O: Chase Dollander (8-0)
L: Smith, Brandon (3-5)
Tennessee (47-7, 23-5 SEC) got off to a perfect start in the road showdown. After a groundout to start the game, Luc Lipcius, Jordan Beck and Drew Gilbert hit consecutive home runs to spot the Big Orange a 3-0 lead in the blink of an eye.
The Vols tied the program’s single-game record with seven long pitches and had a season-high 25 hits on the night. The 25-point margin of victory was the largest for an SEC game in program history.
As the offense flowed down the slopes, Chase Dollander mowed down the Bulldog batters in a dominating performance on the mound to improve to 8-0 on the year. The sophomore right-hander had six strikeouts in six no-hitter innings and walked only one before leaving the game after a long high in the seventh inning.
This offensive assault continued in the third as Gilbert and Jorel Ortega driven in races before first-year standout Blake Burk broke her 10and home run of the season, a three-point shot in the second deck of the Porches in right center field.
The Vols scored three more times in the fifth and sixth innings, highlighted by a dead center three-run homer from Ortega. The redshirt sophomore smashed his second homer of the night, and 14and of the season, in the eighth inning. Ortega finished the night with five hits and eight RBIs, both career highs.
UT posted its biggest offensive explosion in the seventh inning, tackling seven runs. Lipcius smashed his second home run of the night – a two-run left shot – before an RBI single by Ortega, a two-run double by Evan Russell and an RBI single from Christian Scott.
Eight of UT’s nine starters had one hit in the game while seven had multiple hits and three had four or more hits on the night.
SEC Player of the Year Nominee Trey Lip Comb went a perfect 4 for 4 at the plate, his second game this season with four or more hits and his 20and multi-hit release of the year. His solid at-bats were mirrored by Russell, who was 4 of 5 with three doubles and three RBIs. His doubles came in back-to-back innings as he netted an extra-bagger in fifth, sixth and seventh.
Mississippi State (26-28, 9-19 SEC) scored two runs over the last three innings, but all in all it was a quiet offensive night for the Bulldogs, who lost their ninth SEC game in their last 10 games. .
The Big Orange will look to secure the series with a win tomorrow night. The first launch is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be streamed online on SEC Network+ and the ESPN app.
BIG ORANGE BOPPERS: Tennessee tied the program’s single-game home run record for the second time this season, also hitting seven against James Madison on March 9. It comes after the Vols smashed six home runs in their midweek bout with Belmont on Tuesday, May 17 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
EIGHT WITH TEN: by Blake Burke The third-inning home run made him the eighth volunteer hitter with 10 or more home runs this season. Others on the list include three who had home runs tonight, Luc Lipcius, Jordan Beck and D Jorel Ortegamore Trey Lip Comb, Evan Russell, Christian Moore and Cortland Lawson.
BIGGEST MARGIN VS. THE LEAGUE: In the victory, Tennessee surpassed its previous highest margin of victory in a 20-point SEC game, achieved on May 8, 2010 against Georgia, 25-5.
RUNS, RUNS, RUNS: 27 was the most runs Mississippi State gave up in a single game since 1966.