Strong Pitching Performances Pace #7/8 Vols Past Southern Indiana
Courtesy / UT Athletics

Strong Pitching Performances Pace #7/8 Vols Past Southern Indiana

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Despite a slow night at the plate, No. 7/8 Tennessee found a way to keep its winning streak alive with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Southern Indiana on Wednesday evening at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

Pitching carried the night for the Volunteers, who won their 12th straight game to improve to 13-1 on the year. The lefty duo of Zander Sechrist and Kirby Connell was lights out, combining to strikeout 14 batters in 8.2 innings of work while allowing just a single run.

Sechrist got the start and posted career highs in innings pitched (5.2) and strikeouts (10) while holding the Screaming Eagles to one run on five hits before handing the ball off to freshman Derek Schaefer with two outs in the sixth inning.

Schaefer retired the only batter he faced to end the frame and picked up his first-career win as the Big Orange scored a pair of runs in the next half inning to take a 2-1 lead.

It was all Connell from there, as the veteran lefthander did not allow a hit and struck out four batters over three shutout innings to slam the door and record his first save since 2021.

Christian Moore sparked UT’s offense with a solo home run to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth and finished with two hits on the night. Dalton Bargo drove in the game-winning run with a sacrifice fly later in the frame, scoring Blake Burke on the play after he reached on a single earlier in the inning.

Kavares Tears was the only other Vol to finish with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles.

Tucker Ebest was responsible for Southern Indiana’s only run, hitting a solo homer in the top of the sixth inning to give the Screaming Eagles (4-8) a 1-0 lead.

Clayton Weisheit was impressive on the mound in his first-career start, tossing four scoreless inning while allowing just two hits and a walk to go along with four strikeouts for USI. 

UP NEXT: Tennessee hosts Illinois at home this weekend in its final non-conference weekend series before opening SEC play at Alabama on March 15. Game one of this weekend’s series is slated to begin at 6 p.m. on Friday and will be streamed on SEC Network+ and the ESPN app.

STAT OF THE GAME: Thanks to Moore’s solo shot in the bottom of the sixth inning, UT kept its streak of hitting at least one home run in every game this season alive. The Vols have hit 33 total homers through 14 games and ranked second nationally in long balls entering Wednesday’s contest behind Duke (35).

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