OXFORD, Miss. -- The Tennessee Volunteers used timely hits, solid defense and a hard-nosed outing from starting righthander Bret Marks to come out on top, 6-3, over the Rebels in Saturday night's contest at Oxford-University Stadium.
With the win, the Volunteers are now 13-14 on the season and 3-8 in SEC competition, while Ole Miss (16-15) moves to 5-6 in conference play.
Tennessee's bats got to work in the first, as juniors A.J. Simcox and Christin Stewart knocked back-to-back base hits. With runners on the corners, first baseman Andrew Lee drove in Simcox for the first run of the game, blasting a sacrifice fly ball to the warning track in left field to give UT a 1-0 lead.
In the third, the Vols pushed another run across with the help of Stewart, who launched an RBI-triple off of the right-center field wall to again bring Simcox home. Tennessee kept swinging away against Ole Miss in the fourth, as third baseman Jared Pruett reached base and took advantage of two throwing errors by the Rebels to score his first career run as a Volunteer and make it a 3-0 ballgame.
Designated hitter Nathaniel Maggio gave the Vols another insurance run in the fifth, as he crushed a solo home run over the right field wall. The homer marks Maggio's third of the season and furthered UT's lead to 4-1.
Back-to-back walks issued to Senzel and Simcox in the sixth again put the Vols in position to score as Lee came to the plate in the inning. On a ground ball to third, Lee and Ole Miss first baseman Sikes Orvis collided due to a wild throw inside the base path. While Lee was ruled safe at the bag, the play allowed Senzel and Simcox each the opportunity to score and push the Vols' lead to 6-1.
Right-handed senior Bret Marks drew his first Saturday start of the year and went 5.1 innings, allowing just two runs on five hits while striking out seven Ole Miss batters for the win. Lefty Andy Cox relieved Marks in the sixth and threw the remaining 3.2 innings to hold Tennessee's lead through the finish.
On Sunday afternoon, Tennessee sends lefthander Drake Owenby (1-3) to the mound for the series rubber match against Ole Miss, with first pitch slated for 2:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network+ stream.