The Volunteer baseball team has jumped out to a quick 4-0 start to their season with an 18-0 win over Northern Kentucky (0-4) Tuesday afternoon.
The win makes it Tennessee’s fourth in five days and their first 4-0 start since 2014.
Defense has been an early strength for the Vols, as they have shut out four straight opponents for the first time in program history. Tennessee’s fielding allowed for 0 errors while their opponents commited 3.
The Volunteers racked up 12 of their 18 runs in the bottom of the eighth inning with Northern Kentucky walking 8 batters in the inning. RBIs in the inning came from Christian Scott, Rickie Martinez and Luc Lipcius.
The Northern Kentucky pitching core walked 20 total Volunteer batters in the game, just 4 shy of Tennessee’s high for walks in game when they played ETSU in 1988.
Tennessee threw 101 less pitches than Northern Kentucky and recorded 8 hits to the Vikings’ 5.
Evan Russell showed both patience and good eye throughout his four plate appearances watching four different ball fours go by.
On the one year anniversary of his junior year injury, Luc Lipcius continued his hot streak with a two run home run, an RBI triple and two RBI singles in four plate appearances.
“It’s just really fun being out there playing the game that I love,” said Lipcius, “and it’s a really fun atmosphere and it’s a really great team to be around.”
Tennessee was able to showcase its No. 5 recruiting class Tuesday with four freshmen in the starting lineup and two pitching in relief.
Christian Scott led the freshmen in batting with 3 hits. “He’s a really good athlete,” said coach Tony Vitello about Christians, “so I expect him to get better and better as he matures. Even as he is right now he’s real close to the guys that are just in front of him.”
Freshmen RHP Camden Sewell pitched the sixth inning walking and striking out one batter each before retiring the side in 10 total pitches.
The Wisconsin native Tanner Kohlhepp entered in the eighth, striking out one batter and allowing another to reach base.
Ricky Martinez contributed to the Vol’s offense with 2 hits and 4 RBIs.
Tennessee next takes the field this weekend for a three game series versus Indiana. First pitch is schedule for Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Edited by Christian Knox