KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - With a sublime showing from Trey Lipscomb at the plate and five pitchers combining for a one-hitter, the No. 2 Tennessee baseball team defeated Eastern Kentucky, 7-1, Wednesday evening at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Zander Sechrist turned in another masterful outing, going five innings and tying a career-high in strikeouts with seven. He only gave up one run, a solo home run in the fourth inning, en route to earning his second victory of the year.
Lipscomb shined at the plate, smashing a pair of home runs on the night to pull into a tie for first in the SEC with eight as the Vols prepare to enter conference play. His first was a two-run shot in the first inning before he one-upped himself with a grand slam in the second inning. The senior from Frederick, Maryland drove in six of Tennessee's seven runs on the night.
The Vols (16-1) struck early, scoring in the first inning for the 11th time this season. With two down, Jordan Beck lined a single through the left side before Lipscomb belted a belt-high fastball over the opposite-field wall in right to give the Big Orange an early 2-0 lead.
Lipscomb came back up to the plate in the second with the bases loaded after a walk, a single and a hit batsman. On the third pitch he saw, the third basemen laced a ball to the power alley in left center, clearing the fence for his second homer in as many innings. It marked the second grand slam of the Lipscomb's career, with his first being a pinch-hit grand slam on Feb. 28, 2020 against George Washington.
Tennessee threatened in the third, putting runners on second and third with two outs, but could not score. EKU scratched across their first and only run of the night in the fourth, popping a solo shot over the wall in right field to break up the shutout. Christian Moore quickly struck back in the bottom of the inning, sending a rocket over the porches in left to push the Big Orange lead back to six.
Neither team would score again, though the Vols threatened in the eighth, loading the bases. The bullpen dominated, allowing only one baserunner to reach in the final four innings. The four arms, Will Mabrey, Mark McLaughlin, Ben Joyce and Redmond Walsh struck out six batters in total.
UP NEXT: The Vols open SEC play on Friday night at 6:30 p.m. against South Carolina at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The game will be streamed live on SEC Network+ and the ESPN app.
WIN No. 150 FOR VITELLO: Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello earned win No. 150 of his career on Tuesday against Eastern Kentucky. With the win, Vitello became just the fourth head coach in program history to win 150 games while leading the Big Orange, joining Rod Delmonico (699), Bill Wright (408) and Dave Serrano (157).
THE ZANDER ZONE: Zander Sechrist has made four starts for the Vols this season, all in midweek games. The sophomore left hander has tossed 15.2 innings, racking up 24 strikeouts while only giving up three runs in those appearances.
LOCK DOWN: Tennessee's bullpen threw four innings of hitless baseball against the Colonels. It marks the first time this season the Vols' bullpen did not allow a hit in a game.