NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk State baseball team takes to the road for the first time this season, embarking on its longest trip of the season, when the Spartans face the University of Tennessee this Friday through Sunday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.
The Spartans’ first-ever games against an SEC opponent have start times of 6 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Sunday’s game will be broadcast on the SEC Network+ streaming channel. Live stats for all three games and UT radio links for Friday and Saturday are available through the schedule page at http://www.nsuspartans.com.
NSU stands at 3-5 entering the weekend and has dropped five straight following an 8-3 mid-week loss to VCU on Wednesday at Marty L. Miller Field. Brian Beard had the offensive highlight for the Spartans with a two-run triple in a three-run eighth inning. Six different Spartans accounted for the team’s six hits.
Alex Mauricio leads NSU in batting average (.400, 8-for-20) entering the weekend and will also take the mound for the series-opener on Friday. He is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA and a MEAC-leading 18 strikeouts in 12 innings in two starts. He will be followed in the rotation by Devin Hemmerich (1-1, 3.21) and Jonathan Mauricio (0-0, 2.00).
Tennessee is off to a 6-1 start and is receiving votes in this week’s National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Poll. The team has outscored its opposition 57-31 and will be playing its first home games of the series this weekend.
The Vols are batting .341 as a club this year, led by Jeff Moberg’s .464 clip and Williamsburg, Va. native Andre Lipcius’ .423 average. Jordan Rodgers and Benito Santiago, son of the long-time MLB catcher of the same name, both have 10 RBI to lead UT.
The Volunteers have 17 letterwinners back from last season’s 29-28 team. UT was picked to finish sixth in the ultra-competitive SEC East. The SEC boasts eight teams in this week’s NCBWA Poll.
Originally published at nsuspartans.com