May 10, 2017
RICHMOND, Ky. — Tied at 6-6 with Eastern Kentucky entering the ninth inning, Tennessee took advantage of a walk and two-base error by the Colonels to win, 7-6, on Wednesday night at Earle B. Combs Stadium.
With the win, the Volunteers move to 26-19 (7-15 SEC) including a 19-4 mark in non-conference play. Eastern Kentucky now stands at 23-26 overall in 2017.
In its first trip to Richmond, Kentucky, since the 1991 season, Tennessee now stands at 3-0 all-time in games played at EKU.
Leading Tennessee’s offense, shortstop Max Bartlett went 2-for-4 with three RBI. Freshman Luc Lipcius also recorded multiple RBIs, launching his first career homer with a two-run blast over the right field wall.
Tennessee took advantage of an early, bases-loaded situation in the second inning to get a jump on EKU. After an error and back-to-back walks put a Vol at every base, a sac fly to left by Brodie Leftridge scored Luc Lipcius from third.
In his next turn at bat, Lipcius lifted UT to a 3-0 advantage with his home run to right field. A two-RBI double delivered by Bartlett furthered UT’s lead to 5-0 in the third.
The teams went on to trade scoreless frames until the fifth, when three straight walks, a double to right-center and an error by Tennessee allowed EKU to trim the deficit within one run at 5-4.
In the seventh, a two-run homer by EKU’s Ben Fisher gave the Colonels their first lead of the night.
The Volunteers then opened the eighth inning with an RBI-single up the middle from Bartlett to tie the game at 6-6.
With UT runners at the corners and one out, Andre Lipcius delivered a sacrifice fly to score Rodgers and allow Tennessee to regain a 7-6 edge, where the score would hold for UT’s win.
Making his longest start of the year, Daniel Vasquez went 4.1 innings and allowed three runs on one hit for no decision.
Righthander Eric Freeman was called upon in the fifth and dealt 2.0 innings before Will Heflin (1.1), Andrew Schultz (1.0) and Zach Linginfelter (0.1) took turns in relief. With two men on in the bottom of the ninth, Linginfelter picked up his third save of the year with a strikeout to end the game.
TENNESSEE QUICK HITS
- With the win, Tennessee moves to 26-4 in its all-time series against Eastern Kentucky, including a 3-0 mark in games played in Richmond, Ky.
- The Volunteers are now 19-4 in non-conference play this season.
- Freshman Luc Lipciushit his first career home run – a two-run blast to right field on the first pitch offered – in the third inning at EKU.
- Pete Derkayextended his team-leading walk count to 35 on the year with two on Wednesday vs. EKU.
- Sophomore Daniel Vasquezgot his first start of the season since March 22 vs. Marshall, when he went 3.0 innings for no decision in the midweek contest.
- Wednesday night’s attendance at Earle B. Combs Stadium: 550
On Deck for the Vols: Tennessee continues its road trip to Lexington, Kentucky, where the Vols will face the Kentucky Wildcats (33-16, 15-9 SEC) in league action on Friday, May 12 – Sunday, May 14.