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

No. 23 Vols' homers carry them to victory vs. Governors

142 days ago
Tennessee Athletics
Photo: Tennessee Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A third-inning grand slam from Charlie Taylor highlighted No. 11/23 Tennessee's 9-4 midweek victory over in-state foe Austin Peay on Tuesday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

The Vols broke open a 1-1 game with five runs in the bottom of the third, punctuated by Taylor's first-career slam. The redshirt sophomore catcher destroyed the first pitch of the at-bat, blasting a fastball 410 feet off the batter's eye in dead center field for his third home run of the year.

The Big Orange homered four times on the night, marking the sixth time in the last 11 games that they have hit three or more long balls in a game. Christian Scott, Griffin Merritt and Maui Ahuna were the other three players to go deep in Tuesday's win.

With its four home runs, Tennessee eclipsed the 100-homer mark (103) for the second straight season and just the third time in program history.

The Vols used nine pitchers in the game with Aaron Combs earning the win to improve to 4-0 on the year after tossing 0.2 scoreless frames with a pair of strikeouts. Freshman lefty Andrew Behnke was also impressive, setting career highs with 1.2 innings pitched and four strikeouts without allowing a hit.

Jon Jon Gazdar was the only Governors' batter to record multiple hits, going 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles on the night. Clayton Gray drove in two of Austin Peay's four runs with an RBI groundout and a bases-loaded walk.

Reliever Kyle Magrans was stuck with the loss after allowing five runs on four hits in just one inning of work.

With the win, UT improved to 5-1 in games against in-state opponents this season and 11-2 in midweek games, outscoring its opposition 135-33 in those contests.

UP NEXT: Tennessee (33-16, 12-12 SEC) hosts its final SEC home series of the season this weekend, taking on No. 15/17 Kentucky. Friday's series opener is slated for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch and will be streamed on SEC Network+ through the ESPN app.