FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Highlighted by 33 games at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, which include nonconference matchups against Purdue and UNLV, an away series at perennial power Arizona State and the seventh edition of the Hokie-Smokey Classic, Tennessee baseball coach Dave Serrano unveiled the program’s 2014 schedule on Friday.
Fans will have a chance to catch a first glimpse of the 2014 team on Friday, Oct. 25, when the Volunteers welcome Belmont to Knoxville for a fall scrimmage at 4 p.m. The scrimmage will be free and open to fans.
“I am very excited about our schedule this upcoming season,” said Serrano. “I especially like that our wonderful fans will have the opportunity to see our team at beautiful Lindsey Nelson Stadium 34 times including next month’s scrimmage.
“As always, we will be challenged by our competition throughout the 30-game Southeastern Conference campaign, and opening our first weekend with a Big Ten team in Purdue and having UNLV come to town for a weekend series will be exciting.
“We will also be challenged by our trip out west to take on national power Arizona State the weekend prior to SEC play. We will have our usual challenges in mid-week games, highlighted by the Hokie-Smokey Classic, which will be played at Lewis Gale Field in Salem, Va., this season.”
The Vols open their third season under Serrano with a 13-game homestand, hosting Nebraska Omaha and Purdue for three straight days of doubleheader action from Feb. 14-16, and a midweek tilt against Appalachian State (Feb. 18).
After traveling to Las Vegas in 2013, Tennessee welcomes the UNLV Rebels for a three-game series from Feb. 21-23 to conclude a stretch of eight games in 10 days to start the campaign.
The Orange and White will host first-time opponents Quinnipiac (Feb. 28-March 2) and LaSalle (March 4-5) to conclude the 13-game homestand.
UT’s first road trip of 2014 will be to Tempe, Ariz., from March 7-9, where the Vols take on 2013 NCAA participant Arizona State for a three-game set at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium. The Sun Devils, who the Vols matched up against in the 2005 College World Series, posted their 51st consecutive 30-win season last year and made their 36th all-time NCAA appearance.
After the first home-and-home midweek matchup with Middle Tennessee (March 11), the Big Orange travels to Columbia, Mo., for the first time in program history to open its league schedule, March 14-16.
Tennessee then returns to Rocky Top to host 2013 NCAA participant and three-time defending Ohio Valley Conference Tournament champions Austin Peay (March 18), before welcoming Auburn for its SEC home opener series, March 21-23.
The Volunteers will also play league series on the road at South Carolina (March 28-30), Georgia (April 11-13), LSU (April 25-27) and defending national runner-up Mississippi State (May 9-11).
Tennessee hosts Vanderbilt (April 4-6), Alabama (April 18-20), Kentucky (May 2-4) and finishes the regular season with a three-game set against Florida (May 15-17).
Rounding out its non-conference schedule, UT will host midweek games against ETSU (April 1), UNC-Ashville (May 6) and Morehead State (May 13). The Big Orange will make midweek trips across the state to Tennessee Tech (April 8), ETSU (April 22) and Middle Tennessee (April 29).
Renewing the neutral-site rivalry after 11 years last season, the seventh edition of the Hokie-Smokey Classic against Virginia Tech will be played on Tuesday, April 15, at Lewis Gale Field in Salem, Va., the home of the Salem Red Sox. With a 5-4 victory in 2013, the Vols currently lead the Classic by a 5-1 margin.
The 2013 SEC Tournament, which features the league’s top 12 finishers in the regular season, is set for May 20-25 at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Ala. NCAA Regional action takes place, May 30-June 2, followed by NCAA Super Regional play, June 6-9.
The NCAA College World Series returns to TD Ameritrade Park in downtown Omaha, Neb., for the fourth time, June 14-25. Tennessee has made four previous appearances at the College World Series (1951, 1995, 2001 and 2005).
In total, the Volunteers will play 25 of their 55 regular season games against 10 2013 NCAA postseason participants, including College World Series squads Mississippi State and LSU.