Diamond Vols prepared to take field in 2015

Tennessee’s baseball team will start their season Friday in Miami, Florida as they take on Florida International University in a three game set.

Tennessee’s baseball team will start their season Friday in Miami, Florida as they take on Florida International University  in a three game set.

The Vols will be out to prove that they are back this season – to the SEC and the nation – after a number of mediocre years in the conference. Dave Serrano is entering his fourth season as the head coach of the Vols. In his tenure there have been some bumps in the road, as expected, but 2015 could be the year the Vols fully turn it around on the field and make a push in the SEC.

Tennessee will have plenty of competition to deal with in league play, but stand poised to move up the in the standings. UT has been picked to finish fourth in the eastern division of the SEC, with in-state rival Vanderbilt picked to win it all. Florida and South Carolina are also ahead of the Vols in the polls.

The SEC has witnessed a surge of power in recent years. South Carolina has sustained success on the national level, while LSU and Vanderbilt have shown consistency.

Tennessee will start the season ranked No. 25. Being ranked in the preseason is something that shows the progress the Vols have made since Serrano’s arrival. Tennessee had two players named to the All-SEC preseason team – junior Christin Stewart on the first team and sophomore Nick Senzel on the second team.

Stewart spent time with USA baseball over the summer and impressed many people outside the program. For Tennessee, he won the “triple crown” and was the first UT player since 2009 to be awarded All-SEC first team. Stewart’s leadership and play on the field will help to determine the success of the team.

The Vols also have a dynamic play maker at shortstop in junior A.J. Simcox. Simcox is a veteran player – one of the most experienced players on the team with 102 games under his belt. The .276 career hitter will lead the Vols defensively and can provide some help at the plate.

It will be a season filled with challenges for Serrano and his team, but the Vols have the potential to shine in 2015.

Edited by Cody McClure

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Sam Forman is the lead sports staff writer for the Tennessee Journalist and is a senior studying Journalism and Electronic Media with a focus on sports broadcasting and reporting. He has been with TNJN since the fall of 2014. He is also a DJ for WUTK 90.3 fm. and a member of the Rock Solid Sports team. Sam has spent six years marching in the Pride of The Southland Marching Band. When he is not covering or talking sports, you can find him outdoors, playing music or hanging out with friends. You can find him on twitter: @samWforman