Special to Sports News Highlights

(SNH) — The Tennessee Volunteers’ baseball team has been dominant in 2024. The Vols are currently ranked No. 1 in the country and have a 42-10 overall record with a 19-8 mark in conference play.

In Knoxville, the Vols have been almost unbeatable. The team sports a 31-3 record at home and is 2-1 in neutral-site games. Good offense travels, as does elite pitching.

Tennessee offense is electric

The BaseVols have one of the nation’s most explosive offenses in 2024. The Vols are third in the nation in home runs, tied for seventh in doubles, 12th in hits, 11th in batting average and third in runs scored.

Of the batters with at least 100 plate appearances, six are hitting .300 or above. Five players on the team have at least 15 homers and six have at least 35 RBI. Junior infielder Christian Moore has been one of the best hitters in the country. Moore is sporting a .380/.446/.774 slash line and is tied for seventh in the nation with 23 homers.

Moore, Dylan Dreiling, Billy Amick and Blake Burke all have an OPS over 1.000. When the Vols’ bats get hot, there aren’t many offenses that can keep up. Even when the bats are cold, the Vols can’t be counted out due to an elite stable of arms. 

Pitching is dominant, too

While an elite offense has buoyed the team, the pitching staff has held its own. The Vols are fourth in the nation with a team ERA of 3.86, sixth in WHIP, fifth in walks allowed and 17th in hits allowed per nine innings.

Sophomore pitcher Nate Snead has tossed 56 innings of 2.57 ERA ball and has eight wins to just one loss. Fellow pitcher AJ Causey is tied for eighth in the nation with nine wins and sports a 4.13 ERA. Zander Sechrist has a 4.57 ERA over 43.1 innings with one win and one loss. Drew Beam has a 3.75 ERA with seven wins and two losses.

Out of the bullpen, Kirby Connell and the aforementioned Snead have been electric. Both pitchers have four saves and a WHIP of 1.31 or lower. Aaron Combs is allowing batters to hit just .192 in 28 innings, mostly in a relief role.

Can the Vols go all the way?

The Vols are seeking to appear in the College World Series for the third time in five years. The team has never won a College World Series, finishing as the runner-up once way back in 1951.

If the Vols can go all the way in 2024, they will have to get past some stiff competition. The Kentucky Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Clemson Tigers and Texas A&M Aggies are on the Vols’ heels.

How the Vols perform in the SEC Tournament later this month will give us a feel for the team’s postseason hopes. The SEC currently has seven teams inside of the top 25, but the Vols have just as good a chance as any to lift the trophy at the end of the season.

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