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Tennessee cruises to game one win over South Carolina, 9-3

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Tennessee cruises to game one win over South Carolina, 9-3


Tennessee baseball opened their final conference series of the season on Thursday night with a convincing win. The Volunteers handled the Gamecocks without any drama.

Tennessee and South Carolina traded first inning homeruns to kick things off. It was Christian Moore going deep for Tennessee, nodding things up at 1-1 in the bottom of the first.

Tennessee would quickly blow things open in the bottom of the third. Another Christian Moore homerun would break the tie, giving the Volunteers a 2-1 lead. Kavares Tears would follow that up with a three-run shot of his own, driving in Hunter Ensley and Dylan Dreiling.

Very quickly, it was a 5-1 lead for No. 1 Tennessee.

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Tony Vitello turned to AJ Causey on the mound in the fourth, relieving starter Chris Stamos.

Blake Burke drove in Cal Stark in the bottom of the fourth, drilling a line drive to the opposite field all the way to the wall. Tennessee carried a 5-1 lead into the fifth inning, and Causey was rolling.

Tennessee came back in the bottom of the seventh with plenty of insurance. Billy Amick doubled down the line to score Christian Moore, then Dylan Dreiling smacked a homerun to right center. The Volunteers were cruising from here, holding a 9-2 lead entering the eighth inning.

South Carolina would eventually get to Causey, forcing him out of the game in favor of Kirby Connell. The Gamecocks would drive in one, but that’s all they got.

Connell close things out in the top of the ninth without any issues. Tennessee went on to win, 9-3.

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Tennessee and South Carolina will meet again tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. ET. SEC Network + will have the coverage.



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Tennessee Football Returns to Neyland Stadium in 100 Days | Rocky Top Insider

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Tennessee Football Returns to Neyland Stadium in 100 Days | Rocky Top Insider


Tennessee Football. Photo by Ric Butler/Rocky Top Insider.

The countdown is officially on.

There are 100 days left on the calendar until Tennessee’s season opener as of Thursday.

While the summer doesn’t present too many storylines heading into the fall, the big note to look for during July is SEC Media Days. The addition of Texas and Oklahoma into the Southeastern Conference only adds to the magnitude of the upcoming season, with perhaps no better fitting place for the event than Dallas, TX.

Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel is set for Day 2 of the event on July 16 alongside Georgia’s Kirby Smart, Missouri’s Eliah Drinkwitz, and Oklahoma’s Brent Venables.

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Training camp will begin in August on the other side of SEC Media Days as Tennessee gets ready for the season ahead. The Vols have been commonly tagged as a Top 20 preseason team on the fringe of the Top 15 with quarterback Nico Iamaleava as a darkhorse Heisman contender. Tennessee also boasts EDGE rusher James Pearce Jr., who could solidify his spot as the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 2025 NFL Draft with a strong showing.

Tennessee opens up the 2024 season in a home contest against Chattanooga on August 31. The Vols will quickly hit the road, though, with a likely Top 25 non-conference game under the lights in Charlotte, NC, against NC State in week two. Tennessee then returns home for a non-conference game against Kent State before taking off for unfamiliar territory in their first SEC game against Oklahoma in Norman, OK.

After an open date closes the final weekend of September for Tennessee, the Vols head out to Arkansas for a second-straight road SEC game to open the conference slate before returning to Knoxville for a pair of high-profile rivalry games. Tennessee will host Florida and Alabama in back-to-back weeks in October before another open date closes down the month.

With five weekends in the month of November, Tennessee will face their longest stretch of games to close the season with back-to-back home games against Kentucky and Mississippi State before traveling to Athens, GA, for a matchup with Georgia on Nov. 16. Tennessee then returns home for the home-finale against UTEP before the season-finale against Vanderbilt in Nashville.

More from RTI: Nation’s Top 2025 Tackle David Sanders Jr. Schedules Visit to Tennessee

Here’s a look at the key dates you need to know with 100 days between now and the start of the Vols’ 2024 season:

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July

SEC Media Days (Dallas, TX)

  • July 15: Brian Kelly, Lane Kiffin, Shane Beamer, Clark Lea
  • July 16: Kirby Smart, Eliah Drinkwitz, Brent Venables, Josh Heupel
  • July 17: Kalen DeBoer, Billy Napier, Jeff Lebby, Steve Sarkisian
  • July 18: Sam Pittman, Hugh Freeze, Mark Stoops, Mike Elko

 

August

  • TBA: Start of Tennessee Football fall camp
  • Aug. 31: Chattanooga at Tennessee (Knoxville)

 

September

  • Sep. 7: Tennessee vs NC State (Charlotte, NC)
  • Sep. 14: Kent State at Tennessee (Knoxville)
  • Sep. 21: Tennessee at Oklahoma (Norman, OK)
  • Sep. 28: OPEN

 

October

  • Oct. 5: Tennessee at Arkansas (Fayetteville, AR)
  • Oct. 12: Florida at Tennessee (Knoxville)
  • Oct. 19: Alabama at Tennessee (Knoxville)
  • Oct. 26: OPEN

 

November

  • Nov. 2: Kentucky at Tennessee (Knoxville)
  • Nov. 9: Mississippi State at Tennessee (Knoxville)
  • Nov. 16: Tennessee at Georgia (Athens, GA)
  • Nov. 23: UTEP at Tennessee (Knoxville)
  • Nov. 30: Tennessee at Vanderbilt (Nashville, TN)

 

December

  • Dec. 7: SEC Championship (Atlanta, GA)
  • Dec. 20-21: CFP First Round
  • Dec. 31: Fiesta Bowl (Quarterfinals)

 

January

  • Jan. 1: Peach Bowl (Quarterfinals)
  • Jan. 1: Sugar Bowl (Quarterfinals)
  • Jan. 1: Rose Bowl (Quarterfinals)
  • Jan. 9: Orange Bowl (Semifinals)
  • Jan. 10: Cotton Bowl (Semifinals)
  • Jan. 20: National Championship (Atlanta, GA)

 





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Green Dot? Titans Not Worried About Defensive Communication

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Green Dot? Titans Not Worried About Defensive Communication


 NASHVILLE — Tennessee Titans head coach Brian Callahan, displaying confidence, isn’t as worried as fans are about the team’s defensive signal-caller. This player relays defensive play calls from the sideline to the rest of the defense on the field.

The previous person in this role, Azeez Al-Shaair, left the team as a free agent and joined the Houston Texans. He was a pivotal player in the Titans’ defensive lineup. In the NFL, a player donning the green dot on their helmet serves as the vital communication link with the sideline, typically a seasoned player due to its crucial role in coordinating the defense and adjusting strategies on the field.

Callahan held a press conference on Tuesday, and a reporter mentioned comments from former Titan Keith Bulluck. Bulluck said he believes people are overreacting about the green dot, which resonated with Callahan’s views.

“Probably a little bit,” Callahan said, echoing Bulluck’s sentiment. “Yeah, I’m more in his boat than I am not. I think he makes a good point. There’s a communication factor that matters. There’s an ability to be able to call the defense and still get lined up and play your responsibility. But ultimately, you find someone that’s capable.” 

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Callahan believes that the proper player will find their way into the role when the time is right.

“I mean, every team’s got a green dot that you find one at some point that could communicate the call and get everybody lined up,” Callahan said. “But the communication part on defense really is an 11-person job. I mean, all those guys have to talk. The safeties and corners are talking to each other the whole time. The linebackers in the front, the safeties and the backers.”

The first-year head coach further elaborated on what it takes to handle the green dot.

“There’s a ton of communication that goes on,” Callahan said. “So to put it all on one person I think is probably unfair, at the end of the day. But you still have to have a guy that can handle the information, the communication part. There’s a personality part of that too, that they’re naturally able to be in front of guys and communicate. “

“But, it’s not something that I spend a ton of time thinking about. If for some reason we get to training camp and we can’t get a call out, then we can make it a big deal. But at this point, no, I don’t have any real concerns.”

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Make sure you bookmark All Titans for the latest news, exclusive interviews, film breakdowns and so much more!



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By thumping Tennessee baseball, Tim Corbin tapped a few shoulders about Vanderbilt | Estes

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By thumping Tennessee baseball, Tim Corbin tapped a few shoulders about Vanderbilt | Estes


Well, that turned quickly, huh? There’s a winning streak in the other dugout now.

One. Two. That’s how many Vanderbilt baseball has claimed in a row over rival Tennessee after Wednesday’s 13-4 drubbing at the SEC tournament in Hoover, Alabama.

It was massive result to bolster Vanderbilt’s shaky NCAA Tournament hopes, no matter the opponent. But this opponent, of course, mattered plenty. Until 10 days ago, Tennessee had beaten Vanderbilt nine times in a row. Tony Vitello’s Vols went to Omaha last year. They were the No. 1 national seed in 2022. They are the nation’s No. 1 team right now.

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Commodores coach Tim Corbin didn’t downplay Tennessee’s success Wednesday when asked about the rivalry. He just gave everyone a little tap on shoulder.

The Vandy Boys are still around, too.

“I know our kids respect Tennessee and their program,” Corbin told reporters. “There’s no doubt about that. We talk about that. But what you can’t do is start admiring people you play. We’ve got a good program, too. Real good program.”

About our state’s best college sports rivalry, we should note the thing has felt downright chummy lately.

When the Vols (46-11) needed Kentucky to lose last Saturday to provide them a share of the SEC championship, guess who did them that solid? Vanderbilt, on the road, beat Kentucky. Then on Wednesday at the SEC Tournament, the Vols – of all teams – likely, and unwittingly, ensured the Commodores (37-20) wouldn’t miss this season’s NCAA Tournament after all.

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For Vanderbilt, it’s tough to imagine a more impressive, last-minute NCAA resume victory than dealing Tennessee its worst beating in nearly two months.

It has been difficult to envision such a showy win, period, for the Commodores during what has thus far been a disappointing season.

But that was the pre-Hoover Met portion of their schedule.

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For two years in a row, the Vandy Boys have discovered their best selves in the suburban Birmingham stadium. After winning last season’s SEC Tournament, they’ve opened this one a critical 2-for-2 when they most needed it, arriving on the NCAA Tournament bubble.

They’ve looked a different ballclub in Hoover. A lineup that struggled mightily to find production and power this season launched four home runs Wednesday out of a cavernous ballpark. Alan Espinal slugged two. The Commodores finished with 15 hits and scored more runs than in any of their last 19 games against an SEC foe.

Didn’t slow the fire that Tennessee threw eight different pitchers at it. Not to say the Vols weren’t trying to win – their batting order was stacked as usual – but Vitello’s Johnny Wholestaff approach was more reminiscent of a midweek game versus Eastern Tech than a collision with his program’s biggest rival.

“A bad result,” Vitello told reporters, “but as I look at the box score, it was good to get a lot of guys get their cleats in the dirt in a situation that might be new to them or certainly is new to our group this year.”

Of the Vols eight pitchers, only two didn’t allow a run. One of those two was AJ Russell, Tennessee’s 6-foot-6 expected ace from Franklin, who has been hurt most of this season and hadn’t pitched since March 23. No victory the Vols could get this week would be more important than the sight of Russell returning to the mound for an inning and looking reasonable sharp, striking out two.

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Other than that, there was nothing for Tennessee to gain in Hoover this week. Pursuits bristle to hear that sort of thing, but it’s true. A deep SEC Tournament run, exhausting an already thin pitching staff, would hinder Tennessee’s chances in the tournament that really matters.

Getting Russell back? A big deal for this bullpen.

Tennessee is going to need Russell in the coming weeks, a reality that was underlined by how so many other Vols arms struggled to keep the Commodores off the basepaths Wednesday.

Vanderbilt hit .375 for the game and .450 with runners on base. Tennessee, in turn, was .143 with runners on base. Relief pitchers Luke Guth and Miller Green, both freshmen, held a terrifying Vols lineup scoreless for the game’s final five innings, recording some big outs before the game got lopsided late.

“Getting hot at the right time is always good,” Vanderbilt’s Jonathan Vastine said. “I think that we only have our best baseball ahead of us.”

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Better late than never, it would seem.

Reach Tennessean sports columnist Gentry Estes at gestes@tennessean.com and on the X platform (formerly known as Twitter) @Gentry_Estes.



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