How many college baseball programs think Tennessee will win the 2023 College World Series

How many college baseball programs think Tennessee will win the 2023 College World Series

Tennessee had a historic season last year. However, he still came up with a game to make a return trip to Omaha.

It was a disappointing end to a season in which the Vols won a program-record 57 games, the SEC regular-season title and the SEC Tournament to earn the No. 1 overall seed in the SEC Tournament NCAA. As unfortunate as the ending was when they lost to Notre Dame in the Super Regional in Knoxville, several people believe the Volunteers are the heavy favorites not only to make it to Omaha, but to win it all.

D1Baseball asked every baseball program in the country who they thought would win the National Championship this season. 261 programs responded and 26 of them voted for Tennessee to win the 2023 College World Series. UT received the second-most votes in the nation, behind only LSU, which received 139 votes after putting together an excellent transfer class this offseason to pair with a strong returning core.

Arkansas (19), Florida (14), Texas A&M (10) and Vanderbilt (10) were the other schools to receive votes in the poll.

The Vols saw 10 players drafted from their storied 2022 team after the season and must replace all eight starters in the outfield as well as key arms on the mound. Tony Vitello and his staff hit the transfer portal hard when the window opened and it paid off.

Vitello and his coaching staff put together the nation’s second-best offseason transfer class according to D1Baseball by adding Kansas shortstop Maui Ahuna, Cincinnati outfielder Griffin Merritt, Alabama third baseman Zane Denton and right-handed pitcher by Charlotte Andrew Lindsey. The Vols also added several key junior varsity arms who are poised to factor into the pitching staff this season.

D1Baseball touted LSU’s transfer class as the best in the country. Mississippi State (No. 4), Florida (No. 7), Texas A&M (No. 9), Arkansas (No. 10), Ole Miss (No. 12), Kentucky (No. 14), South Carolina (No. . 16), Missouri (No. 17) and Alabama (No. 25) were the other SEC programs to be recognized for their transfer classes on the list of top D1 transfer classes.

Tennessee concluded its fall baseball season in November with its annual Orange & White World Series. The Vols also played two 18-inning games during the fall and won both. They hosted Wake Forest at Lindsey Nelson Stadium before traveling to Jackson, Tennessee to face Memphis.

The Vols will open the 2023 season on Feb. 17 when they participate in the MLB4 Tournament in Scottsdale, Arizona. They will play Arizona this Friday night, Grand Canyon on Saturday (Feb. 18) and UC San Diego on Sunday (Feb. 19) this weekend to begin Vitello’s sixth season at Rocky Top.

Tennessee’s first two home games will be Feb. 21 and 22 when it hosts Alabama A&M for a pair of midweek games. They then host Dayton this weekend (Feb. 24-26) for their first three-game home series of the season. The Vols will play 15 consecutive home games starting March 17 with a trip to Missouri.

During the non-conference schedule, Tennessee will also host Gonzaga (March 3-5) and Morehead State (March 10-12) for three-game series. The highlight of the week will be against Boston College on Tuesday, March 7. In addition to Alabama A&M and Boston College, the Vols will also play midweek games against Charleston Southern for two games (Feb. 28, March 1), Lipscomb (March). 14), Western Carolina (March 21), UNC Asheville (March 28), Eastern Kentucky (April 11), Tennessee Tech (April 18), Bellarmine (April 25), Wofford (May 2 ), Austin Peay (May 9) and Belmont (May 16).

Tennessee will play Texas A&M, Florida, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Kentucky at home during SEC play. Will travel to Missouri, LSU, Arkansas, Georgia and South Carolina.

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