Friday, Tennessee baseball hosted George Washington is the first of a three-game series at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Despite a slow start, the Vols got the 7-1 win over the Colonials.
Chad Dallas was the starting pitcher for Tennessee, earning his third win in as many starts since joining the Vols this season. Sean Hunley picked up his third save in relief on the mound. For George Washington, Harrison Cohen was the losing pitcher, dropping to 1-1 on the season.
In contrast to their prior games, Tennessee got off to a slow start as tonight’s game was the first time this season that Vols failed to score a run in the first or second inning. It was actually the Colonials who broke the deadlock, the first time this season that Tennessee trailed at home. The first run of the game came when an RBI double by Noah Levin drove in Tyler Hix to score for George Washington.
“I think the only way we got to them was that we wore them down” coach Tony Vitello said “It was kind of like facing Stanford. Williams was sticking it on us pretty good, but they made a couple of mistakes and we scored. George Washington didn’t make any mistakes so really our only thing it looked like we could do was wear them down a little bit.”
The Vols finally got on the scoreboard when Luc Lipcius rocketed a home run off the videoboard in right field in the seventh inning. Tennessee seemed to get a spark from the Lipcius homer, going on to grab two more runs in a productive third inning which saw hits from Drew Gilbert, Pete Derkay and Zach Daniels.
“Obviously, I’m a very energetic player” Gilbert said “I think just (Vitello) allowing be to be who I am really helps me perform well … at the end of the day, I just want to win. And I don’t care whether on the field or on the bench, I’ll do whatever it takes to win.”
The game-winning run came was scored by Gilbert, who was driven in by Liam Spence, who has been a surprise success for the Vols this season. Tennessee grabbed a third run when, with the bases loaded, Alerick Soularie took a pitch to the upper back.
The Vols took the lead in the seventh, but they put the game away in the eighth. After Tennessee was able to load the bases and sitting with two outs, Trey Lipscomb bombed a deep shot past the patio in left field to grab a grand slam. The homer, which came in the sophomore’s first at-bat of the game, was the first home run of his career.
“We harp on it every day in practice” Lipcius said “Just play hard and aggressive, but not reckless … it’s just that aggressiveness and the will to want to win that we just love to see.”
The Vols and Colonials will be back in action tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET. The game, originally scheduled for 4 p.m., can be streamed on SEC Network+.