#2 VOLS MASH FIVE HOMERS TO EVEN SERIES AT #3 KENTUCKY
Courtesy / UT Athletics

#2 VOLS MASH FIVE HOMERS TO EVEN SERIES AT #3 KENTUCKY

Game Recap: Baseball | April 20, 2024

LEXINGTON, Ky. – No. 2/4 Tennessee scored five runs before No. 3/3 Kentucky recorded an out and never looked back, evening the weekend series with a 9-4 victory on Saturday afternoon in front of another record crowd at Kentucky Proud Park.

Christian Moore and Blake Burke led off the game with back-to-back home runs to give the Vols a 2-0 lead in the blink of an eye. After Billy Amick reached on an error, UT pounced on Wildcats’ starting pitcher Dominic Niman again with three straight RBI doubles to make it 5-0 and chase him from the game.

The Big Orange blasted five home runs on the afternoon, marking the ninth time this season that they have hit five or more in a game, including the third time on the road.

After Kentucky scored twice in the bottom of the first, including a leadoff homer of their own from Ryan Waldschmidt, UT answered with a Kavares Tears solo shot in the second and added two more runs in the fifth to extend its lead to 8-2.

Dylan Dreiling led off that fifth inning with the first of his two long balls in the game, giving him 15 for the season. His second of the day came on a 3-1 pitch in the eighth inning to account for the final run of the game.

Despite a bit of a rocky start, Drew Beam was solid on the mound for the majority of his outing before running into some trouble in the fifth inning. The junior retired eight consecutive batters before giving up four hits in a row in the fifth to end his day after 4.1 innings pitched and four strikeouts.

Aaron Combs came on to relieve Beam and was able to limit the damage in the inning to just two runs. Aside from a jam in the sixth inning that he was able to work out of, Combs was dominant out of the bullpen, setting career highs with 4.2 innings pitched and seven strikeouts while allowing just three hits and no walks to earn his first win of the season.

Tennessee (32-7, 11-6 SEC) had four players finish with multiple hits after not having a single player do so in Friday night’s contest. Moore led the charge with a career-high tying four hits to go along with a pair of RBIs while Tears, Dreiling and Dean Curley combined for eight base knocks, six runs scored and six RBIs.

Waldschmidt had another big day at the plate for the Wildcats (32-6, 15-2 SEC), leading them with three hits, two runs and an RBI.

UT’s win on Saturday ended UK’s 11-game SEC win streak.

STAT OF THE GAME: Moore tied Burke’s career home run record for the second time this season following his leadoff homer in the first inning, the 43rd of his career. Unfortunately for Moore, that lasted all of a minute or two as Burke hit his 44th two pitches later.

UP NEXT: The Vols will play their fourth Sunday rubber game this year after Saturday’s victory to even the series at a game apiece. Tennessee is 2-1 in its previous three winner-take-all game threes with victories over Ole Miss and Georgia.

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