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Vols blast four home runs in 14-7 win

1607 days ago
Tennessee Athletics
Photo: Tennessee Athletics

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Volunteers came out on top of East Tennessee State in Tuesday night's slugfest, using four home runs and a season-high 18 hits to claim a 14-7 victory over the Buccaneers at Thomas Stadium.

With the win, Tennessee improves to 16-20 on the season (5-13 in SEC) while ETSU slips to a 14-25 overall record in 2015.

Five members of UT's lineup recorded multiple hits on the night, led by right fielder Chris Hall (4-for-5, RBI), left fielder Christin Stewart (3-for-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI), second baseman Nick Senzel (3-for-5), center fielder Brodie Leftridge (1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI) and first baseman Andrew Lee (2-for-5, HR, 4 RBI). The four homers tied as the most home runs hit in a game for UT this year, as the team also hit four against Florida on March 13 in Gainesville, Fla.

Tennessee got on the boards early against the Bucs, as leadoff man Senzel hit a double down the right field line. Junior Stewart then cranked a two-run homer over the right field wall to give the Vols a 2-0 advantage.

East Tennessee State slowly chipped away at Tennessee's lead, plating one run in each of the first three frames to edge ahead in the third, 3-2.

Third baseman Jared Pruett (2-for-4) hit a standup double before Stewart came up big again for the Vols in the fifth, blasting an opposite field, two-run homer to put Tennessee ahead, 4-3. With the longball to left field, Stewart hit his second home run of the game, which also marked the second time for him to accomplish the feat this season (also, at Arkansas State on April 1).

The Vols went on to push one more run across in the fifth, making it a three-run frame to take a 5-3 lead over the Buccaneers.

On a two-out rally in the sixth, Senzel hustled to beat out the throw on an infield hit, followed by back-to-back walks issued to Pruett and Stewart to load the bases. First baseman Lee then hit a grand slam home run to right-center field, giving the Vols a 9-3 lead. With the four-run homer, Lee became the first Volunteer to hit a grand slam since Senzel did so against UNLV on February 21, 2014.

East Tennessee's offense came back to score three runs on four hits in the bottom of the sixth and narrow the deficit to 9-6. Freshman Brodie Leftridge then delivered a fourth home run for Tennessee in the top of the seventh, marking his first career homer with a two-run shot to left field to make it an 11-6 ballgame.

Starting lefty Zach Warren went 2.0 innings against the Bucs, surrendering three runs on five hits before his outing ended in the third.

Righthander Jacob Westphal entered the game in relief of Warren in the third and worked 3.2 innings before junior Steven Kane came in in the bottom sixth. Kane tossed 1.1 innings and allowed just two hits before sophomore Kyle Serrano came in to finish the game in the eighth and secure Tennessee's lead for the win.