BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WJHL) – A handful of Tennessee baseball players earned Southeastern Conference (SEC) honors on Monday, including five players named All-SEC selections.
Head coach Tony Vitello was named SEC Coach of the Year after helping navigate the Vols through its most successful regular season in program history. The Big Orange finished the regular season with a 49-7 record, all while achieving a number one ranking for the first time in program history and holding the distinction unanimously for seven weeks.
Vitello becomes just the third Volunteer head coach to earn the high honor and the first to do it since Rod Delmonico in 1995.
Chase Dollander earned SEC Pitcher of the Year after an impressive spring on the bump. The sophomore led the conference in ERA at 2.30 and allowed fewer hits (35) and walks (9) than anyone else in the SEC.
The Georgia native also turned in a spotless 8-0 record while striking out 90 batters.
Murfreesboro native Drew Beam also nabbed SEC Freshman of the Year honors. The righty finished the year 8-1 and held SEC opposing batters to a .184 average – the second best effort in the conference.
Dollander, Trey Lipscomb and Drew Gilbert were named to the All-SEC First Team, while Beam and Chase Burns landed on the Second Team. Blake Burke also joined Beam and Burns on the SEC All-Freshman lineup.