OXFORD, Miss. – Once again, No. 5 Tennessee baseball had it rolling both at the plate and on the mound, defeating No. 1 Ole Miss, 10-3, Saturday night at Swayze Field.
Tennessee (22-1, 5-0 SEC) is off to its best start to SEC play since the 1966 season when it went 22-9 and won the SEC East, going 11-2.
The Volunteers got yet another quality start from its starting pitcher. Chase Dollander threw 6.1 innings, allowing just four base runners (three singles and a walk). He struck out 10 Rebel hitters and was around the plate all night, throwing 80 percent of his pitches for strikes.
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Tennessee batters piled up 17 hits with six going for extra bases, and showed its ability to score in a variety of ways. The Vols were held without a home run for just the third time this season.
Six different UT hitters posted multi-hit games. Drew Gilbert and Trey Lipscomb both recorded three-hit contests, while Seth Stephenson, Jorel Ortega, Luc Lipcius and Evan Russell collected a pair of knocks.
Gilbert doubles off the wall to drive in another run!
He’s 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two RBI now for the game!
📺 https://t.co/VHishunkEF// //
— Tennessee Baseball (@Vol_Baseball)
For this 15th time this season, the Vols started the scoring in the opening inning. Stephenson reached first after being hit by a pitch and pressed the Rebels on the base paths. He stole second and scampered to third on a throwing error on the play. Gilbert brought Stephenson home for the opening run of the game, lacing a double to the wall in right. The very next batter, Lipscomb, scored Gilbert after taking an excellent two-strike approach and shooting an away fastball over the head of the Rebel second baseman to make the score 2-0, midway through the first.
The Vols added on in the second as Lipcius and Russell hit back-to-back singles. Cortland Lawson bunted both runners over and Jared Dickey provided some insurance, scoring Lipcius on a sacrifice fly to center.
Dollander did a terrific job working out of a jam to keep the 3-0 Volunteer lead intact in the bottom of the third. The first two batters of the inning reached on errors, but sophomore right-hander kept his composure, getting a flyout, a pop out and a strikeout looking to escape the jam and keep the Rebels off the board.
The offense sprung back in the score column in the fourth when Ortega doubled to right to lead off the inning, sparking what turned out to be a three-run frame for the Big Orange.
UT kept the pressure on in the fifth as the first four hitters recorded a base hit. Gilbert lined a cue-shot knock just inside the third-base bag to kick off the frame. Lipscomb drove him in for his second RBI of the game with a double to the wall in left. Ortega followed up with a poke single into center to score Lipscomb and Tennessee pushed its lead to 8-0 after five frames.
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Will Mabrey took the hill for Tennessee with one out in the top of the seventh. He entered in a bit of a jam with runners on second and third. The southpaw struck out the first hitter he saw on a wicked breaking ball with the count at 3-2. He wiggled out of the jam by forcing the next Rebel hitter to pop out in foul territory to end the threat.
The Vols plated their final two runs of the game in the eighth inning to take a 10-0 lead. Ole Miss slugger Tim Elko broke up the shutout with a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth, his second home run of the series. The Rebels added one more run in the ninth on a solo shot from Kemp Alderman, but freshman lefty Wyatt Evans struck out the final two batters to end the game.