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Tennessee Baseball: Five things to know about Vols’ SEC-opening series at Alabama

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Tennessee Baseball travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., Friday for a three-game series against the Alabama Crimson Tide, marking the first conference play of the year. This is the SEC-opening series for both teams.

The Vols come in at 17-1, while Alabama is 15-3. Like UT, the Tide are also undefeated at home this season.   

Here’s five things to know about Alabama baseball this season: 

Bat to watch 

Junior infielder Gage Miller heads into conference play with a 12-game hitting streak. He leads the team with 30 runs scored (2nd in the SEC). Miller is currently hitting a whopping .478 which also ranks him 2nd in the conference.  

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The strong arm 

Junior RHP Ben Hess is leading the team with 28 strikeouts. Opposing bats are hitting .172 against him (tied for 11th in the SEC). Hess is currently 15th in the league with a 0.94 WHIP. He is scheduled to start Friday night. 

Outfield = offense 

The entire Alabama outfield is brand new to the team this season and they are hitting the ball extremely well. Evan Sleight, Ian Petrutz and TJ McCants all transferred in this year. “I think the thing I love about it is, I feel like it’s a different one [outfielder] every time,” (Coach Rob) Vaughn said to SI.com. “Those are three kids that have had a ton of college at-bats.”  

Much needed relief

Redshirt freshman reliever Tyler Fay continues to impress in his first year of action. He has worked a total of 15.2 innings in relief, recording 12 strikeouts and giving up just five walks. 

Don’t count them out

Alabama has had to face many challenges this season – injuries and weather delays to name a few. Weather forced the Tide to play their entire weekend series against Lipscomb in 26 hours. And they managed to sweep the series. They also have three come-from-behind victories this year.

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