Vols handle Morehead State, but Dave Serrano unimpressed with effort as big SEC series looms

Serrano not happy with latest effort

KNOXVILLE, TN - May 14, 2013:  Trevor Charpie #39 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the baseball game between the University Tennessee Volunteers and the University of Morehead State University Eagles at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Matthew DeMaria/Tennessee Athletics$RETURN$$RETURN$

Photo by Matthew DeMaria/Tennessee Athlet, University of Tennessee Athletics

KNOXVILLE, TN - May 14, 2013: Trevor Charpie #39 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the baseball game between the University Tennessee Volunteers and the University of Morehead State University Eagles at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Matthew DeMaria/Tennessee Athletics$RETURN$$RETURN$

Tennessee’s 6-4 victory against Morehead State on Tuesday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium had absolutely no impact on the Vols’ last-ditch effort to qualify for the SEC baseball tournament this weekend.

The problem, UT coach Dave Serrano said, is that the Vols too often played like it.

“If we play that way this weekend, we’ll be embarrassed on our home field,” Serrano said.

Serrano spent several minutes conveying that message to his team in an outfield meeting shortly after the Vols (21-28) had finished off Morehead State (15-38).

Did his team get the message?

“If it wasn’t heard, they’ve got cotton in their ears,” Serrano said. “It was pretty firm, pretty stern and pretty direct.”

Tennessee will play host to Texas A&M starting Thursday in a three-game series that will determine whether the Vols qualify for their first SEC tournament in five years. It’s also the first time in three years that the final weekend of the season has even meant something.

“I’m not here to scare people,” Serrano said of his postgame message. “I’m here to build this program into a successful program, and I need warriors around me who want to shoot for the same thing.”

Playing for 12th place isn’t a long-term aspiration, of course, but Serrano and his young team have set a goal of playing in the Hoover, Ala., tournament since the start of the season.

Now that goal is in reach.

Tennessee is one of four teams fighting for the final two spots in the SEC tournament. Two teams will make the 12-team field; two will be done for the year.

Kentucky (10-17) and Missouri (8-19), who would be the 11th and 12th teams in the tournament if the season ended today, play each other at Missouri.

Georgia (5-19), which has the unlikeliest path to a berth, would have to

win all three games this weekend against Florida and then get serious help. That’s unlikely to happen.

So that leaves the Vols (7-18) as the weekend’s most intriguing team.

While the scenarios can be complicated, essentially UT must win one more game than Missouri.

“We could do everything we can, and if Missouri matches us, we’re not in,” Serrano said. “And we’d have nobody to blame but ourselves.”

Obviously, the Vols can’t get swept.

If UT manages only one win, the Vols would have to rely on Kentucky to sweep Missouri. If Tennessee takes two from Texas A&M, Missouri would have to lose at least two against the Wildcats.

If the Vols sweep A&M, the odds improve, but a postseason berth still isn’t assured. In that case, Missouri would have to lose at least one game, or Kentucky would have to be swept. The latter scenario is the only one in which the Wildcats could be booted from the tournament.

“They’re not real promising (scenarios), because we’re chasing right now,” Serrano said. “But we’re not out of it.”

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee athletics. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat

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Comments » 18

flatrock writes:

Note to Pumpkin Serrano: Princeton coach called- he wants Black-and-Orange uniforms back ASAP!

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to flatrock:

Note to Pumpkin Serrano: Princeton coach called- he wants Black-and-Orange uniforms back ASAP!

Get a life dude. You are not funny at all.

THEKIDWISCONSIN writes:

Yes, enough with the uniforms. They can be wearing lime green & mustard yellow and unless Godley is pitching it doesn't seem to matter...

Such high hopes for this year...

And I do think CDS can turn it around, but isn't it a little late in the season to pull out the "tough talk" card now?

Texas A&M is nearly as bad a we are...c'mom Vols! Show some life and at least go down fighting!

Go BaseVOLS!

Banner writes:

What happened?

This team at mid year was in the middle of the pack in SEC standings last year. CDS bad mouthed his team all last year and said he anticipated this and he had a plan to fix it. Here is the plan:
 In the last 45 SEC games we have won 9 (9-36), for a win% of 16.6. The SEC by its own standards is completely watered down. Georgia and Mizzou are horrible. Auburn, KY, Tex AM aren't very good. If there was ever a year to get to Hoover this is it!

Great quotes by the Great Pumpkin:

"This should be a year where I have the most anxiety about an opener," he said. "I've never been part of a team like this. But I have no anxiety. It's all eyes forward. This year and last year's team is like apples and oranges."

"This team will get better as we go, not run out of gas. I can tell you that much," Serrano said. "It's about making progress each day, but the one thing I've never said is this team can't win.

voloffaith writes:

in response to Banner:

What happened?

This team at mid year was in the middle of the pack in SEC standings last year. CDS bad mouthed his team all last year and said he anticipated this and he had a plan to fix it. Here is the plan:
 In the last 45 SEC games we have won 9 (9-36), for a win% of 16.6. The SEC by its own standards is completely watered down. Georgia and Mizzou are horrible. Auburn, KY, Tex AM aren't very good. If there was ever a year to get to Hoover this is it!

Great quotes by the Great Pumpkin:

"This should be a year where I have the most anxiety about an opener," he said. "I've never been part of a team like this. But I have no anxiety. It's all eyes forward. This year and last year's team is like apples and oranges."

"This team will get better as we go, not run out of gas. I can tell you that much," Serrano said. "It's about making progress each day, but the one thing I've never said is this team can't win. 

Aren't you and mister early morning...flatrock just delightful? No. The lil 'pumpkin' thing is so grown up. Yeah we got us another pumpkin now that the ole football coach is gone . Charlie Brown would be proud of your ha ha ha lines. How about Coach Serrano said this.......life can't be that bad that you have to make fun of someone's appearance to be happy can it? His last comment close. Last year 24-31 and 7-23 in SEC. So they are plus one in SEC win column and three shy of last year's total wins. So about the same. Lost recruits to the MLB cut his pitching staff down big time. Anyway beat them aggies!!!

Ichabod writes:

in response to Banner:

What happened?

This team at mid year was in the middle of the pack in SEC standings last year. CDS bad mouthed his team all last year and said he anticipated this and he had a plan to fix it. Here is the plan:
 In the last 45 SEC games we have won 9 (9-36), for a win% of 16.6. The SEC by its own standards is completely watered down. Georgia and Mizzou are horrible. Auburn, KY, Tex AM aren't very good. If there was ever a year to get to Hoover this is it!

Great quotes by the Great Pumpkin:

"This should be a year where I have the most anxiety about an opener," he said. "I've never been part of a team like this. But I have no anxiety. It's all eyes forward. This year and last year's team is like apples and oranges."

"This team will get better as we go, not run out of gas. I can tell you that much," Serrano said. "It's about making progress each day, but the one thing I've never said is this team can't win. 

+1
Well put, and right on target.
Man up, Serrano. The program, with the facilities, money, and support continues to be a complete embarrassment. Show us a noticeable change from Raleighs last year,I haven't seen it. If anything, the pitching and base-running are WORSE. Hoping for the best, but expecting the same ol same ol this weekend.

216_stitches writes:

Midweek games are always a guessing game. Patching together pitching in efforts to save the pen for a series starting on thursday adds to the problem. Admittedly MH State should be a gimme. We had opportunities to score more runs but again base runnig errors eliminated several chances. If we continue to give up runners once they get on base we will not win this weekend. Coach needs to quit dogging his team and look at his "aggressive" baserunning attack. It's not working. GBO! Beat the Aggies!

OrangePride writes:

Earlier this season I had predicted we would make the tournament. I was informed by many that such was "a bold statement." Well, it's looking more and more like I was wrong. Unlike some others, I do see some good things on the team, but we just never seem to put together the hits or pitching when we need it. Looks like we're home again and I wish it was otherwise. But if wishes and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a happy Christmas. I guess I will have to just wait and see what happens next year.

voloffaith writes:

in response to OrangePride:

Earlier this season I had predicted we would make the tournament. I was informed by many that such was "a bold statement." Well, it's looking more and more like I was wrong. Unlike some others, I do see some good things on the team, but we just never seem to put together the hits or pitching when we need it. Looks like we're home again and I wish it was otherwise. But if wishes and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a happy Christmas. I guess I will have to just wait and see what happens next year.

Call the coach and tell him this so they can avoid playing and possibly getting someone hurt. Nostradamus never dabbled in college baseball right? Many choose to ignore the recruits that were a notch up that we lost to the MLB late in the process where Coach Serrano and staff couldn't go out and try to recover. Primarily the most glaring were pitchers. So the plan that was in place got sidewinded by late signings of contracts. Haven't looked at next year's signees to see if the same scenario might come into play as heavily as it did this past. Guys selected in later rounds still signing and foregoing playing a couple of years to strengthen their positions for future drafts. As I said earlier..BEAT THE AGGIES!!!

voloffaith writes:

Checked signing class 2013-2014 and six of ten signees are pitchers including Coach Serrano's son. So they see the need and are attempting to fill. Again will all these make it to the hill in fall 2013?

CommodoreCapital writes:

And Vanderbilt clinches the SEC. Going for the all-time SEC season winning percentage this weekend against the Tide.

Anchor Down.

ewhite#207432 writes:

Let's give coach Serrano an opportunity to turn this program around. I think he will do it....

voloffaith writes:

in response to CommodoreCapital:

And Vanderbilt clinches the SEC. Going for the all-time SEC season winning percentage this weekend against the Tide.

Anchor Down.

CommodedoorCapital you are off topic and need to put your lil anchor down on an general SEC baseball article. This one is specifically about Vols,Moorehead State, and series with Aggies. Float the boat in waters that are permissable lil cap'n.

ReeseHallRelic writes:

in response to flatrock:

Note to Pumpkin Serrano: Princeton coach called- he wants Black-and-Orange uniforms back ASAP!

Don't know what your problem is with the baseball uniforms.... there's a lot less black than in years past. The hats and stirrups that they're wearing now are almost identical to the black with orange trim worn way back in the 1970s, even.

vorangel writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Checked signing class 2013-2014 and six of ten signees are pitchers including Coach Serrano's son. So they see the need and are attempting to fill. Again will all these make it to the hill in fall 2013?

voloffaith, I think we're all a little tired of you. Find someplace else to haunt. Your opinions are not needed here.
Do you realize EVERY college baseball team in the country loses talent to the draft?
It's the way this team is losing that is disturbing. No power and no pitching translates to a bleak future, especially when you give away baserunners.
And I agree, black uniforms are a disgrace.

voloffaith writes:

in response to vorangel:

voloffaith, I think we're all a little tired of you. Find someplace else to haunt. Your opinions are not needed here.
Do you realize EVERY college baseball team in the country loses talent to the draft?
It's the way this team is losing that is disturbing. No power and no pitching translates to a bleak future, especially when you give away baserunners.
And I agree, black uniforms are a disgrace.

Besides me disappearing what else do YOU think should be done?

Banner writes:

in response to Ichabod:

+1
Well put, and right on target.
Man up, Serrano. The program, with the facilities, money, and support continues to be a complete embarrassment. Show us a noticeable change from Raleighs last year,I haven't seen it. If anything, the pitching and base-running are WORSE. Hoping for the best, but expecting the same ol same ol this weekend.

I agree. The difference was Hamilton and Tegano had blown the program up in Raleigh's last year. They never had a chance. In Raleigh's first 3 years he would have easily went to the tournament under this format.

I agree with other comments as well. Everyone in the SEC loses players to the draft so that isn't an excuse. It isn't that we are losing it is how we are losing. I have never seen a team give away so many outs on the bases. It isn't aggressive it's senseless.

VolYork45 writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Besides me disappearing what else do YOU think should be done?

Don't listen to him faith. I agree with what you've said. This team is just so thin and so young. This class of pitchers might need a year to develop, but Serrano's kid is very good, as are a few others coming in. Bily, Stewart, Wilcox, Simcox all look promising and if im not mistaken are all coming back next year. If they keep working hard, consistency will find itself at the plate, and the pitchers will get it together. This team can and will win eventually. There's a reason that Serrano has such a nice resume, and has been invited to manage National teams. The guy can manage a baseball game. This team is just thin and young, yet some will still blindly criticize. The BaseVols will be back soon, I know it. Go VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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