Diamond Vols Take On MidState Rival, Nashville's Belmont Tonight

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The Tennessee baseball team looks to build on its 8-1 record in midweek games this season when it hosts intrastate rival Belmont Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The contest against the Bruins marks UT’s last action before hosting seventh-ranked South Carolina this weekend in a crucial Southeastern Conference series.

Senior right-hander Craig Cobb (6-4, 5.23 ERA) is set to start on the mound for Tennessee Wednesday, while the Bruins will send either Ben Meador or Brandon Paetznick to the hill. Cobb is seeking his 26th career victory, which would give him solo grasp of second place on UT’s career wins list. He is currently tied for second all-time with former Vol Luke Hochevar (25 wins from 2003-05).

Offensively, Tennessee (28-20, 10-12 SEC) is led by junior outfielder Andy Simunic, who leads the team in batting average (.360), hits (64) and stolen bases (23). Freshman catcher Yan Gomes continues to provide power in the heart of the lineup with a team-high seven home runs and 40 RBIs.

Of the Tennessee’s biggest strengths as a team this season has been its ability to turn double plays. The Vols rank among the top-20 nationally and lead the SEC with 52 double plays.

Offensively, UT is coming off a 24-6 win over Tennessee Temple on Tuesday in which the Vols tied the school record for hits in a game with 28. The aluminum explosion was enough to raise Tennessee’s team batting average from .285 to .294 in just one game.

The Bruins (27-20, 13-8 Atlantic Sun) are coming off a week-long break in their schedule. In their most recent game, they used a grand-slam by sophomore Derek Wiley to break a scoreless tie in the third inning and defeat Murray State 8-1. At the plate, Belmont is led by seniors Wilson Tucker and Ben Petsch. Tucker is hitting .366 with 67 hits, 18 doubles, eight home runs and 36 RBIs, while Petsch is batting .348 with 63 hits and 13 doubles.

With a 16-4 win over the Bruins last season in Knoxville, the Vols evened the all-time series between the two teams at 2-2. All four games in the series have been played at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

Story Courtesy: UT Sports Information

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