The Tennessee baseball team relied on its power at the plate to take care of the Lipscomb Bisons, 11-2, on Tuesday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Overall, the Vols hit seven home runs on the evening against Lipscomb.
The seven long balls tied a school record for most home runs for Tennessee in a single game. The only other time this was accomplished was in 1980 against Tennessee Tech.
“It was a lot of fun to watch tonight,” Lipcius said. “I think we were more relaxed than usual. SEC games bring it out in you, you get all juiced up, but we just learned to calm down.”
It did not take Tennessee long to get on the board, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first. This was the tenth game out of the last eleven that the Vols have scored in the first inning. Even more impressive than that was the way Tennessee did it.
The combination of Daniels, Andre Lipcius, and Al Soularie hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the first. This was the first time a Tennessee team has hit three straight home runs in a row since April 3, 1996 against ETSU.
“I did not really get it all, but it carried over the fence,” Daniels said. “Back-to-back-to-back was really special, I’ve never been a part of something like that.”
The Bisons did not take long to respond, scoring two runs in the second inning. They were able to take advantage of a couple of Tennessee mistakes to score their only two runs on the night.
After two hit batters and a walk loaded the bases, Cade Sorrells scored on a wild pitch to get Lipscomb on the board. During the next at-bat, the ball got away from Chase Silseth on a return throw from Connor Pavolony, which allowed Maddux Houghton to score another Bisons run.
“He (Silseth) did a nice job tonight,” Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello said. “I would have liked to see the clean inning because I thought it was a nice matchup on the guy he was facing, but the ball went to the screen and then we don’t play catch. If you remove that, it was almost a flawless out.”
With Lipscomb trailing 3-2, Tennessee was able to add an insurance run on an RBI sac-fly by Jake Rucker. In the bottom of the sixth, Tennessee was able to break the game open, scoring three more runs.
The first two came off of a two-run home run by Lipcius, his second long ball of the night and eighth on the season. Once again, Soularie would not be outdone by his teammate. On the second pitch of the at-bat, Soularie drilled a ball over the wall in left to extend the Tennessee lead to 7-2.
Just when it seemed the power had run out, Landon Gray hit a long ball over the right-center field wall to extend the lead to 9-2. The final runs of the game for the Vols came in the bottom of the eighth when Pete Derkay took his turn taking the ball out, hitting a two-run shot to right.
As good as the offense was on Tuesday night with seven home runs, Tennessee’s pitching was equally as impressive. The only two runs on the night for Lipscomb came in the second inning, and both of those runs were unearned. In addition to that, the Bisons did not get their first hit of the game until the sixth inning. Overall, Lipscomb was only able to muster two hits on the night against the Tennessee pitching staff.
Freshman Elijah Pleasants got the start on the mound for Tennessee, his first career start as a Volunteer. Pleasants threw 1.2 innings, allowing two unearned runs and no hits. The longest man on the mound was Silseth, who pitched 3.1 innings of no-hit ball and picked up the win.
“He kind of took the ball and ran with it,” Vitello said. “There is an opportunity there for him to maybe be the guy who starts next week on Tuesday.”
The combination of Camden Sewell, Sean Hunley, Tanner Kohlhepp, each threw an inning of relief for the Vols on the mound. Richard Jackson and Daniel Vasquez combined to finish off the game in the ninth.
Tennessee will be back in action for a weekend series that will begin on Thursday evening against the No. 2 Georgia Bulldogs at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. First pitch for the game on Thursday is set to begin at 7 p.m.