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Knoxville, Tennessee

UT finishes out home regular-season slate strong

135 days ago
Tennessee Athletics
Photo: Tennessee Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - No. 18 Tennessee finished its regular-season home slate on a high note with a 9-5 midweek victory over in-state foe Belmont on Tuesday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

Zane Denton hit his 12th home run of the season and finished with two RBIs while Maui Ahuna went 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI to lead the offense. Christian Scott also had another productive night at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a triple, two runs scored and an RBI.

With the win, the Big Orange finished the regular season with a 33-5 record at home, marking the program's third consecutive season with 30 or more home victories. Tennessee also finished the year 12-2 in midweek games and improved to 6-1 this season against in-state opponents.

The Vols opened the scoring with three runs in the second inning as Charlie Taylor drove in a pair with a two-out single before Ahuna made it 3-0 with an RBI double down the right-field line.

After the game went into a 1-hour, 27-minute weather delay following the completion of the second inning, the Bruins struck for four runs in the top of the third to take a one-run lead.

UT answered with two runs in the bottom of the third to retake the lead before Belmont tied things at five with a run in the top of the fourth. It was all Vols after that, as the Big Orange scored a run in each of the next four innings and held the Bruins scoreless over their final four at-bats, due in large part to the stellar pitching of Hollis Fanning.

The junior right hander allowed just two hits in a career-long outing, tossing three shutout innings with a career-high seven strikeouts. After allowing a single to the first batter he faced, Fanning set down seven straight batters via strikeout and eight consecutive batters overall.

Zander Sechrist got the start, tossing 1.1 shutout innings with three strikeouts before making way for the bullpen. Bryce Jenkins pitched 0.2 scoreless frames, striking out both batters he faced to get UT out of a jam in the second inning.

Zach Joyce returned from injury to make his first appearance since April 18 and picked up his first-career victory after striking out two batters in 1.1 innings of work. Andrew Behnke pitched the eighth and final inning of the night, striking out a pair of batters while allowing one hit. The game went final after eight innings due to a 10 p.m. drop-dead time.

UP NEXT: Tennessee (36-17, 14-13 SEC) will look to finish the regular season strong when it hits the road for a series at No. 9/13 South Carolina. Game one is slated to start at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday and will be streamed on SEC Network+ through the ESPN app.