The fourth-ranked Tennessee Volunteers baseball team won its 40th game of the season when the club hosted the Belmont Bruins in the final home game of the year. Tennessee, now 40-13 overall and 18-9 in-conference will travel to Columbia to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks and look to close out the regular season on a high note.
Mark McLaughlin gave the Vols two innings to start the game, allowing a run on four hits during that time, before being relieved by Cam Sewell, who earned his third win of the season after contributing three innings, allowing one run on one hit and a walk.
The Bruins plated a run in the first inning on a Brodey Heaton single, firing the opening salvo, as they say, and giving Nashville’s Belmont a 1-0 lead.
Tennessee was able to earn that run back when Max Ferguson drove in a run on a play in which he grounded out to second, knotting the contest at 1-1.
Jordan Beck hit his 12th home run of the season in the fourth inning with two men on base, resulting in the Vols taking control of the lead, 4-1. Though Belmont would mount pressure in the fifth — and ultimately score another run — Tennessee wouldn’t relinquish its hold on the ballgame.
Heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, the Volunteers were nursing a 4-2 lead. That would change during that half inning, however, starting with an Evan Russell groundout, which netted a run; Drew Gilbert was able to nab home on a throwing error to second while the Bruins tried to nail Luc Lipcius during a stolen base attempt; Jordan Beck would single in Lipcius before the inning concluded, resulting in a 7-2 Tennessee advantage heading to the sixth.
To add some insurance runs, Jake Rucker singled in Liam Spence in the sixth inning. Beck hit his team-leading 13th home run — and second of the game — in the bottom of the seventh inning. It was a two-run shot which extended the Tennessee cause to 10-2.
The final tally of the game came on a Trey Lipscomb groundout, which brought in Spence.
Tennessee took the lopsided contest by a score of 11-2; it was by that score that the Vols would secure their 40th victory. As mentioned up top, Tennessee concludes regular season play this weekend at South Carolina.
The Southeastern Conference baseball tournament begins Tuesday, May 25th, and runs through Sunday, May 30. The tournament is set to be held at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Alabama.