An undistinguished Tennessee baseball season comes to an end today at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. It's time for the seniors to move on.
The coach, too, if the talk around town is accurate.
Friday night's game with Auburn started the same way Thursday night's 5-2 UT victory did - the Vols jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first inning.
But that's where any resemblance ended. The eight remaining innings added up to a 13-4 Auburn triumph that assures the Tigers of an SEC tournament bid.
Auburn (29-26, 14-15 SEC) just kept manufacturing runs and Tennessee had no answers other than a solo home run from Ethan Bennett.
UT coach Todd Raleigh said he had no answer for the bigger question: Is he coaching his final game at UT today?
"I haven't talked to (athletic director) Mike (Hamilton) since the Christmas party,'' Raleigh said. "So I don't know how to answer that question.
"If you listen to talk radio, that's what they say. But nobody's said a word to me.''
The 12th loss in UT's past 13 SEC games leaves the Vols 24-29 overall and 6-23 in the SEC going into today's 2 p.m. finale.
For the fourth consecutive year under Raleigh, there will be no SEC tournament appearance. The general mood in the media and among most fans has been for a while that a coaching change is forthcoming.
WNML radio, The Sports Animal, on Friday reported that sources say Raleigh will be fired.
"My wife called me and said it was on the radio,'' Raleigh said. "It's not a good way to find out, obviously.
"I can handle it. It's no big deal. But I hate to have the players on the team worry about something like that. . . . It shouldn't happen.
"But I've had no conversation with Mike since the Christmas party.''
The seniors have their own thoughts to ponder today.
Khayyan Norfork, a two-year starter since coming from junior college, said today will be an emotional experience.
"My last college game,'' he said. "It's not how I wanted to go out but hopefully we can get a win tomorrow.
"Things haven't gone like I wanted, of course. We haven't been able to get it done the past two years and that's hard to swallow.''
Norfork has one point of order still on the table. He takes a team-leading .340 batting average into the final game with Zach Osborne close behind at .337. Honors could go down to the last at-bat.
"I hadn't thought about it,'' Norfork said with a grin, "but since you said it, it's on my mind now.''
Senior Josh Liles is the only four-year player in the starting lineup today.
"My life's going to change a lot tomorrow,'' he said. "I just want to soak everything in and remember as much as I can for the rest of my life.''
It will be a bittersweet day for the Jackson native who grew up dreaming of playing at UT.
"We didn't have any great success,'' he said, "didn't go to a tournament. That's all there on paper.
"But for me to be able to live my dream every day has been an unbelievable experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
"I hate to see it come to and end, but it's time to grow up and go in the real world.''
Follow Mike Strange at http://twitter.com/strangemike44 and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/strange.