Pitcher Zack Godley got in some beneficial work at the USA baseball training camp last week.
Godley, already a key arm for Tennessee's 2013 season, became even more critical to the Vols after recruit Tyler Smith signed with the Texas Rangers.
Smith, a 19th-round draft choice out of USC-Sumter, received a $135,000 signing bonus, according to Baseball America.
UT coach Dave Serrano had hoped Smith would be a weekend starter for the Vols, who are trying to climb out of the SEC cellar.
But losing two junior college signees, Smith and Adam Giacalone, to the draft, puts the onus back on returnees Godley and Nick Williams — and the search for a third weekend starter.
Serrano took advantage of his post as coach of the USA collegiate national team to add Godley as an alternate during camp.
The right-hander pitched four innings over four games, allowing one run and recording eight strikeouts.
"It was great,'' said Godley. "I'm glad I got the chance to throw quite a few innings this last week. It was a great boost to my confidence heading into the fall with a new group of guys and my second year with coach Serrano.''
As an alternate, Godley did not make the trip to Cuba this week.
"I'm very proud of how he carried himself and represented the University of Tennessee,'' Serrano said of the training camp stint.