Iona could not get anything going on Saturday as No. 18 Tennessee (6-0) torched the Gaels (0-5) 29-0 in game two of the series at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Iona had a messy day and Tennessee made the most of each mistake. Iona gave up 20 hits, 16 walks and had two errors on Saturday. The Vols’ 29 runs are the most in coach Tony Vitello’s tenure at Tennessee.
On top of the explosive offense, Tennessee’s pitching continued to dazzle. Sophomore starting pitcher Chase Dollander mowed batters down in five innings of work. The transfer from Georgia Southern was credited with the win, allowing two hits and striking out 10 on only 58 pitches.
“I feel really good,” Dollander said. “I feel like my stuff is playing really well and I’m doing what I need to do to get wins for the team.”
Dollander is now 2-0 on the season. He has struck out 21 batters with one walk in 10 innings pitched. This dominance was not necessary, though, as he had all the run support he could ask for on Saturday.
“(Having run support) makes it really comfortable, to be honest,” Dollander said. “You go out there and you feel like you have no stress, so it’s always a big plus.”
The Vols’ bullpen was equally as effective. Will Mabrey, Ben Joyce, Redmond Walsh and Wyatt Evans combined to give up one hit and struck out five Iona batters. Tennessee’s pitching staff has surrendered just five runs through six games this season.
The Vols have scored 56 runs in two games against Iona. However, they know that they have to stay locked in with one more game to play this series.
“Today’s over with. We understand that we have to win tomorrow too,” Junior center fielder Drew Gilbert said. “We’re not focused on today anymore.”
Senior third baseman Trey Lipscomb was the heartbeat of Tennessee’s offense for the second day in a row. Coming off Tennessee’s fourth cycle in program history on Friday, he was only a double away from doing it again on Saturday.
“He’s waited three years for his chance and he’s as good of a teammate as there is,” Gilbert said. “You’re seeing all the work that he’s put in show right now.”
These blowouts give teams the opportunity to get a lot of different players on the field. Tennessee used 17 different players on offense who all had multiple plate appearances.
Game three between Tennessee and Iona is on Sunday at 1:00.