Tennessee Vols morning report: Baseball season begins for 2020

Baseball season beginning with a home series this weekend for the Tennessee Vols leads a heavy Friday of Volunteers news for Feb. 14, 2020.

Happy Valentine’s Day! While today may be filled with love for lots of people, when it comes to the Tennessee Vols athletic program, it is filled with tons of news. This is one of the peak times of the year for college sports developments.

Our morning update on Rocky Top leads with news from Rick Barnes regarding the men’s basketball program and baseball season finally beginning. Yes, everybody is ready to look forward to spring, and this is a way to do it. Part of the season opening is a new experience for home games that made headlines Thursday, and there are also more preseason awards to address.

Beyond those sports though, we have recaps in women’s basketball and softball to get to, previews of women’s tennis and track and field events and an SEC event to cover. So there is a ton of news for today. Let’s start with Barnes.

Rick Barnes addresses media ahead of practice – Sports Radio, WNML

Coming off their 21-point win over the Arkansas Razorbacks, the Tennessee Vols men’s basketball program held a practice Thursday in preparation for Saturday’s game at the South Carolina Gamecocks. Josiah-Jordan James was back at practice, but Rick Barnes said he is still day-to-day. Here’s a bit of what he said about South Carolina.

“One, they are playing fast, which I think there is a misconception about South Carolina that they like to play slow and grind it, which they can do that. They are playing much faster. Their guards are playing really well.”

Baseball season opens with beer sales added – WBIR

Friday marks the start of the Tennessee Vols baseball program’s third season under head coach Tony Vitello. UT has a three-game home stand against Western Illinois. This also marks the first game in which beer will be sold at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

Beer sales will conclude each game at the middle of the seventh inning. Points of sale for beer at Lindsey Nelson Stadium are located along the first-base line on the plaza, as well as in the members-only MVP Room premium area.

Two baseball Vols named to Golden Spikes Watch List – USABaseball.com

As Tennessee baseball gets set to open its season, two Vols juniors were named to the 2020 Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List.  Left-handed pitcher Garrett Crochet and outfielder Alerick Soularie were among 55 players named to the watch list for the award, given annually to the top player in the nation.

USA Baseball will announce the finalists for the award on May 28 and fan voting will open at GoldenSpikesAward.com concurrently, remaining open through June 7. The Winner of the 43rd Golden Spikes Award will be named Thursday, June 11.

Lady Vols fall at LSUMaria M. Cornelius, GoVols247

Even with a week off and the return of Rennia Davis, the Tennessee Lady Vols extended their losing streak to three. They lost 75-65 in a rematch with the LSU Tigers, this time at LSU, and fell to 17-7 and 7-4 in the SEC in the process. Up next for them is a home matchup with the Texas A&M Aggies. Here’s a bit of what Kellie Harper said about this game.

“Their pace of play and their tempo is really good for them, and I think a lot of people don’t like playing against that. It can be frustrating, but they play with such great poise.”

Softball splits games in Mexico – The Daily Beacon

On the first day of the Puerto Vallarta Collegiate Challenge, the No. 12 ranked Tennessee Lady Vols softball team lost to Mexico 2-0 in an exhibition. However, they followed that up with a 6-4 win over the Colorado State Rams to improve to 4-1 on the year. Today, they’ll face the Utah Utes at 7 p.m. and Texas Longhorns at 9:30 p.m. for another doubleheader.

Tennessee’s offense remained inconsistent, leaving 11 runners on base throughout seven innings. With nine hits the Lady Vols stepped up just enough to maintain that edge over Colorado State. Ashley Morgan delivered a pair of timely hits on back-to-back at bats to help Tennessee’s offense claim the victory.

Women’s tennis hosts doubleheaderUTSports

After two Big Ten road wins last weekend, the No. 22 ranked Tennessee Lady Vols tennis program returns home for a doubleheader Friday against the UT Martin Skyhawks at 11 a.m. ET and the Marquette Golden Eagles at 3 p.m. ET. Both opponents have losing records, and UT is 5-1.

The Lady Vols have claimed the doubles point in all six of their dual matches in 2020, holding a combined doubles record of 14-2. On court one, the 11th-ranked pairing of Kaitlin Staines and Tenika McGiffin are undefeated in dual-match play, holding a 3-0 record.

Two Lady Vols at SEC SAAC meeting – SECSports

Soccer senior Erin Gilroy and rowing senior Jessica Magnoli will represent UT at the SEC Student-Athlete Advisory Council meeting this weekend. The meeting will take place at league offices in Birmingham on Friday and Saturday.

The purpose of the SEC SAAC is to provide student-athletes with additional opportunities to engage with campus leaders and conference office staff. Additional councils with similar purposes were introduced by the Conference in 2016 for football and men’s and women’s basketball.

Track and Field begins Tiger Paw Invitational – ClemsonTigers.com

For the second straight week, the Tennessee Vols track and field program is competing in an event hosted by an ACC school. UT will compete in the Tiger Paw Invitational today and tomorrow, hosted by the Clemson Tigers. They are among 24 teams competing.