KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A trio of Tennessee baseball players have been named preseason All-Americans by Collegiate Baseball.
Sophomore pitcher Blade Tidwell was tabbed a first-team selection while junior outfielder Jordan Beck was a second team pick. Super senior Evan Russell was named to the third team as a catcher.
After an impressive freshman season Tidwell is expected to be the ace of the staff and starting pitcher for Tony Vitello’s crew on Friday nights. The hard-throwing right-hander finished with a 10-3 record with a 3.74 ERA with 90 strikeouts in 2021. Tidwell was named a freshman All-American by D1Baseball.com and Perfect Game last season.
Jordan Beck led the Vols in both home runs, 15, and RBIs, 64, during his sophomore campaign. Expectations remain high for Beck who will start in right field and be in the middle of the lineup for Tennessee in 2022.
Evan Russell is making the move from left field to catcher this season. Last year he hit a career high 14 home runs, including a pair of three homer games, in 2021. The super senior is expected to start at catcher but also see time as a designated hitter.
Tennessee opens the baseball season with a three-game series Feb. 18-20 against Georgia Southern at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.