Five Vols Land on Preseason All-American Teams

Five Vols Land on Preseason All-American Teams

Five Vols Land on Preseason All-America TeamsPhoto By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

The 2023 Tennessee Baseball season is just under two months away from beginning, and the preseason honors have already begun for the BaseVols.

Collegiate Baseball’s Preseason All-America Teams were announced on Monday, and Tennessee had a nation-best five players selected to the roster. Tennessee’s five selections beat out SEC foes Florida and LSU, who had four each.

Four Tennessee pitchers cracked the All-America teams, with Chase Dollander, Chase Burns, Drew Beam and Camden Sewell all earning spots. Dollander and Burns earned spots on the first-team while Beam and Sewell landed on the second-team. Kansas transfer short stop Maui Ahuna was the fifth Vol to be selected to the rosters, landing on the third-team preseason squad.

Dollander, a projected Top-5 selection in the 2023 MLB Draft, enters his junior year coming off a stellar sophomore campaign. The Georgia native became just the second player in school history to win SEC Pitcher of the Year and earned consensus All-American honors for his efforts. The former Georgia Southern Eagle finished with a perfect 10-0 record and FBS-leading 0.80 WHIP. Dollander ended the season first in the SEC with a 2.39 ERA and second in the league with 108 strikeouts

Dollander enters the 2023 season as one of the top draft prospects in the country after a stellar 2022 sophomore season in which he earned consensus first-team All-America honors and became just the second player in program history to be named SEC Pitcher of Year.

The Evans, Georgia, native posted a perfect 10-0 record and led the country with a 0.80 WHIP. He also was second in the SEC with 108 strikeouts and led the conference with a 2.39 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .175 batting average.

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Burns enters his sophomore season after going 8-2 in his first season on Rocky Top along with a 2.91 ERA and 103 strikeouts. The prized recruit lived up to the hype in his freshman season, winning Freshman Pitcher of the Year honors from, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA). Burns became the first pitcher in Tennessee Baseball history to win all three awards in the same season.

While Burns had a phenomenal freshman campaign, fellow 2022 freshman Drew Beam was arguably better. The Murfreesboro, Tennessee, native won SEC Freshman of the Year after finishing with an 8-1 record along with an outstanding 2.72 ERA in 15 starts. Opposing batters hit a mere .186 against Beam, and the now sophomore’s season ERA ranked fourth best all-time among Tennessee freshmen arms.

As for Sewell, the Cleveland, Tennessee, native is entering his super-senior season after deciding to give it one more run on Rocky Top. Serving as one of the best bullpen arms the Vols have had in the Tony Vitello era, Sewell has a 15-3 record with a 2.53 ERA and 136 Ks over 70 appearances and 10 starts on the mound. While Sewell is known for his relief duties, the almost 23-year-old righty delivers when called upon to start. Sewell started the 2022 SEC Tournament championship game against Florida threw five shutout innings to earn his seventh win of the season.

Sewell’s performance was just another example of how he has become the “Gator killer” during his time as a Vol. Sewell also got the start in Tennessee’s 2021 SEC Tournament semifinal game against Florida and was tremendous. The Vol veteran pitched six innings in which he threw six strikeouts and allowed just two hits.

Former Kansas Jayhawk Maui Ahuna joins the Vols after two impressive seasons to start his collegiate career, where he garnered first-team All-Big 12 honors in 2022 and was an All-Big 12 honorable mention selection as a true freshman in 2021.

Like Dollander, Ahuna is a 2023 first-round prospect in the MLB draft and is considered one of the best defensive shortstops in the country. Ahuna is also a force at the plate, as the Hawaii native has a career .357 batting average with 75 runs scored, 27 doubles, seven triples, nine home runs, 73 RBIs and 21 stolen bases.

Tennessee begins its 2023 season in Scottsdale, Arizona at the MLB4 Tournament from Feb. 17-19. The Vols’ first home game is Tuesday, Feb. 21 against Alabama A&M at 4:30 p.m.

Author: Ethan Moore