The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Knoxville, Tennessee

No. 7 Vols clinch series with win over South Carolina

263 days ago
Tennessee Athletics
Photo: Tennessee Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - No. 2 Tennessee jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and held off South Carolina to clinch the weekend series with a 5-2 victory on Saturday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

Sophomore right hander Chase Dollander improved to 3-0 on the year after tossing five solid innings in his SEC debut. The Evans, Georgia, native allowed just one run on three hits and struck out seven on the day.

Jordan Beck paced the Vols at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a homer and two runs scored. Jorel Ortega also had a pair of hits and drove in two runs with a couple of clutch two-out hits.

Tennessee (18-1, 2-0 SEC) took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Luc Lipcius hammered a 3-2 pitch through a stiff wind over the right-field fence. Ortega drove in the first of his two runs with a bloop single to left field a few batters later to give the Vols a 2-0 advantage after one inning.

Beck increased the UT lead to three in the third inning with a monster blast over the porches in left field that traveled an estimated 430 feet. It was the fifth homer of the year for the junior from Hazel Green, Alabama.

The Gamecocks (10-8, 0-2 SEC) got on the board in the fourth with a solo home run off the bat of Kevin Madden to cut the Tennessee lead to 3-1, but the Vols answered with two runs in the fifth to go up by four. Ortega doubled in a run before freshman Blake Burke tripled down the right-field line to bring in another run.

South Carolina pulled within three with another solo homer in the top of the eighth, as Missouri transfer Brandt Belk crushed a 1-0 pitch over the wall in right field.

That was as close as the Gamecocks would get, however, as graduate super senior Redmond Walsh retired the side in order in the ninth to earn his second save of the season.

Tennessee will try and finish off the series sweep tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. The game will be streamed live on SEC Network+ and the ESPN app.

NOTABLE WALSH INCHING CLOSER TO SAVES RECORD: Tennessee veteran lefty closer Redmond Walsh moved into a tie for second in program history with his 18th career save. The Louisville, Tennessee, native had two strikeouts in a scoreless ninth inning to pull even with Sean Watson. Walsh is just five saves away from tying Todd Helton for the most saves in UT history.

ORTEGA TWO-OUT HITS: Junior second baseman Jorel Ortega came up clutch when the Vols needed it on Saturday, recorded a pair of big two-out RBI base knocks. Both of Ortega's hits came with two outs as he doubled Tennessee's lead with an RBI single in the first and increased the Vols' lead to three with a double to left field in the fifth.