KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - No. 22 Tennessee powered its way to a 15-5 win over South Carolina Friday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
The Vols (19-4, 1-3 SEC) grabbed their first SEC win of the season on the backs of a season-high 17 hits including nine from the 2-3-4 spots in the order. This is the first time since May 21, 2005 that Tennessee has scored 15 or more runs in a conference game. It also ends a nine-game losing streak to the Gamecocks (15-7, 0-4 SEC).
Junior Jay Charleston helped set the table for the middle of the lineup. The outfielder reached base four times in five plate appearances including three base hits, scoring a career-high four times in the win. The SEC leader in stolen bases also added two more to his total today.
After reaching on an infield single in the sixth, Charleston immediately stole second to put himself in scoring position. One batter later, he moved 90 feet closer when the junior swiped third base for his 19th steal of the season. He would later score on a single by freshman Jake Rucker to start a four-run inning.
The Vols would score in all but two frames on Friday night, helped by six combined RBIs from junior Andre Lipcius and sophomore Alerick Soularie. Lipcius had three hits and tied a season-high with four RBI on the night. He also cranked his first home run in SEC play when he lined the first pitch of his seventh-inning at bat into the porches in left field to extend the lead to 14-4.
On the mound, junior Garrett Stallings picked up his fifth win of the season after throwing five innings, striking out six Gamecock batters while allowing just three earned runs.
The bullpen came in and helped close the door only allowing three hits and one run over the final four innings of work. Sophomore Garrett Crochet erased the largest threat South Carolina in the sixth.
With the bases loaded and no outs, Crochet struck out the Gamecock's Brady Allen looking before forcing George Calil to ground out. With the lineup turning over, Crochet got Quinntin Perez to swing at a pitch in the dirt to get out of the jam allowing just a single run.
PLATING PLENTY: For the first time since an 18-2 victory over Georgia on May 21, 2005, Tennessee scored 15 or more runs in an SEC contest. Jay Charleston set a new career high with four runs scored while Alerick Soularie tied his career high with three runs.
GIVE HIM THE GREEN LIGHT: Jay Charleston swiped two more bases to add to his league-leading total. The junior, who stole both second and third in the sixth inning, now has 19 stolen bases on the year and has only been caught stealing one time.
UP NEXT: The Big Orange continue its series against South Carolina tomorrow at Lindsey Nelson Stadium with first pitch for Game Two set for 6 p.m. Fans can watch the entire series online via SEC Network+ and the WatchESPN app. John Wilkerson and Eric Cain will also call the action for the Vol Radio Network (FM 99.1 / AM 990) on Saturday night.