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Tennessee baseball pitching coach adds to long list of awards for 2022 Vols

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The awards haven’t stopped rolling in for the 2022 Tennessee Baseball team. 

Tennessee pitching coach Frank Anderson was named the 2022 Rawlings Pitching Coach of the Year at the American Baseball Coaches Association Convention over the weekend at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville.

Anderson has led Tennessee baseball to top 20 rankings nationally in ERA, WHIP, strikeout-to-walk ratio, and walks allowed per nine innings in each of the past four seasons. During the Vols’ historic 2022 run, Anderson led Tennessee’s pitching staff to No.1 in each of those categories. 

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Anderson’s pitchers at Tennessee have also raked in several awards, including D1Baseball.com Freshman of the Year and NCBWA Freshman pitcher of the year for Chase Burns, SEC Pitcher of the Year for Chase Dollander, and SEC Freshman of the Year for Drew Beam. 

Anderson has had four pitchers during his time at Tennessee get drafted. Ben Joyce, Blade Tidwell, Will Mabrey, and Mark McLaughlin all were drafted and are continuing their careers professionally. 

It is widely expected that Anderson will have several more pitchers go into the MLB draft, including Dollander most notably. Dollander is projected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 MLB draft. 

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A lot of eyes will be on Anderson’s staff in 2023. Tennessee returns its entire starting rotation in 2023, and both Burns and Dollander were named Perfect Game first-team preseason All-Americans. 

Tony Vitello and the Vols lose a lot of talent from the 2022 team that saw a program-record 57 wins, an SEC regular season title, an SEC tournament title, and the No. 1 overall seed. 10 players, including all eight starters in the field, were drafted following the 2022 campaign.

The Vols brought in Alabama third baseman Zane Denton, Cincinnati outfielder Griffin Merritt, and Charlotte reliever Andrew Lindsey via the transfer portal. 

Tennessee’s highest-rated transfer is Kansas shortstop Maui Ahuna. Ahuna was named a Perfect Game preseason third-team All-American. He hit .396 in the big 12, finishing with eight home runs and 48 RBIs.

All four transfers will likely have an immediate impact for the Vols in 2023. Lindsey is expected to slide into the closer role for Tennessee while Ahuna seems to be the favorite to be the starting shortstop. 

The Vols open the season on Feb. 17 when they travel to Scottsdale, Arizona to play in the MLB4 tournament. For the SEC schedule, Tennessee baseball will host Texas A&M, Florida, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, and Kentucky while traveling to Missouri, LSU, Arkansas, Georgia, and South Carolina.

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