HOOVER, Ala. - No. 4 Tennessee will play in its first SEC Tournament Championship game since 1995 after shutting out No. 13 Florida, 4-0, on Saturday afternoon at the Hoover Met.
The trio of Camden Sewell, Redmond Walsh and Sean Hunley silenced a Gators' lineup that scored 24 combined runs in their three tournament games leading up to Saturday.
Sewell turned in the best performance of his Tennessee career, allowing just two hits over six scoreless innings while setting a career high with six strikeouts to earn the win and improve to 4-1 on the year. Walsh and Hunley combined to pitch the final two innings to finish off UT's second straight shutout.
Seven different players had a hit for Tennessee, led by a 2-for-3 performance by leadoff man Liam Spence, who also walked twice and scored a pair of runs. Evan Russell, Jordan Beck and Drew Gilbert each drove in a run for the Big Orange.
Russell drove in the game's first run with a two-out single in the top of the third. With the bases loaded, the Lexington, Tennessee, native found a hole in the left side of the infield to score Spence from third and put the Vols ahead 1-0.
The Vols tacked on two more runs in the fourth to increase their lead to three. Luc Lipcius led off the inning with a walk and came around to score on an RBI double by Beck, who eventually scored on a wild pitch later in the inning to make it 3-0.
Tennessee added one more insurance run in the top of the seventh thanks to a clutch two-out RBI single from Gilbert to plate Spence from second.
The bullpen took it home from there, as Walsh and Hunley were able to strand three runners over the final three innings to keep the shutout intact and close out the game.
Florida, the No. 6 seed in the tournament, had just two hits entering the ninth inning. Saturday's game marked the first time that the Gators had been shut out this year.
The Vols will play the winner of Saturday's second semifinal between No. 1 seed Arkansas and No. 5 seed Ole Miss. First pitch for Sunday's championship game is slated for 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
VOLS TO THE SHIP: First time since 1995, Tennessee will play in the SEC Tournament championship game. This marks the first time in the tournament's current format that the Vols have reached the final. UT won three consecutive tournament titles from 1993-95 when the eastern and western divisions had separate tournaments.
SUPER START FROM SEWELL: Junior right hander Camden Sewell had the best start of his Tennessee career on Saturday, tying a career high with six innings pitched while setting a new career best with six strikeouts. The Cleveland, Tennessee, native allowed just two hits and did not issue a single walk in his six shutout frames.
YOU GET NOTHING AND LIKE IT: After recording just one shutout all year long, the Vols have posted back-to-back shutouts to advance to Sunday's title game. Tennessee had recorded just two shutout wins during its entire SEC Tournament history prior to this week. Coincidentally enough, the last two shutouts prior to this week occurred in consecutive games during the 1995 tournament (8-0 vs. South Carolina & 11-0 vs. Georgia).