Baseball Chase Dollander Returns Against Alabama A&M


Saturday Vols starting pitcher Chase Dollander returned to the mound for Tennessee on Tuesday night in UT’s midweek game against Alabama A&M.

The second player on the Georgia Southern transfer has been sidelined since Tennessee’s Saturday game against Alabama after taking an online practice that resulted in a swollen and sore elbow.

Upon his return, Dollander came out of the bullpen in a no-one situation to replace midweek starter Zander Sechrist. Dollander retired two of the three batters faced. He forced a lineout before allowing a two-out single and finished the frame with his only strikeout of the outing. Dollander threw six strikes on nine total pitches.

Vols head coach Tony Vitello gave an optimistic update on Dollander after Tennessee’s midweek game against Xavier last week, indicating the right-hander’s return would happen sooner rather than later.

“He’s doing well,” Vitello said after the game against Xavier. “The most important thing is that he has a huge smile on his face, so I think he can see it coming. We knew it was going to happen, but we’d rather be a little careful than not. This season is a marathon for these kids, so a little time off can go a long way, and it could end up benefiting him.”

Vitello added that they were hoping to use him against Auburn but “didn’t know if it was possible.”

Dollander was ultimately ruled out of the Auburn Series and the Florida Series the previous week to allow his elbow to fully heal, as the Vols turned to Preseason All-American Blade Tidwell to start both series.

Tidwell excelled in his debut against Florida, but struggled against Auburn in Tennessee’s 8-6 loss to the Tigers, walking four batters and allowing a hit and a run.

Either way, Tennessee didn’t have to sweat Dollander’s absence due to the embarrassment of the riches they have on the mound, as Camden Sewell has been solid in extended relief the past three Saturdays. .

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But among the embarrassment of wealth, Dollander was one of the best. The second has been consistent in his starts, as he is 6-0 with a 2.93 ERA in nine starts (72K for just 8 walks), making his comeback very valuable to an already pitching staff. in charge of Tennessee.

While the Evans, Georgia native likely won’t start this weekend for the Vols against Kentucky, he believes he will become available to start advancing as he returns to 100%. And he’s clearly healthy enough to come out of the bullpen for Tennessee against the Wildcats and going forward.

The Vols have their first of three quick turnovers this week, as the first pitch for the series opener against Kentucky is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET Thursday in Lexington.

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Photo credit: George Walker of WVLT


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