The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
NCAA Baseball Championship – Knoxville Regional - Knoxville, Tennessee

Tidwell dominates, Vols open regional with shutout win

113 days ago
Tennessee Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Top-ranked Tennessee took care of business with a dominating 10-0 win over Alabama State in its regional opener in front of a sold-out crowd of 4,340 on Friday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

The Volunteers (54-7) got an all-around performance in the victory, recording their ninth shutout and holding the Hornets to just four hits while cranking out 15 knocks, including five home runs. Six different UT players finished the game with multiple hits, led by Luc Lipcius, who had a game-high three base knocks to go along with a run and an RBI.

Blade Tidwell was spectacular on the mound, tossing a career-best 7.2 shutout innings to get his third win of the season. The sophomore right hander gave up just three hits and had a season-high seven strikeouts, as well.

Jordan Beck hit two of Tennessee's five long balls and had a game-high four RBIs on the night. Jorel Ortega also had a big night with a double, a homer and two RBIs. Drew Gilbert and Blake Burke hit UT's other two home runs in the late innings.

After a scoreless first frame, back-to-back hits from Trey Lipscomb and Ortega to lead off the second opened the scoring for the Big Orange. Lipscomb found a hole on the right side of the infield and raced all the way home from first on a double in the gap from Ortega to give the Vols an early 1-0 lead.

Ortega struck again in the fourth to double the Tennessee lead, sending a solo blast high off the batter's eye in center field. Seth Stephenson sparked things in the fifth inning to help extend the Vols' lead to 3-0. The junior leadoff man singled to start the inning before stealing second base. Stephenson advanced to third on a hard-hit single by Lipcius and completed his trip around the bases on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Beck.

After scoring single runs in the second, fourth and fifth innings, UT busted the game open with a five-spot in the bottom of the sixth to make it an 8-0 game. Charlie Taylor drove in Burke with a perfectly executed safety squeeze bunt and Lipcius followed with an RBI single before back-to-back homers from Beck and Gilbert to cap the scoring.

The Big Orange added runs in the seventh and eighth innings to round out the scoring while the bullpen duo of Ben Joyce and Mark McLaughlin pitching 1.1 shutout frames to finish off the shutout and send UT to the winner's bracket game against Campbell tomorrow night at 7 p.m.


54 AND COUNTING: Tennessee tied its single season record for wins with Friday night's 10-0 victory, recording its 54th of the year. The only other UT team to reach the 54-win mark was the 1995 SEC Champions that finished 54-16 and made the program's second trip to the College World Series.

BIG LEAGUE BLADE: Sophomore right hander Blade Tidwell posted his best start of the season to lead the Vols to win to open regional play. Tidwell tossed 7.2 shutout innings to set a new career high in that category. The Loretto, Tennessee, native also had a season-high seven strikeouts.