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Tennessee beats Vanderbilt to open weekend, 6-2

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Syndication: The Tennessean George Walker IV / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

Tennessee hasn’t won a series at Vanderbilt since 2009, but these Vols sure feel different. The nation’s No. 1 team — Tennessee that is — took care of game one on Friday night in Nashville.

But it was a weird one.

It one started with a bang — and then controversy.

Jordan Beck kicked things off with a homerun, only for the umpires to deem Beck’s bat illegal. The homerun was taken off the board, despite the bat having an inspection sticker on it.

Everyone was confused.

Per the broadcast, the sticker was from the midweek game, and not from this weekend’s inspection.

It didn’t matter.

Luc Lipcius quickly made up the difference. The sixth-year senior hit a two-run homerun to give the Volunteers the lead for real this time in the top of the second.

Vanderbilt’s Enrique Bradfield Jr. got the commodores on the board shortly after, following some nice work on the bases. Two stolen bases turned into a run, after Davis Diaz hit a weak bouncer to second base. It was enough to get Vandy on the board, cutting the lead to 2-1.

Vandy made a mistake, and very quickly paid for it. After a ball was lost in the lights, Jordan Beck drove in two runs to extend Tennessee’s lead to 4-1.

You might call that justice — ball don’t lie.

It got worse, too. The Commodores lost another one in the lights, letting Tennessee score another run. Trey Lipscomb popped one up, and Vanderbilt let it drop in the outfield for the second time in the inning. The issues in the outfield cost Vanderbilt in a big way, allowing Tennessee to carry a commanding 6-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth.

Carter Young cut the lead to 6-2 with an infield hit, but it was starting to get late for Vandy.

Chase Burns worked into the sixth inning for Tennessee, surrendering five hits and two earned while striking out seven. He exited firmly in line for the win.

The Tennessee bullpen took care of Burns, closing out Vanderbilt to secure at 6-2 victory.

The series will continue tomorrow night in Nashville, with Chase Dollander set to take on Carter Holton (8 p.m. ET, SEC Network).