KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Baseball program and Head Coach Dave Serrano officially announced the 2017 season schedule this week, a 55-game slate featuring a tournament appearance at the Tony Gwynn Classic in San Diego, Calif., as well as a neutral site matchup at the Tennessee Smokies’ ballpark against East Tennessee State in April.
In Southeastern Conference play, the Volunteers will take on five 2016 NCAA postseason participants including South Carolina, Mississippi State, Florida and Vanderbilt. Tennessee will also face off against the 2016 SEC Tournament Champion Texas A&M.
“With a relatively new team, including 17 first year players, the start of the season will be challenging yet should be a great team-builder,” Serrano said. “Spending the first 11 days of the season on the road, culminating with a trip to Southern California, should be great for our guys and us coaches to see where we are as a team.
“Then, to play the next three weekends at home vs. Norfolk State, Cincinnati and the opening series of SEC play against South Carolina will be great for our fans. We know we will always have our hands full with the 30 game slate for the SEC but I believe our preseason schedule will prepare us for those challenges.”
In February, Tennessee will travel to Memphis to open their 2017 season with a three-game set (Feb. 17-19) against the University of Memphis at FedEx park, home of the Tigers.
The Big Orange then heads west during their second week of the season for a midweek matchup at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, Calif. (Feb. 22) before travelling to San Diego for the Tony Gwynn Classic on Feb. 24-26. Tennessee will take on three tournament participants among Oregon, Notre Dame, UC Irvine, Wichita State, Seton Hall and hosts San Diego State and University of San Diego.
On March 3-5, the Vols will welcome Norfolk State to Rocky Top, marking the first-ever contest between the two programs. Following the weekend series, Tennessee will travel to Johnson City, Tenn. for Tuesday action against ETSU (March 7).
On March 10-12, the Orange and White will play Cincinnati in their final non-conference home weekend series before the start of SEC play. UT will then travel to Murfreesboro, Tenn., to play MTSU on March 14 before hosting Austin Peay on March 15.
The Vols open their 2016 SEC schedule with the South Carolina Gamecocks in Knoxville from March 17-19, marking the second consecutive year UT will begin conference play at home. Tennessee later plays host to conference rivals Georgia (March 31-April 2), Auburn (April 14-16) and Arkansas (May 5-7) before closing out regular season play against Missouri (May 18-20) at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
This year, the Volunteers’ SEC road schedule includes trips to Mississippi State (March 24-26), Florida (April 7-9), Texas A&M (April 21-23), Vanderbilt (April 28-30) and Kentucky (May 12-14).
Rounding out the program’s non-conference schedule, UT will hold midweek games against Marshall (March 21), Tennessee Tech (March 28), MTSU (April 4), ETSU (April 11), UNC Asheville (April 19), Belmont (May 9) and Morehead State (May 16). The Vols will play in the Tennessee Smokies’ home ballpark, Smokies Stadium, on April 26 as Tennessee will host ETSU.
The 2016 SEC Tournament, which features the league’s top 12 finishers in the regular season, is set for May 23-28 in Hoover, Ala. NCAA Regional action will take place on June 2-5, followed by NCAA Super Regional play from June 9-12.
The 2016 NCAA College World Series returns to Omaha, Neb., on June 17-28. Tennessee has made four previous appearances at the College World Series (1951, 1995, 2001 and 2005).
All game dates are tentatively set and subject to change. Season ticket information and the full schedule of game times will be released at a later date.