#1 VOLS CLAIM FIFTH SEC REGULAR SEASON TITLE WITH SWEEP OF #23 GAMECOCKS
Courtesy / UT Athletics

#1 VOLS CLAIM FIFTH SEC REGULAR SEASON TITLE WITH SWEEP OF #23 GAMECOCKS

Game Recap: Baseball | May 18, 2024

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – No. 1/1 Tennessee completed the series sweep of No. 23/24 South Carolina and clinched its fifth Southeastern Conference regular season title with a 4-1 victory on Saturday afternoon in front of a sold-out crowd at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

The Volunteers’ 22nd league victory paired with a Kentucky loss to Vanderbilt on Saturday secured the No. 1 overall seed for the Big Orange in next week’s SEC Tournament.

Zander Sechrist was dominant on the mound for UT, tossing six shutout innings to earn his second win of the year. The senior lefty scattered four hits and did not allow a walk while striking out four batters on the day.

Kavares Tears led the Vols offensively, going 2-for-4 with an RBI double in the fourth inning to open the scoring. Dalton Bargo also had a pair of hits and scored a run from the designated hitter spot.

Tennessee’s three-run fifth inning ended up being the difference in the game as Blake BurkeBilly Amick and Dylan Dreiling posted three straight RBI singles to extend the lead to 4-0.

Nate Snead took over for Sechrist to start the seventh and was solid in 1.1 innings of action despite allowing a run on two hits. Aaron Combs came on with one out and two on in the eighth inning and went on to retire the final five batters of the game to lock down his fourth save of the year.

Talmadge LeCroy went 2-for-3 and drove in the only run of the game for the Gamecocks, who fell to 33-21 overall and 13-17 SEC play.

STAT OF THE GAME: Tennessee has now claimed at least a share of the regular-season SEC Championship in two of the last three seasons (2022, 2024) and at least a share of the SEC Eastern Division title in three of the last four years (2021, 2022, 2024).

The Vols now have nine total SEC titles, five regular season and four SEC Tournament crowns. Prior to head coach Tony Vitello‘s tenure, UT’s last SEC title came in 1995 when it won its second straight conference championship after posting a 22-8 record in the league.

UP NEXT: The Vols (45-10, 22-8 SEC) have earned a bye into the double-elimination portion of the SEC Tournament and are slated to play their first game in Hoover at 5:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday afternoon against an opponent that is to be determined.

Tickets for this year’s SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama, can be purchased HERE.

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