While the Tennessee Volunteer players shaved their heads to help the Vs. Cancer Foundation in their fight against childhood cancer, there was a lot of laughing, chants of "No Guard!" towards fellow teammates, and of course, a lot of bald people parading around the locker room as they rubbed their bare heads.
"I am very proud to have our team and program involved in the fight against cancer," head coach Dave Serrano said. "It is a horrible disease that effects the lives of too many families, including my own, and it is a great privilege to be able to do our part in standing up to prevent it from effecting others. If our team's involvement can make a positive difference in even one person's life, I would see that as a tremendous victory."
For freshman pitcher Aaron Quillan, losing all of his hair was an easy choice because of what it meant to his teammate and best friend Andrew Lee.
"It was different, but it was for a good cause," Quillan said. "One of the guys on the team, Andy — his aunt just past away last night with cancer so it was a pretty big deal to do it for him, and he was pretty happy about it so it wasn't that hard of a decision for me."
But for all the fun the Vols had on Thursday, their weekend series against No. 11 South Carolina still looms on the calendar.
The Vols are currently on a five-game losing streak, which includes being swept by the No. 3 Vanderbilt Commodores this past weekend and a 7-5 defeat to Longwood on Tuesday. Sophomore infielder Parker Wormsley said while the results from this past week don't show it, the team has showed strides in improving.
"You can look at this past week and say that we didn't perform well because we went 0-4, but I think we made a lot of strides," Wormsley said. "While the results weren't there, as a team we did some things pretty well, and we just need to build on that and come out here this weekend and try to get better and win some games."
In game one of the series, the Vols will throw out Quillan to toe the rubber, who can hopefully get them off to a good start for the weekend. As a freshman, Quillan believes that this series could be a big stage for him and this young Volunteer team to prove what they can do.
"I think it is (a good stage to prove ourselves on)," Quillan said. "This is what we all came here for. We all got recruited to come play, and this is what you want growing up as a kid in Tennessee. You always dreamed of pitching for the University of Tennessee. You see South Carolina good year in, year out, so this what you dream of."
While the Vols may not have a very impressive overall record at 13-14, they have played fantastic at home this season, going 10-4 within the friendly confines of Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Wormsley believes that playing a team of South Carolina's caliber at home will be a definite plus, but they still have to go out and play baseball.
"That definitely helps," Wormsley said. "Going on the road in the SEC is tough to win because you are going to go into hostile crowds, but being at home, I think we are more comfortable here. But when it's all said and done, it's still baseball, and we just have to go out there and play the game."
First pitches for the weekend series will occur at 6 p.m. on Friday, 12:30 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.