Cody Grisham, junior catcher Matt Hamaker and freshman outfielder Josh Liles.
Catcher Yan Gomes, a 2007 Freshman All-America selection, headlines the Orange Team batting order. Gomes started all 59 games for the Vols last season while splitting time between catcher and first base. The Miami, Fla., native hit .310 on the year, and his eight homers are the most of any returning Vol.
Other Orange Team veteran position players include junior outfielder Ryan Jones, junior shortstop Danny Lima, sophomore outfielder Brian Bibee and sophomore infielder Alan Wright. Newcomers on that squad are junior infielder Grant Betler, sophomore third baseman Tanner Moore, freshman outfielders Kentrail Davis and P.J. Polk and freshman catcher Blake Forsythe.
The Tennessee coaching staff also announced starting pitchers for games two and three of the World Series. Sunday’s matchup features sophomore right-hander Steve Crnkovich for the Orange Team and sophomore left-hander Nick Hernandez for the White Team. Junior right-hander Ryne Simpson is slated to start game three for the White Team on Wednesday, Oct. 10, while junior left-hander Joey Rosas makes his Rocky Top debut for the Orange Team.
The White Team bullpen boasts right-handers Danny Wiltz and Todd Barnett, along with southpaw Bryan Powell. Relief pitchers for the Orange Team include left-handers Jeff Lockwood and D.J. Leffler and right-hander Zane Stone. Lockwood, who joined Gomes as a Freshman All-America honoree last season, also could see action offensively.
Starting pitchers in the Orange & White World Series are prohibited from beginning a new inning after having thrown 60 or more pitches. Relievers can’t throw more than two total innings in a weekend.
The final four World Series games are scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 7 at 1 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20 at 1:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. Game three on Oct. 10, is the only contest scheduled for nine innings. All other games will be seven-inning affairs.
Admission is free for all World Series games, and spectators are reminded to be cautious of foul balls, as the stadium netting is currently down due to construction.