Tennessee baseball (17-4, 2-1) played a one-off midweek contest against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels Tuesday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The Volunteers were able to take the lead early and wouldn’t look back, ultimately securing a 13-5 victory over EKU.
Jake Fitzgibbons got the start for Tennessee, pitching two innings before being relieved. The Vols would implement a slew of pitcher en route to the team’s 18th victory of the season. It was Zander Sechrist earning his first win of the season, however, after pitching 2.2 innings, allowing a hit, and picking up four strikeouts, while keeping EKU off the score column. Although Sechrist didn’t pitch three innings, he accrued the most time on the mound — Tennessee ultimately deployed eight different pitchers.
Tennessee kicked off the scoring when Drew Gilbert doubled in a pair of runs in the first inning. A Trey Lipscomb double in the same inning would add another in the first, making it 3-0 Tennessee.
In the second and third innings, the Colonels made a push to make sure they stayed in the game. A solo home run in the second cut the Tennessee lead to 3-1. In the third inning, a single brought EKU within a run.
Tennessee came out with a strong fourth inning, however. A wild pitch gifted the Volunteers a run when Pete Derkay was able to score on the play. Kyle Booker’s double scored another before Max Ferguson’s sacrifice fly pushed the Tennessee advantage to 6-2.
In the fifth, the Vols were able to do the rest of their damage. Lipscomb’s first home run of the season — a two-run job — further grew Tennessee’s lead, making it 8-2. A Logan Steenstra groundout added another before Cortland Lawson’s two run home run (1) made it an 11-2 game. Jordan Beck’s single score one more, then a Lipscomb single scored the final run of the game for Tennessee, making it 13-2.
Eastern Kentucky would add three in eighth, but would fall well short of Tennessee’s mark.
Drew Gilbert collected two hits, including a double, and two RBIs; Trey Lipscomb had a monster day which saw him pick up three hits, including a double and a home run, as well as four RBIs. Cortland Lawson also contributed two RBIs to the cause.
Tennessee (18-4, 2-1) will host an SEC opponent for the first time this season when the 14th ranked LSU Tigers come to Knoxville for a three game series this weekend. This should be an excellent series between two top-25 clubs.