KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Andrew Lindsey’s college baseball story is not as cookie-cutter as many of his teammates. The Tennessee pitcher played at Walter’s State Community College for two years, transferred to Charlotte for a season and then took a year off before he committed to the Vols.
Charlotte just so happens to be the first team that Tennessee will face in the Clemson Regional. For Lindsey, it’s just another outing “I was excited for whoever we were gonna play…we gotta get this win, it’s the postseason so we got to continue to win to reach our goals as a team, so we really need the win regardless of who it is.”
During his year off, Lindsey coached a group of 13-year-olds that ended up being one of the main driving factors for the junior to get back in the game, “I didn’t think I was coming back and I definitely didn’t think I would end up at the University of Tennessee when I did decide to come back it was kind of the 13-year-olds on that travel ball team that pushed me towards doing that, and the dads as well.”
A few of those players have been able to come see Lindsey play in person this season.
Lindsey learned new perspective on and off the field during his year off, knowing that his family would always be there among the biggest, “I learned that my mom, dad and brother have my back no matter what and no matter what I’m doing in life they’re always a great support system.”
In mid-April Lindsey earned a his first start in a Tennessee uniform, opening up the weekend against Arkansas, “Love you, very proud of you,” was the text the pitcher received from his mom.
Facing Kentucky a month later, Lindsey got his first win on the mound for the Vols, a moment filled with many emotions, “It was extremely gratifying… every win is gratifying and I get the chills every time even as a closer when I was just standing in the dugout, anytime our starters would walk off the mound here in Lindsey Nelson and you would hear the whole crowd stand up cheering, clapping, I would always get the chills.”
When asked if baseball prepared him for life, or if life prepared him for baseball in Lindsey’s unique journey, the junior responded, “I would say probably baseball prepared me more for life after baseball but I definitely think the time away taught me some things that have helped me through this year.”