KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – No. 3 Tennessee was unable to contain the bats of No. 2 Vanderbilt in a 10-4 loss in Sunday’s rubber game at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, dropping its first series of the season.
The Commodores finished the game with 12 hits and scored seven of their 10 runs with two outs. Five players had multiple hits for Vandy on the day, led by designated hitter Jack Bulger, who went 3-for-4 with two RBI, and leadoff man Enrique Bradfield Jr., who reached based four times, stole four bases and scored three runs. The first four hitters in the Commodores’ lineup all had multi-hit days and combined for nine of the teams 12 total hits.
The Vols did display some impressive power with four home runs for the second consecutive game. All four of UT’s runs came courtesy of solo shots from Max Ferguson, Jake Rucker, Evan Russell and Jackson Greer. Luc Lipcius had the Vols’ only other hit in the game with a single.
After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the first, the Vols responded quickly with back-to-back home runs from Ferguson and Rucker in the bottom of the inning to take a 2-1 lead. It marked the second straight game that UT hit back-to-back homers after Connor Pavolony and Russell accomplished the feat in Saturday’s win.
Following a scoreless second inning, Vanderbilt (28-6 // 11-4 SEC) regained the lead with two runs in the third before scoring three runs in the fourth to take a 6-2 advantage.
Russell hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth to cut the deficit to three, his fourth long ball of the series, to give Tennessee some life, however, that would be as close as the Vols would get for the remainder of the afternoon as the Dores scored two runs each in the fifth and sixth innings to take a 10-3 lead.
Greer’s solo shot in the seventh, his first homer as a Volunteer, rounded out the scoring on the day.
Freshman right hander Blade Tidwell looked good through two innings but struggled in the third and fourth before being pulled. He was stuck with the loss after allowing four runs on six hits and a walk in three innings pitched.
Mark McLaughlin and Redmond Walsh had solid performances out of the bullpen, combining for 3.1 shutout innings to finish the game.