The No. 20 Tennessee Volunteers defeated ETSU, 17-5, at Lindsey Nelson Stadium on Tuesday night. With the win, the Vols improve to 15-2, while ETSU falls to 12-3. Christian Delashmit (3-0) recorded the win for Tennessee, while Tucker Rogers (1-1) suffered the loss for ETSU.
“You get a punch in the gut, it doesn’t make you feel good about yourself,” said head coach Tony Vitello. “I think we analyzed things as a staff and getting a day off on Monday was nice, but we were always itching to compete. The guys came out here tonight and played the way that they are capable of playing. They played with attitude and were focused from the get-go.”
The Vols broke out thanks to Alerick Soularie’s 3-5 night. The outfielder hit two home runs, as well as an RBI single to help plate four runs for Tennessee. The Vols’ other outfielder, Zach Daniels, also recorded three hits. Daniels went 3-4, with two doubles, one RBI, and accounted for three runs.
Tennessee got off to a quick lead in the second inning, as the Vols scored six runs. The bottom of the second opened up with a double off the bat of Luc Lipcius. Daniels hit a double of his own, which also scored the run to make the game, 1-0, Vols. Drew Gilbert drove in the next Tennessee run after hitting a single through the second basemen. Two batters later, Liam Spence hit a 2-run double to increase the Vols’ lead to 4-0. Jake Rucker and Soularie both hit RBI singles to cap off Tennessee's second inning burst.
“We played pretty well,” said Soularie. “We had a different look going into the cages and it changed our approach to the game, which worked out. We had a few new things in drills and were just trying to stay simple in our approaches.”
Christian Delashmit earned his third win of the season after coming in to relieve Elijah Pleasants in the 6th inning. Delashmit threw for three innings, while giving up three hits, no zero runs, one walk and punching out four batters.
Camden Sewell started on the bump for Tennessee on Tuesday night. In the righty’s first appearance of the year, he went three innings, giving up one hit, one run, walked a batter and struck out five.
“It felt awesome and it feels like forever since I was out there,” said Sewell. “It was just awesome. Command started out a little iffy, but my slider was dancing all over the place and I got comfortable with it, as I needed to be. My fastball was there and of course, the defense played great behind me.”
Both teams scored in the third inning to make the game, 7-1, Vols, but ETSU mounted a comeback one Kirby Connell came in to pitch for the Vols. Jackson Greer welcomed Connell with a moonshot to left field. The next batter struck out, however, the next three reached base and a run was driven in to make the game 7-3. Elijah Pleasants came in relief and promptly gave up a two-run double. Tennessee was able to get out of the inning, with the 7-5 lead intact.
Overall, the Vols’ bullpen went six innings, and scattered eight hits, gave up four runs, walked three batters and struck out eight. Mark McLaughlin also came in to pitch for Tennessee and gave them one inning of one hit ball, along with two strikeouts.
Tennessee will begin SEC play this weekend, as the Vols will travel to Columbia, South Carolina for a weekend series against the South Carolina Gamecocks.