TOP-RANKED VOLS BOUNCE BACK WITH 7-4 WIN OVER NO. 3 TEXAS A&M
Courtesy / UT Athletics

TOP-RANKED VOLS BOUNCE BACK WITH 7-4 WIN OVER NO. 3 TEXAS A&M

Game Recap: Baseball | May 23, 2024

HOOVER, Ala. – No. 1/1 Tennessee rebounded from its opening-game loss at the SEC Tournament with a 7-4 victory over No. 3/4 Texas A&M in Thursday’s elimination game at the Hoover Met.

The Volunteers used a well-rounded effort from their pitchers and hitters as numerous individuals played key roles in the win over the Aggies (44-13).

Kavares Tears led the charge offensively with a big day at the dish, going 3-for-5 with a home run and game-high four RBIs. Leadoff man Christian Moore also finished with three hits, an RBI and a run scored as he and Tears combined for six of the team’s 10 total hits.

Veteran lefthander Chris Stamos got UT off to a solid start on the mound with a career-best 3.1 innings to open the game, holding the Aggies potent lineup to just one run on one hit while striking out three batters before handing the ball off to AJ Causey in the fourth inning.

The Alabama native put forth another strong relief effort for the Big Orange to pick up his SEC-leading 11th victory of the year, scattering five hits and allowing two runs while racking up seven strikeouts in four innings of work.

After having its lead cut to one in the top of the sixth inning, Tears’ three-run opposite-field blast gave Tennessee some breathing room in the bottom of the seventh before senior catcher Cal Stark added a homer of his own in the bottom of the eighth to make it a 7-3 game heading into the ninth.

Texas A&M leadoff man and SEC Freshman of the Year Gavin Grahovac hit his second solo home run of the day in the top of the ninth to bring the Aggies within three, but that was as close as they would get as Kirby Connell struck out first-team All-SEC outfielder Braden Montgomery to end the game. 

Reliever Brock Peery was stuck with the loss despite not allowing a hit over 1.1 innings of action after walking three and allowing one run to score.

STAT OF THE GAME: By earning his 11th win of the year, Causey moved into a tie for sixth in UT single-season history for victories, tying five other players including Chad Dallas, who reached the milestone most recently by doing so in 2021.

The junior righthander has now recorded a win in each of his last five appearances and has tallied seven or more strikeouts in six of his last seven outings.

UP NEXT: The Volunteers await the loser of Thursday’s final game between No. 5 seed Mississippi State and No. 8 seed Vanderbilt, who they’ll play in Friday’s nightcap at approximately 7:30 p.m. ET on the SEC Network. The winner of that contest will advance to Saturday’s semifinal round.

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