KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee’s pitching staff had another great night as the 22nd-ranked Volunteers defeated Morehead State, 3-1, on Tuesday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
The Vol’s pitching staff held the Eagles – who entered the game ranked in the top 20 nationally batting average, hits and runs scored – to just one run on five hits.
Camden Sewell got the starting nod for the second time this season and threw five solid innings to improve to 3-0 on the year. The freshman right hander gave up a solo home run to the second batter of the game but showed some great poise by not allowing another run for the remainder of his outing.
Sewell gave up just three hits and struck out four on the night before handing the ball off to the bullpen, which was dominant, allowing just two hits and one walk over the final four innings.
MSU jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a solo home run by Hunter Fain in the top of first inning, but that would be all the scoring on the night for the Eagles.
While the Vols struggled to string hits together, they were able to take advantage of 10 walks issued by the Morehead State pitching staff to scratch across a couple of early runs.
Rucker tied the game at one with a two-out RBI single to score Ricky Martinez from second in the bottom of the second. Andre Lipcius nearly put the Vols up 5-1, but his long fly ball with the bases loaded was caught by Zach Boyd up against the wall in right field to end the inning.
UT loaded the bases with two outs once again in the bottom of the third before Rucker drew a walk to drive in what turned out to be the game-winning run. The Vols scored for the third straight inning by scratching across a run in the fourth when Russell drove in Max Ferguson by legging out an infield single to put UT ahead 3-1.
Redmond Walsh slammed the door by retiring all three batters he faced in the ninth inning. The redshirt sophomore struck out two batters to earn his sixth save of the season.
MIDWEEK MAGIC: The Vols have been nearly unbeatable in midweek games this season, posting a 10-1 record while outscoring opponents 83-22. Since Tony Vitello took over as head coach prior to last season, Tennessee is 20-5 in midweek contests.
GAME OVER: Redmond Walsh has been lights out for the Vols this season and has emerged as UT’s top option in the back end of the bullpen. The Louisville, Tenn., native has earned a save in each of his last three appearances and is now tied for eighth in the SEC with six saves this season. Walsh has allowed just two runs and one earned run all year and has given up only two hits while striking out seven batters in his last 6.1 innings of work.
UP NEXT: The Vols hit the road this week to take on Kentucky at the brand-new Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington. The series will run from Thursday through Saturday and all three games will be streamed online via SEC Network+ and the WatchESPN app. Fans can also listen live as John Wilkerson call the action for the Vol Radio Network (FM 99.1/AM 990).