Offense Erupts as Vols Complete Sweep of Western Illinois

Tennessee’s bats came to life as they beat Western Illinois to sweep their first series of the season.

Tennessee defeated Western Illinois 23-4 in the final game of their series on Sunday. The sweep put the Vols at 3-0 for the young season. After only scoring three runs in game one, the bats woke up in games two and three of the series.

Tennessee won game two of the weekend series 19-0, putting them in position to take all three games. It was not long before the bats got hot in game three. The Vols tagged Leathernecks pitcher Jake Carberry for eight runs in the second inning where 13 batters came to the plate. They scored in every inning except the 5th from then on.

“It feels good,” head coach Tony Vitello said about the offense’s run production following the game. “The bottom line is there were some really good at-bats as the weekend went on.” He said players needed to just get on the field and play to get comfortable and score runs.

First baseman Luc Lipcius went 2-3 with four RBI’s and a run scored in game three. His two hits were both doubles to left-center field. He also added a walk into his productive day at the plate.

Lipcius missed the majority of the 2019 season due to injury, so he was eager to get back into the lineup.

“It’s awesome. You sit and watch your team do well and you want to be a part of it… (Being back) is a great experience,” Lipcius said.

Jackson Leath started his first game for Tennessee in game three. The hard throwing junior from Blinn College in Texas struck out 12 batters in just 4.1 innings pitched. He allowed two hits and three earned runs, but they all came in the 5th inning when the Vols had an 11 run lead.

The offense’s production relieved Leath of some pressure early in the game.

“That’s huge. Having the defense that we have, it takes a lot of pressure off as well, and our offense is going to score some runs,” Leath said after earning his first win of the season.

On Saturday and Sunday, Tennessee scored at least 15 runs in back-to-back games for the first time since 2010.

The Vols play their first midweek game of the season on Feb. 18 against Charlotte. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. They go on the road Feb. 21-23 to Round Rock, Texas where they will compete in the Round Rock Classic.

 

Edited by Christian Knox and Ryan Sylvia

Featured image courtesy of Tennessee Baseball Twitter (@Vol_Baseball)

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