The No. 20 Tennessee Volunteers had a much needed productive day at the plate as they set new season highs in hits (20), extra-base hits (10), and home runs (4).
Here are a few takeaways from the win:
Letting It Fly
The Vols jumped on the board early when they hung six runs in the second inning behind three doubles and three singles along with two walks. The first two doubles were hit to the deepest part of the park as Luc Lipcius and Zach Daniels both crushed the ball into right center.
“From Sunday to Tuesday our guys were itching to compete,” head coach Tony Vitello said postgame. “They came out and played the way we know they can. They play with a little bit of attitude to them, but they are also focused from the start and they are pretty good out there.”
Daniels picked up his second double of the day in the third inning, and almost picked up his third of the day in the fourth when the ball got past the left fielder on a hard hit ball, but it was counted as a singled and an error. Daniels finished the day going 3-4 with three runs scored to go along with his lone RBI and a walk.
Tennessee had another big inning in the sixth which was headlined by two home runs, one monster into left by Alerick Soularie and another later in the inning by Evan Russell. Soularie picked up his second longball of the day in the next inning when he hit a sky high ball into right in an attempt to drive in an RBI, but the ball snuck over for the fence for another Vols’ home run.
“I was really trying to stay simple with my approach and not do too much.” junior Alerick Soularie said on his two home run game. “I was trying to work the count and get on base when a fastball ran into my bat and that’s just how it goes, ... In my second at bat, I got an outside slider that I stayed with and just tried to get it into the outfield to score the runner,”
Tennessee finished the day with 10 extra-base hits, four of which were longballs. The Vols had a big day at the plate which was really needed as Tennessee struggled to produce runs over the weekend, but will need to match South Carolina’s offense this weekend as the Vols travel to Columbia.
Rivalry Gets Chippy
Tennessee and ETSU’s in-state rivalry has history as last year the Bucs and Vols split the two games they played with each team dropping a game at home. The team’s got chirpy early which likely sparked from Max Ferguson’s quote from the last game where he mentioned that he believes all players on ETSU wish they played in Knoxville. The chirpy really escalated when Soularie flipped his bat after his monster home run and let the ETSU bench know about the scoreboard.
Each team was issued a bench warning after Soularie’s second home run when the Bucs’ second baseman approached the Vols’ junior outfielder during his trot. The umpire had to get in front of the ETSU player and the home plate ump had to meet Soularie at third and follow him home to keep the players from getting into anything.
Sewell Shines in Debut
Sophomore pitcher Camden Sewell made his season debut on the mound after being sidelined for the first few weeks of the season with an injury. He went three innings in his first start allowing just one hit which was a home run from Jake Madole. Sewell struck out five of the 11 batters he faced and issued just one walk on the night.
“It feels awesome to just be back out there, I’ve been waiting for this moment for forever,” pitcher Camden Sewell said after his season debut. “Today my command started out iffy, I was yanking my slider all over the place, I wasn’t feeling as comfortable with it as I should, but it helped that my defense played great behind me.”
Sewell will look to work back into the rotation as the schedule heads into SEC play.
No. 20 Tennessee will head to Columbia, South Carolina as they open their SEC schedule against the Gamecocks with the first game coming on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET and will be streamed on SECNetwork+.