The No. 10 Tennessee Volunteers conclude their four-game road swing with a rematch against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles Wednesday at Bush Stadium in Cookeville at 6 p.m.
The Vols defeated the Eagles 13-4 in Knoxville on March 3.
Tennessee (29-9) is looking to halt a four-game losing streak before heading into this weekend's home series against the No. 7 LSU Tigers.
Tennessee Tech (11-15), which plays host to Belmont tonight, has posted a solid 7-1 mark at home and is tied for fourth in the Ohio Valley Conference at 7-5, two games behind leader Austin Peay.
Left-hander Dusty Johnson (0-0, 5.59 ERA) will take the hill for the Volunteers, while right-hander Matthew Edwards (0-3, 8.79) is slated to pitch for Tech.
Johnson, who was Tennessee's mid-week starter last season while fashioning a 6-1 mark and a 3.04 ERA, is making his first start of the season. He has logged just 9 2/3 innings in 10 relief appearances this year. He pitched one inning in the first meeting with Tech, yielding two runs (one earned) on three hits.
Edwards was the most successful of the Golden Eagle pitchers in the first meeting as he shut out the Vols over the final 2 1/3 innings without surrendering a hit. He will have to continue that kind of control as Tech is giving up an average of one run per inning.
The Vols, who are looking to reach the 30-win mark for the second straight season and 12th time in the last 14 years, are led offensively by designated hitter Alex Suarez who has been on a terror lately. He is hitting .514 over the last 10 games to raise his team-leading batting average to .404. Suarez, who is six at-bats shy of the minimum to qualify for the SEC leaders, would rank third in the league in average.
Center fielder Josh Alley has also been a hot hitter by batting safely in 12 of his last 13 games while maintaining his top spot in the conference with 30 walks. The Vols hope to regain the services of left fielder Eli Iorg, the SEC's second-leading base stealer, who missed the Ole Miss series with a back injury.
Tech boasts four hitters batting .340 or better led by catcher Britt Clubb at .350 followed by shortstop Brandon Selvog at .349, third baseman Brent Bilodeau at .345 and DH Justin Showalter at .342.
Diamond Vols head to Tech
Published: Wed Apr 21, 2004 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 06:06 p.m.