KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- With the help of junior Christin Stewart's two-home run performance, the Tennessee Volunteers posted a 10-6 win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Friday night to take the series at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
With the win, Tennessee improves to 10-18 in SEC competition and a 23-25 overall record, while Mississippi State (24-29) slips to 8-21 in conference play this season. Tennessee also claimed their first series win over the Bulldogs since April 10-12, 2009 in Knoxville.
The Vols' lineup recorded 10 hits against the Bulldogs and plated at least one run in each of the first four frames. Tennessee's offense was led by shortstop A.J. Simcox (2-for-5, RBI), designated hitter Andrew Lee (1-for-4, BB, 2-RBI), first baseman Parker Wormsley (2-for-4, RBI) and left fielder Christin Stewart (3-for-3, 2-BB, 2-HR, 5-RBI), who belted two homers for five RBI in the contest.
Stewart reached base and scored in four of his five plate appearances against MSU, scoring four runs for the first time since he also accomplished the feat against Purdue on Feb. 16, 2014. His five RBI tied for the most by a Vol in a single game this season, while his two longballs also gave the junior three multi-homer games this season.
With a two-RBI single to put the Vols ahead in the first frame, junior Andrew Lee also extended his season-long hit streak to 19 games, which stood as the second-longest streak in the SEC entering Friday night's game.
In the first, Tennessee scratched two runs across on Lee's double to right field, scoring Stewart and Simcox. Chris Hall led off the second with a hit-by-pitch and came around to score on an RBI-single from second baseman Nick Senzel, making it a 3-0 ballgame.
The Bulldogs scored once in the third and put up a three spot in the fourth, but Tennessee used a two-run third and sky-high home run by Stewart to take a 7-4 advantage.
With one out in the sixth, Stewart struck again with a three-run homer to right-center and lifted Tennessee to a 10-5 lead. The Volunteers went on to plate one more run in the seventh to make it 11-5 and gain a six-run margin. The score remained intact until the Bulldogs scored one run in the top of the ninth to bring the final score to 11-6.
Starting lefty Drake Owenby went 4.1 innings against Mississippi State, allowing five runs on eight hits with three strikeouts to receive no decision.
Righthander Kyle Serrano made his second relief appearance in as many nights, going to the mound for UT in the fifth and tossing 3.2 scoreless frames en route to earning his fifth win of the year. Senior righty Peter Lenstrohm entered in the ninth and allowed one run on one hit to close out the victory for the Vols.
Saturday, May 16 marks the series finale between Tennessee and Mississippi State and the final regular-season home game for the Vols, set for 1 p.m. ET on SEC Network television. Tennessee will honor six members of the UT Baseball program during Senior Day pregame ceremonies, while postgame is kids run the bases and autographs with the team for the final time this season.