HOOVER, Ala. - Top-ranked Tennessee continued its dominant stretch on both sides of the game, defeating the eighth-seeded Vanderbilt, 10-1, in Game 7 of the 2022 SEC Tournament at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
Rain had washed out the preliminary SEC Tournament schedule and the Vols had to patiently await their turn to take the field, but when that opportunity came, the Volunteers (50-7) did not miss a beat. They plating double-digit runs for the 25th time this season and went for six runs in the first three innings.
UT jumped out early, as they have all year, as Drew Gilbert lined a double to the gap in left center in the home half of the first, scoring Seth Stephenson, but it was the offensive explosion in the third that paved the way for a dominating Tennessee victory.
Stephenson, who has been outstanding as the Big Orange leadoff man, came around to score on a double to the wall from Jorel Ortega. Gilbert and Russell drove in the next two runs with hits, upping their impressive on-base streaks to 20 and nine games, respectively.
After scoring the first seven runs in a traditional sense, that of stringing together hits, Tennessee reverted to its typical form, mashing the ball out of the park. Blake Burke pounded a pinch-hit fastball over the opposite-field wall in left center. Then, Cortland Lawson obliterated a middle-in fastball well out of Hoover Met, displaying the offensive prowess UT displayed all night.
The two shots registered impressive numbers on the SEC's Trackman technology. Burke's homer traveled 406 feet and left the bat at 110 mph, while Lawson's drive went 433 feet with a 103 mph exit velocity.
DOWNING THE 'DORES: Tennessee earned its fourth victory of the season against Vanderbilt, the last time UT posted four victories against VU was back in 1994. The Vols also won the SEC Regular-Season Championship and the SEC Eastern Division Tournament that season.
CLIMBING THE LIST: UT hit its 139th home run of the season, it is tied for 11th all-time in Division I history in single-season homers.
75-75 CLUB: In the fourth, Trey Lipscomb drove in Seth Stephenson with his 75th hit of the season. That RBI also marked the senior's 75th run batted in of the year.
UP NEXT: The Volunteers will await their next opponent as they face the winner of LSU and Kentucky in the final game of action Friday, May 27th.