Photo via Tennessee Athletics
Tennessee baseball begins play at the College World Series Saturday night as they face off with No. 5 LSU at Charles Schwab Field.
It’s the fourth meeting between the Tigers and Vols this season with LSU taking two out of three in the regular season series in Baton Rouge.
LSU hasn’t lost a game in the NCAA Tournament, sweeping through both the Baton Rouge Regional and Super Regional. Tennessee swept through the Clemson Regional but dropped game one of the Hattiesburg Super Regional before winning the final two games to punch its ticket to Omaha.
Here’s everything you need to know about the College World Series matchup between LSU and Tennessee.
More From RTI: Everything Tony Vitello Said Previewing CWS Matchup With LSU
Game Time — Tennessee (43-20, 16-14 SEC) vs. No. 5 LSU (48-15, 19-10 SEC)
7 p.m. ET Saturday night
How To Watch
TV: ESPN. WatchESPN stream
What Tony Vitello Said About LSU
On what they can take from facing Paul Skenes earlier this season
“Yeah, he was more than solid. The one thing when you face a guy like Grice at Clemson, I’m glad our hitters had a better mentality than I did in the dugout because there were moments of doubt. You have to just keep playing, and I’ve been fortunate enough to coach some pitchers, and some of them have also been pitchers we’ve faced where you can see the other dugout kind of deflate.
The series was not our best effort, but the kids did keep kind of pushing forward in that series, and it was early, but it was one of the first signs of, okay, we got a little bit of the fight that we want in our program. We finished that weekend off very well on Sunday, but if you date back to Friday or Game 1 of that deal, Skenes was better than us. And I think there’s probably some info in there that we can pull out, and the guys can take some confidence in maybe we’ve seen him once before. He is probably a different pitcher now than he was then. It’s probably a different LSU team in some areas. I mean, they still have Mr. Crews and all that. We’re a different team too.
You want to have some preparation going into the deal and see what will be similar from that weekend and maybe try and get a head start on what could be different, but I also feel like this is a place where you don’t know what’s going to happen. Just like our last weekend, lightning, pitching changes, expect chaos and embrace it during the postseason. This group has done that very, very well. Maybe it’s those struggles that we had early on that built us for that.”
Projected Pitching Matchup
Neither team has announced its starting pitcher. Possible starters for each team
Tennessee: RHP Andrew Lindsey (3-3, 2.79 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 69 K, 18 BB, 67.2 IP) or RHP Chase Dollander (7-6, 4.50 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 118 K, 28 BB, 86 IP)
LSU: RHP Paul Skenes (12-2, 1.77 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 188 K, 18 BB, 107 IP)
Bats to Know
Jared Dickey — .325 BA, .392 OBP, .924 OPS, 12 HR, 21 XBH, 51 RBI
Griffin Merritt — .315 BA, .397 OBP, 1.071 OPS, 18 HR, 29 XBH, 48 RBI
Christian Moore — .313 BA, .458 OBP, 1.085 OPS, 17 HR, 29 XBH, 48 RBI
Zane Denton — .274 BA, .410 OBP, .997 OPS, 16 HR, 28 XBH, 58 RBI
Maui Ahuna — .302 BA, .423 OBP .959 OPS, 8 HR, 28 XBH, 41 RBI
Dylan Crews — .433 BA, .570 OBP, 1.303 OPS, 17 HR, 32 XBH, 64 RBI
Tommy White — .377 BA, .439 OBP, 1.189 OPS, 22 HR, 44 XBH, 97 RBI
Cade Beloso — .316 BA, .442 OBP, 1.062 OPS, 14 HR, 19 XBH, 41 RBI
Tre’ Morgan — .312 BA, .425 OBP, .927 OPS, 9 HR, 24 XBH, 47 RBI
Jared Jones — .304 BA, .427 OBP, 1.073 OPS, 14 HR, 26 XBH, 45 RBI
Tennessee’s reward for going on the road and winning both a regional and super regional? Paul Skenes and LSU.
Skenes is the best pitcher in the country and LSU has lost just three times when he’s pitched this season and one of those starts he surrendered just one run in seven innings pitched. It’s a tough task for Tennessee and they’re going to need a great outing from whomever Tony Vitello gives the ball too.
But I’m not picking against Skenes.
LSU 4, Tennessee 1