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No. 1 Vols beat Bama 15-4, win series 2-1

The Vols win another SEC series

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Jamar Coach/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Tennessee’s offense came on in a big way Sunday, and despite dropping the Friday game, the Vols won their fifth-straight SEC series with a 15-4 drubbing of Alabama in Sunday’s rubber match.

UT belted 15 hits en route to those 15 runs, and two different Vols drove in four runs each. Jorel Ortega continued the blistering pace he set during this series with a home run and four total hits, while Trey Lipscomb sent both of his hits outta the park for round trippers.

Bama struck first, off a solo home run in the top of the first from two-hole hitter Drew Williamson, but the Vols responded with a four spot in the bottom of the second inning. Evan Russell drew a two-out walk, Christian Moore hit a base hit to center, Luc Lipcius took four-straight balls for a walk and then Cortland Lawson belted a ground-rule double over the centerfield wall that drove home Russell and Moore.

Seth Stephenson and Ortega hit back-to-back singles that pushed home Lipcius and Lawson before Bama finally struck out Jordan Beck to end Tennessee’s inning.

Bama’s Jim Jarvis took Vols’ starter Drew Beam deep in the third for the Tide’s second run and second home run of the day, which made it a 4-2 game in favor of the Vols. But Tennessee answered the next inning again. This time it was Ortega’s blast that pushed across three runs for the Vols in the bottom of the fourth and made it a 7-2 game. Brief aside — here’s Ortega’s series totals I mentioned earlier: 9-12 from the plate with two HRs and five RBIs.

The Tide added one more run, a Zane Denton home run, before acting manager Josh Elander pulled Beam. Beam had allowed just one HR in 47.1 innings of work before giving up the three dingers Sunday. All in all, though, it was a heck of an outing from Beam. He gave up four hits and the three runs but struck out a career-high 10 batters in 6.2 innings. Beam was... strikingly... efficient, again, throwing 74 of his 105 total pitches for strikes and managing to not walk a batter for his fifth-straight start.

At 7-3, the game was pretty well in hand through four innings, but Tennessee kept busting out runs. Lipscomb’s two home runs came in the fifth and sixth innings, while Jordan Beck broke his hitless day with a two-run bomb in the bottom of the eighth.

The rest of Tennessee’s pitchers get some credit here, too. Ben Joyce threw an inning in relief and struck out two, while Will Mabrey and Wyatt Evans each struck out one, though Evans did give up two hits and a run in the ninth. This change up from Joyce for his second K is just silly — watch it come in somewhere around the low-90s and tail away from the leftie. Trying to hit that after watching 101 come at you is, well, tough.

The Vols still haven’t lost a series yet this season and travel to Gainesville for three games against the Gators. Florida’s 22-14 overall, just 6-9 in the SEC and coming off dropping two of three games against Vandy.