Newspaper article News Sentinel

Tennessee Freshman Nick Senzel Takes a Swing at DH

Newspaper article News Sentinel

Tennessee Freshman Nick Senzel Takes a Swing at DH

Article excerpt

Tennessee baseball coach Dave Serrano isn't counting on freshmen to pull the Vols out of their current slump this weekend against Vanderbilt.

Don't tell that to designated hitter Nick Senzel, a freshman from Farragut High School.

Senzel is focused on the present and not the past couple of weeks as the No. 25-ranked Vols (19-8, 3-6 SEC) play host to No. 7 Vanderbilt (24-6, 5-4) in a three-game series starting Friday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

"I've kind of hit a bump in the road here, but I can't hang my head," Senzel said. "You've just got to keep moving forward. As a freshman it's going to happen. It's going to happen to a bunch of guys. I've just got to stick to myself and stick to the way I know how to swing it and just move forward."

The Vols have lost four straight games and six of their last seven.

UT's slump is glaring after an 18-2 start -- which included winning two of three games in the opening SEC series at Missouri. It lost two of three SEC games at home against Auburn (March 21-23) and was swept at No. 2 South Carolina last weekend.

Serrano is looking to veteran players for leadership.

"We can't rely on our freshmen to carry this team," Serrano said. "We have enough good, older players who need to step up and start allowing the younger guys to continue to coat-tail them and follow them. We're beyond that, 'The young guys need to carry this program.' That was last year."

Regardless, Senzel is more than ready to get his bat going again.

His batting average has dropped from the team-high .405 before the March 11 game at Middle Tennessee State to .318, which is still third best on the team.

Senzel is hitting .242 in nine SEC games with one double and four RBIs. …

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