Despite a ruthless showing from Mother Nature that forced four unexpected changes to the Diamond Vols' opening series, Tennessee head coach Dave Serrano was satisfied with just one more modification to the UT schedule.
His squad will now host Appalachian State (0-3) today at 3 p.m. in a contest that was originally slated for Tuesday afternoon.
The move was made so Tennessee (3-0) would avoid playing four games in three days, a situation the third-year coach didn't want to see transpire this early in the year.
"It's tough to play four games in three days, and I don't want to do anything to jeopardize the marathon of the season," Serrano said on Sunday. "Luckily Appalachian State worked with us on that and now ... the Wednesday will be like a Tuesday game to us actually where it lines up the pitching well."
UT will send Andy Cox to the mound in what will be his second outing of the year. He threw two scoreless innings on Saturday, allowing just one hit in UT's 20-2 shellacking of Purdue.
In 21 appearances last season, the sophomore lefty was 2-2 with a 5.29 earned run average, surrendering 53 hits and 33 runs (28 earned) in 47 2/3 innings of work. The Vols, however, were 4-2 in Cox's six starts last year as the UT offense produced at least five runs in three of those six outings.
With Serrano's squad coming off a 31-run series against Purdue, solid run support could become the theme of today's contest as well. Against the Boilermakers, UT hit .388 and slugged .505 as it cruised to an easy three-game sweep.
"It feels like we're almost in mid-season form mentally," right fielder Scott Price said after the Vols' 8-2 victory on Monday. "It's good to get out here every day and finally put all the work that we've put in through the fall and through the early spring and finally let it turn out for us here in games."
While UT enters this afternoon's matchup on a tidal wave of confidence, the same cannot be said about Appalachian State. The Mountaineers were swept on the road by No. 25 Arkansas as the Razorbacks outscored Appalachian State 27-11 in the three-game series.
The Mountaineers won the Southern Conference championship in 2012 and were picked to finished third this season by fellow SoCon coaches.
The conference's head men also voted three Mountaineers as preseason all-conference members — senior outfielder Tyler Zupic garnered first-team honors while junior pitcher Jamie Nunn and sophomore outfielder Jaylin Davis were second-team selections.
Zupic and Davis hit a combined .136 (3-for-22) on the weekend, and Dunn only lasted three innings in his 2014 debut, allowing eight runs and eight hits with four walks.