June 12, 2024

Tennessee baseball drops Series to No. 12 Kentucky

Over the weekend, the Tennessee Volunteer baseball team started off strong against the Kentucky Wildcats, but eventually lost their third consecutive series after dropping Saturday and Sunday’s contests.

Tennessee baseball (16-9, 2-4 SEC) lost its weekend series against the No. 14 ranked Kentucky Wildcats (18-8, 4-3 SEC). The Vols avoided a series sweep by winning the first game on Friday evening.

Tennessee kicked off the series with a 14- 5 victory over Kentucky, making it the largest victory over the Wildcats since April 7, 2014.

The Vols’ Jordan Rodgers drove in eight runs and hit for the cycle, making him only the third player in Tennessee history to do so, and the first since Matt Duffy in 2011. Of the three, only Rodgers hit the cycle in order.

Aaron Soto displayed a strong performance on the mound, allowing two runs and three hits over 7.1 innings.

Tennessee gained an early lead in the bottom of the first with an RBI single from Nick Senzel, followed by a single from Vincent Jackson to advance base runners. Rodgers blasted an RBI single to left field to give the Vols a 2-0 lead.

The Vols’ lead grew to 9-0 after an offensive eruption in the fifth inning. Santiago started the inning off with a triple and Senzel followed with a double. With no outs and bases loaded, Rodgers’ triple down the right-field line cleared the bases.

Kentucky scored five runs in the eighth inning to cut the deficit to four, but Tennessee responded with an additional five runs in the bottom of the eighth, securing a 14-5 victory.

The Vols suffered a tough 5-4 loss after a back-and-forth battle on Saturday afternoon. Zach Warren pitched 7.1 innings, but lost his second game of the season after allowing four runs on nine hits

The game was scoreless until Kentucky scored a run off an error by Warren in the fifth inning.

Tennessee gained the lead in the sixth after Senzel’s two-run double, but the Wildcats would not go away, responding with a three-run eighth inning. The Vols’ rallied in the ninth inning, but fell one run short.

On Sunday, Tennessee struggled to gain momentum after the Wildcats gained an early 3-0 lead. The Vols recorded only one hit through three innings before scoring in the fourth, but eventually fell behind 7-1 after eight innings.

The Vols attempted a comeback in the bottom of the eighth inning against Kentucky’s reliever Zach Strecker. With the bases loaded and no outs, Jackson hit an RBI grounder, but a 6-4-3 double play later in the inning ended any hope for a Tennessee comeback.

The Wildcats piled on three more runs in the top of the ninth, sealing their 10-2 victory.

The Vols will take on Morehead Sate (16-11, 5-6 OVC) on Wednesday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The first pitch will be at 6 p.m. ET.

Featured image by the Tennessee Journalist

Edited by David Bradford

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