NCAA Baseball: Tennessee Volunteers Wrap Up Season at South Carolina

Dee WilcoxAnalyst IMay 15, 2008

The Tennessee baseball team traveled from Greenville, S.C., to Columbia, S.C., Wednesday afternoon, where it closes out the 2008 regular season with a three-game Southeastern Conference series against the 18th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks Thursday through Saturday at Sarge Frye Field. Game times are set for 7 p.m. Thursday, 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday.

All three games will be broadcast on the radio in the Knoxville area on WNML AM 990, FM 99.1 & 99.3. The radio broadcasts also can be accessed for free online at

Success in this series is a must for both teams, as each club is battling to earn a spot in the field of eight at the SEC Tournament, to be played next Wednesday through Sunday at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala. Tennessee (26-27, 11-16 SEC) currently occupies 11th place in the overall league standings, while South Carolina (35-18, 13-14) sits in ninth place.

“We’ve got a tremendous challenge in front of us,” UT head coach Todd Raleigh said. “We’ve been struggling a bit lately and haven’t played our best over the last couple weekends in SEC play. We just have to play every game this weekend like it’s do-or-die.”

Tennessee trails the all-time series with South Carolina 36-31, dating to 1912. The Gamecocks hold a 22-12 advantage in Columbia, but UT has claimed six of the last 10 meetings overall.

This weekend’s pitching matchups feature UT sophomore left-hander Nick Hernandez (1-5, 5.54 ERA) taking the mound Thursday against South Carolina left-hander Will Atwood (5-2, 4.72 ERA). Freshman All-America candidate Bryan Morgado (5-4, 4.04 ERA) will start for the Vols on Friday opposite Gamecocks right-hander Nick Godwin (5-3, 3.00 ERA). Tennessee has not announced a starting pitcher for Saturday’s series-finale, while South Carolina is expected to send right-hander Blake Cooper (5-5, 3.84 ERA) to the hill.