One word to describe the beginning of the season: HEADACHE. The team has gone through three separate schedule changes due to inclement weather.
Original plan: The team was originally to have left yesterday at 1230 and take on Omaha-Nebraska, the reigning champions of the Summit League, today at noon. With two games on Saturday before finishing it up with one game on Sunday.
First Change: Once Tennessee received its initial snow fall on Wednesday, the tournament was all pushed back one day, with the team leaving at 1230 on Friday. Having the first games on Saturday and finishing up on Monday afternoon.
Second Change: As the weather continued to worsen, Omaha-Nebraska decided to back out of the tournament due to the bad weather. With this new development, Purdue and Tennessee decided to have a three game series, playing a single game on Saturday and a doubleheader on Sunday, with the team leaving at 2:30 on Friday afternoon.
Third Change: As a result of the latest snow that is coming through the Midwest, it has delayed the travel of the Boilers another day. The team plans to leave at 8am on Saturday morning, to then have a doubleheader on Sunday at noon and 4pm and a single game on Monday at noon.
As you can tell this weekend's games have caused a headache for all that are involved. Our Boilers are more than ready to get out of West Lafayette and hit the playing field for the first time this season.
This weekend's projected pitching starters:
- Jordan Minch (So, LHP) vs UT's Andrew Lee (So, RHP)
- Kyle Wood (RS So, LHP) vs UT's Hunter Martin (Fr, RHP)
- Connor Podkul (RS So, RHP) vs UT's Kyle Serrano (Fr, RHP)
Penciled in around the horn would be: Jack Picchiotti (So, C), Kyle Wood (RS So, 1B), Cody Strong (So, 2B), Brandon Krieg (Jr, SS), Sean McHugh (Sr, 3B), Jack Amaro (So, LF), Kyle Johnson (So, CF), and Conner Hudnall (Sr, RF).
Cody Strong and Jack Picchiotti each played in five different positions last year which really shows their versatility and will help Coach Doug Schreiber when he comes into a sticky situation.
The Tennessee Volunteers finished 22-30 in 2013 and were 9-19 in the SEC, ranked 6th out of seven teams in the Eastern division. They also posted a 13-14 record at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
It looks like the Boilers will be facing three new faces on the mound this weekend. All the pitchers that are scheduled to pitch have not pitched for the program at all in the past. Andrew Lee played for the Volunteers last season but only recorded stats as a batter and hitter, due to having Tommy John surgery coming out of high school. The other two pitchers are true freshmen that have no college experience. It appears that this could be the Volunteers weak point.
At the end of the 2013 campaign, the final 12 games saw 11 left-handed starting pitchers. With the team facing three inexperienced right-handed pitchers this weekend, I am hoping to see our offense light up the scoreboard.
Look for weekend recap on Monday or Tuesday.