Lipcius, Russell, Redmond Walsh back


Jackson Leath signed with the Texas Rangers on Saturday, reaching a deal ahead of Sunday’s deadline for signing the MLB draft picks.

The pitcher was the last Tennessee player to sign, concluding most of the Flights offseason. Here’s how the list has changed since Tennessee’s season ended in the College World Series:

The veteran trio returns to Tennessee

Tennessee were in a position to lose seven of their nine starters on their CWS team. Instead, the Vols will lose only five.

Evan russell announced on July 17 that he would return to Tennessee, then coach Tony Vitello announced on July 22 that first baseman Luc Lipcius and relief pitcher Redmond Walsh are planning a return. All three have gained an additional year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Redmond will definitely be a leader,” said Vitello. “But Evan Russell and Luc Lipcius – I’ve teased them a bit already – at every little competition we have or at the fall World Series they’ll be two different teams and go their separate ways. We’ll see who’s better below. without quotes captain is.

Lipcius and Russell were fixtures in the middle of the UT command. Lipcius hit .240 and tied for the team lead with 15 home runs. Russell reached .238 with 14 home runs, including two matches at three circuits.

Walsh had made 77 appearances in four seasons with a 1.73 ERA. He was 5-1 with five saves and a 2.52 ERA in 2021.

“The younger guys were thrilled when they saw that was what was going to happen, with the way he kind of stood up in a meeting and told them (he was coming back),” said Vitello.

Tennessee hit the transfer portal hard

Tennessee have signed a trio of transfers: pitcher Chase Dollander, Missouri pitcher Seth Halvorsen and West Virginia wide receiver Matt McCormick.

Vitello said Dollander and Halvorsen “may be potential first-row players” in the MLB Draft. Halvorsen was selected in the 19th round by the Philadelphia Phillies, but comes to UT.

“This should make for a really fun competition in the fall to see who can get pole position to be the opening day starter,” said Vitello, who noted that the rising sophomore Blade Tidwell will be in. this group.

Halvorsen was 4-3 with a 6.00 ERA in 2020 with the Tigers as a starter on Friday night.

Dollander was a freshman All-American selection at Georgia Southern. He was 4-3 with a 4.03 ERA. He started against UT in his season opener. He allowed one run on three hits in 5th innings with eight strikeouts.

McCormick hit .280 with seven home runs in sophomore year.

Focus on the MLB Draft

Tennessee had seven drafted players last month.

Pitcher Chad Dallas was Toronto’s most-drafted fourth-round pick. Shortstop Liam spence and second baseman Max Ferguson were drafted in the fifth round by the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres, respectively.

Seeker Connor pavolony and third baseman Jake rucker were seventh-round picks by the Baltimore Orioles and Minnesota Twins, respectively. Leath was picked by the Rangers in the 12th round and pitcher Sean Hunley was picked in the 19th round by the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Vols also selected four incoming hopefuls, including the overall pick n ° 11 Brady House. House signed with the Washington Nationals for $ 5 million. Shortstop Ryan Spikes and junior second baseman Dayton Dooney signed with the Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals, respectively.

Notably, Spikes signed for $ 1,097,500. The value of the location for its selection as choice # 100 was $ 581,600.

Chase Burns was selected in the 20th round by the Padres, but had already decided to go to Tennessee. He was among the top 50 prospects in the draft, according to

Flights in the transfer portal

Pitcher Jason Rackers entered the transfer portal on Monday. Rackers was the fifth UT pitcher to enter the portal since the end of the season. The racketeers had surgery on Tommy John in 2020 and returned with a limited role in 2021. He pitched seven games with three starts. He was 1-1 with a 2.53 ERA.

Elijah Pleasants entered the transfer portal on Thursday. He entered last season as the weekend starter, but has only made two starts. He was 2-1 with a 4.37 ERA.

Colin Ahearn, Charez Butcher and Connor Housley also entered the portal. Housley had a 3.48 ERA in 12 appearances. He was transferred to the state of Kennesaw. Ahearn and Butcher did not feature Flights in first year.

Mike Wilson covers athletics at the University of Tennessee. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @By MikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s cover, consider a digital subscription which will allow you to access it all.


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