Highlighted by a home series against Arizona State, a tournament at the USA Baseball National Training Complex and the renewal of the Hokie-Smokey Classic series with Virginia Tech, the Tennessee baseball program announced its 2013 schedule on Monday.
“I am very pleased with the schedule we have put together,” UT head coach Dave Serrano said. “We will certainly be challenged from the first game on, but players come to Tennessee to compete against the best in the nation and that is what we intend to do.
“In order to prepare to play in the SEC it is important that we are test ourselves. With perennial powers like Arizona State and Notre Dame on our schedule early, we will learn a lot about our team before we start conference play.”
The Vols will open their second season under Serrano on the road when they travel to Las Vegas, to take on UNLV in a four-game set, Feb. 15-17. It will mark the first time since 2007 that the program starts the year away from home and just the second trip to Las Vegas. The Vols first visited in 1988.
Tennessee then returns home to host perennial power Arizona State, a team it last played in the 2005 College World Series, Feb. 22-24 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
After the first game in a home-and-home midweek series with ETSU, Serrano will take the Vols to the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., where he spent his summer as the head coach of the Collegiate National Team. There, UT will compete in a tournament with Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Rhode Island and Ohio, March 1-3.
The Vols will open their SEC schedule at Alabama, March 15-17 before returning home for their first meeting with Missouri in school history, March 22-24. UT will close out its regular-season schedule at home against Texas A&M, May 16-18.
The Vols also travel to Vanderbilt (March 29-31), Kentucky (April 12-14), Florida (April 26-28) and Arkansas (May 10-12). UT will host South Carolina (April 5-7), Ole Miss (April 19-21) and Georgia (May 3-5). Tennessee will not face LSU, Auburn or Mississippi State.
The Hokie-Smokey Classic against Virginia Tech will be April 16, at Greeneville’s Pioneer Park, home of the Greeneville Astros. The game will renew a neutral-site rivalry that began in Kingsport from 1995-98 and 2001.
2013 Tennessee Baseball Schedule
February: 15-17 at UNLV, 22-24 vs Arizona St, 26 vs ETSU; March: 1-3 USA Baseball Tournament, 5 vs Belmont, 8-10 vs Alcorn State, 12-13 vs Western Kentucky, 15-17 at Alabama, 20 vs Western Carolina, 22-24 vs Missouri, 26 vs Tennessee Tech, 29-31 at Vanderbilt; April: 2 vs Longwood University, 5-7 vs South Carolina, 9 at ETSU, 12-14 at Kentucky, 16 vs Virginia Tech, 19-21 vs Ole Miss, 23 at MTSU, 26-28 at Florida, 30 vs MTSU; May: 3-5 vs Georgia, 8 vs Arkansas State, 10-12 at Arkansas, 14 vs Morehead State, 16-18 vs Texas A&M