Chase Dollander reflects on small group season in Tennessee


AUGUSTA, Georgia (WJBF) –

KNOXVILLE, TN – Tennessee racked up Perfect Game playoff honors with eight representatives awarded by the organization on Wednesday.

In the lead, the head coach Tony Vitellowho was named National Outlet Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season after guiding the Volunteers to a program-record 57 wins and their first regular-season and SEC tournament titles since 1995.

The Big Orange had four players named to Perfect Game All-America teams as second pitchers Chase Dollander (first team), junior outfielder Drew Gilbert (second team), second redshirt second baseman Jorel Ortega and senior third baseman Trey Lip Comb (third team).

Dollander posted a perfect 10-0 record and led the nation with a 0.80 WHIP. He also led the team with 108 strikeouts and had a 2.39 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .175 batting average. The Georgia native joined VFL and World Series champion Luke Hochevar as the only Vols to earn SEC Pitcher of the Year honors.

Gilbert had another stellar season for UT, leading the team with a .362 batting average, 21 doubles and four triples while ranking second on the team with a career-high 70 RBIs despite missing six games in due to injury. The Stillwater, Minnesota native was a first-team All-SEC selection and was also named to the SEC All-Defensive Team. Gilbert was also named SEC Tournament MVP after helping lead the Vols to their first title since 1995.

Ortega had a stellar season for the Big Orange after winning the starting job at second base, setting career highs in every statistical category. The Puerto Rico native finished the year ranked third on the team with 18 homers and 61 RBIs while batting .323. Ortega also ranked second on the team with 76 hits and 20 doubles.

Lipscomb has had an amazing season after patiently waiting his turn to get a starting role for the past three years. The Frederick, Maryland native led the team in numerous offensive categories and led the SEC with 84 RBIs, a mark that ranks fourth nationally and third in single-season history. the UT. Lipscomb also homered 22 during the year, which is tied for second most in program history for a single season. The first-team All-SEC selection is a Dick Howser Trophy finalist and was also named NCBWA District 3 Player of the Year.

Tennessee also had three players named to Perfect Game Freshman All-America teams, as pitchers Drive away the burns and Drew Beam were first-team selections while Blake Burk got a place in the second team.

Burns and Beam combined for a 16-3 record on the year with eight wins apiece, tying them for fifth on UT’s freshman win list. Burke showed impressive power throughout the season, tying the single-season program record for homers by a freshman with 14.


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