May 21, 2024

Tennessee baseball ranked No. 1 for first time in school history

Tennessee was ranked No. 1 unanimously for the first time in program history on Monday. The Vols lead the nation in multiple stats, including home runs and ERA.

Tennessee outscored Ole Miss 26-7 over the weekend. The Vols' 23-1 record and 6-0 SEC record are both the best starts in program history. Photo courtesy @vol_baseball Twitter

For the first time ever, the No. 1 team in college baseball resides in Knoxville, Tennessee. On Monday, Tennessee (23-1, 6-0 SEC) was ranked No. 1 in all six major division one college baseball polls: DI Baseball, Baseball America, USA TODAY Coaches Poll, National College Baseball Writer’s Association, Perfect Game and Collegiate Baseball News.

It marks the first time in program history that Tennessee Baseball has ranked first in D1 Baseball’s poll, and the first unanimous No. 1 ranking in program history.

The rankings came following a dominant sweep by Tennessee against Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss. Ole Miss (16-7, 2-4 SEC) was the top-ranked team in the country going into the series. They fell to No. 10 in D1 Baseball after dropping three straight.

Tennessee is the first unanimous No. 1 team since Arkansas in 2021. The Vols were ranked fifth by D1 Baseball and USA TODAY Coaches Poll last week, among the other polls.

The Vols have steadily climbed the rankings throughout the season. They were ranked No. 18 in the preseason following their first College World Series trip since 2005. The 23-1 and 6-0 SEC records are both the best starts in program history.

Those wins have been no fluke either. Tennessee’s offense leads the nation in batting average (.338), home runs (64), OPS (1.138) and is second in runs scored (266). The pitching staff leads the nation in ERA (1.89) and WHIP (0.87), and is second in K/BB ratio (4.90).

The Vols’ scorching start to SEC play has been fueled by magnificent outings from underclassmen starting pitchers. Freshman Chase Burns has set the tone for every series this year pitching on Fridays. He is 5-0 with a 0.80 ERA, which is seventh-best in the country and first in the SEC.

Sophomore Chase Dollander and freshman Drew Beam have accompanied Burns on weekends. Dollander is 4-0 with a 2.67 ERA. He leads the Vols with 54 strikeouts in 30.1 innings pitched. Beam is 5-0 with a 1.13 ERA, good for third in the SEC.

Tennessee’s series against Ole Miss was the first of back-to-back weekends against top SEC opponents. The Vols travel to Nashville, Tenn. to face No. 9 Vanderbilt this weekend.

The SEC has seven teams ranked in the DI Baseball top 25. Tennessee has a chance to take control of the SEC East with a series win against Vanderbilt this weekend.

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