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

No. 23 Tennessee secures series win over No. 17 UK

139 days ago
Tennessee Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Jared Dickey and Zane Denton combined for seven runs batted as No. 11/23 Tennessee continued its home dominance with a 10-7 victory over No. 15/17 Kentucky on Saturday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

The win clinched another weekend series for the Volunteers, who have now won nine straight SEC home games and 11 consecutive contests overall in Knoxville.

Chase Dollander provided UT with another solid outing, striking out six batters in five innings of work to earn the win and improve to 6-5 on the year.

Fellow right hander Chase Burns slammed the door with 2.2 shutout innings to record his first career save, finishing with five strikeouts while allowing just two hits.

For the second straight day, Tennessee jumped out to an early lead, striking for four runs in the second inning. Griffin Merritt, Denton and Maui Ahuna all had RBI hits in the inning to put the Vols ahead 4-0.

After the Wildcats trimmed the lead to three with a run in the third, it was Dickey who provided the biggest hit of the game, blasting the first pitch he saw off the videoboard in right center for a grand slam to put the Vols up 8-1. It was Dickey's 12th homer of the year and his second grand slam.

Kentucky rallied to get within a run after back-to-back three-run innings in the sixth and seventh before Burns was able to get a big strikeout to strand the tying run on third in the seventh. UT answered with two big insurance runs in the bottom of the inning when Denton doubled to left field to score Blake Burke and Dylan Dreiling, putting the Vols ahead 10-7.

The Brentwood, Tennessee, native made an even bigger play in the top of the eighth, making a diving stop at third base before throwing out Hunter Gilliam at first to end the inning and strand a pair of runners on base.

Burns went on to retire the Wildcats (34-15, 14-12 SEC) in order in the ninth to end the game and secure the series victory for the Big Orange.

Ahuna, Dickey, Burke and Denton all finished with two hits on the afternoon as UT recorded double-digit hits for the 12th time in its last 13 games.

Emilien Pitre led UK with two hits and three RBIs while Jase Felker also had a pair of base knocks and an RBI. Wildcats' starter Tyler Bosma fell to 4-4 on the year after allowing four runs on five hits in 1.1 innings before being pulled from the game.

UP NEXT: Tennessee (35-16, 14-12 SEC) will look to complete the series sweep in Sunday's finale, which will begin at 1 p.m. and be streamed on SEC Network+ through the ESPN app.