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Mississippi State Athletics photo / Entering this week's SEC baseball tournament, Tennessee has eight players with double-digit home runs, topped by the 21 from Trey Lipscomb (21).

Tennessee's historic baseball season has contained the program's first No. 1 ranking and the ability to lead the nation in both home runs (137) and earned run average (2.37).

Yet the Volunteers know a much bigger objective resides in the weeks ahead.

"We have a chance to do something really special," catcher Evan Russell said after Saturday's 10-5 win at Mississippi State that completed a 49-7 regular season and a 25-5 run through the vaunted Southeastern Conference.

Before the Vols take the field again Wednesday at the SEC tournament in Hoover, Alabama, here are 10 snapshot statistics of note:

1. Tennessee's 49 regular-season victories comfortably set a new school standard, surpassing the 45 wins by the 1994 Vols.

2. The average score to a Tennessee game this season — keeping in mind there have been seven losses — has been Vols 9, Opponents 3.

3. Southern California in 1978 remains the most recent national champion to finish with single-digit losses, going 54-9. Tennessee enters postseason play with the opportunity to rewrite that fact.

4. The Vols became just the third SEC team to win at least 25 conference games, joining South Carolina (25-5) in 2000 and Vanderbilt (26-3) in 2013.

5. Starting pitchers Chase Dollander (8-0), Drew Beam (8-1) and Chase Burns (7-1) have combined to post a 23-2 record, and none of them are eligible for next month's Major League Baseball draft.

6. Dollander (2.30), Burns (2.53) and Beam (2.73) finished the regular season 1-2-3 in ERA among SEC pitchers who threw enough to qualify.

7. Tennessee's 137 homers are the most of any team nationally since the BBCOR era began in 2011. The Ball-Bat Coefficient of Restitution is a system that regulates the speed of the ball coming off a bat.

8. Russell needs one home run to notch 39 for his career and stand alone as Tennessee's all-time leader. He currently shares the mark of 38 with Todd Helton, but Luc Lipcius has 37 and could get to 39 first.

9. Should Tennessee ultimately win its first national title, the Vols would become the fifth SEC East school to do so, joining Georgia (1990), South Carolina (2010-11), Vanderbilt (2014, 2019) and Florida (2017).

10. Speaking of the SEC East, the Vols won it by 10 games to set a league margin record for either division. Tennessee's six-game overall advantage over West champ Texas A&M (19-11) also set a new mark.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSPaschall.

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AP photo by John Amis / Tennessee baseball player Luc Lipcius is shown on the basepaths during a Feb. 20 home game against Georgia Southern.

2022 SEC BASEBALL TOURNAMENT

May 24-29 at Hoover, Ala.

No. indicates seed; all times Eastern; all games televised by SEC Network.

Tuesday’s Games

No. 6 Georgia (35-20) vs. No. 11 Alabama (29-25), 10:30 a.m.

No. 7 Florida (35-20) vs. No. 10 South Carolina (27-27), TBD

No. 8 Vanderbilt (35-19) vs. No. 9 Ole Miss (32-21), 5:30 p.m.

No. 5 Auburn (37-18) vs. No. 12 Kentucky (30-24), TBD

Wednesday’s Games

No. 3 Arkansas (38-16) vs. Georgia-Alabama winner, 10:30 a.m.

No. 2 Texas A&M (35-17) vs. Florida-South Carolina winner, TBD

No. 1 Tennessee (49-7) vs. Vanderbilt-Ole Miss winner, 5:30 p.m.

No. 4 LSU (37-18) vs. Auburn-Kentucky winner, 5:30 p.m.

 

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