How Zach Joyce pitched again, returned to UT Vols

Zach Joyce doesn’t know who sent the video.

But he knows who received it.

Tennessee baseball pitching coach Frank Anderson called Joyce in May with a message: The Vols’ coaches had watched it.

“Watched what?” Joyce responded.

Without Joyce knowing, someone had sent the video to UT’s staff of him throwing a May bullpen session at Farragut High School. Anderson liked what he saw from Joyce, who had left the program but was quietly prepping in private during the spring with hopes of being a Tennessee pitcher again.

Anderson’s unexpected call was a milestone in the process.

“It was realizing this is a possibility and how hard I was working, people could see it now,” Joyce said.

Everyone will see it soon. Joyce rejoined Tennessee in June, almost two years after he left the team to address personal struggles. He’s back and has regained not only his lethal repertoire of pitches but the mentality to match it.

Why Zach Joyce stepped away from the Vols

Farragut's Zach Joyce pitches against William Blount on Wednesday, April 25, 2018.

Joyce joined the Vols for the first time in 2020.

He and his twin brother, Ben Joyce — a household name for his record-setting fastballs — signed with Tennessee out of Walters State Community College.

Zach Joyce never pitched for the Vols. He left baseball amid mental health battles with anxiety and depression that reached new levels in fall 2020.

“I just blamed it on baseball,” Joyce said. “I thought the best thing for me to do was step away. I wasn’t in the right head space to play baseball.”

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