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Vol baseball cleans up at SEC season-end awards

Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello wins SEC Coach of the Year honors. Chase Dollander and Drew Beam win Pitcher and Freshman of the Year, respectively.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee baseball's dream regular season has made its mark on the SEC awards ballot.

Vol head coach Tony Vitello has been named SEC Coach of the Year, while sophomore right-hander Chase Dollander won SEC Pitcher of the Year and freshman righty Drew Beam earned SEC Freshman of the Year, the conference announced on Monday.

Vitello was the first Tennessee head coach to win the honor since Rod Delmonico won the award in back-to-back seasons in 1994 and 1995.

Dollander is currently 8-0 with a conference-leading 2.30 ERA. He also leads the nation with a 0.70 WHIP. His Pitcher of the Year nod makes him the second-ever Vol with that distinction. Luke Hochevar earned the award in 2005.

Beam also boasts eight pitching wins and ranks third in the conference with a 2.73 ERA. He joins former Tennessee catcher J.P. Arencibia as the only two Vols to be named SEC Freshman of the Year. Arencibia earned the honor in 2005 and went on to win the USA Baseball Player of the Year Award the following season.

Tennessee third baseman Trey Lipscomb and outfielder Drew Gilbert also joined Dollander as All-SEC First Team selections. Beam and fellow freshman pitcher Chase Burns were selected for Second Team honors. The five selections were the most Vols named All-SEC since 1994.

Vol baseball begins SEC Tournament play on Wednesday, May 25 at 5:30 p.m. The Vols will await the winner of the first-round matchup between the ninth-seeded Ole Miss and the eighth-seeded Vanderbilt on Tuesday, May 24.

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