Vols Down Charleston Southern, 8-2
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The bats continued to stay hot as the second-ranked Tennessee Volunteers defeated Charleston Southern, 8-2, Wednesday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, completing a two-game midweek sweep of the Buccaneers. The Vols pushed their win-streak to eight games with the victory.
For the second game in a row, the UT (8-2) offense logged double-digit hits, with Blake Burke being the driving force in that effort yet again, smashing a home run for the third consecutive game. He also pushed across four of Tennessee’s eight runs while scoring a couple himself and finishing the night 2-for-3.
The offense started early for the Vols. After a scoreless top of the first from true freshman AJ Russell, who was making his first career start, the Big Orange rattled off four consecutive hits to start the bottom half of the inning and cashed in three runs. Tennessee started the second inning with a similar gusto, recording three-straight hits to open the frame. Christian Moore and Zane Denton did the job in the second, driving in Cal Stark and Jared Dickey.
Following the early offense, it was largely the Vols’ pitchers who shined. Jake Fitzgibbons relieved Russell and tossed two scoreless innings. He struck out two and conceded just one hit, earning his second victory of the young season. Andrew Lindsey, Zach Joyce, Bryce Jenkins and Hollis Fanning each kept Charleston Southern off the board in their outings. Lindsey struck out three batters while Joyce punched out two.
Tennessee added to its lead in the later innings as Burke mashed a homer over the wall in left center in the bottom of the sixth, tallying his sixth round tripper already this season. During this week’s two midweek contests against the Bucs, Burke totaled five hits, including a pair of home runs, and drove in nine of the team’s 14 runs.
Maui Ahuna, who made his much-anticipated UT debut on Tuesday, recorded his first RBI in the Orange and White with a single up the middle to score Christian Scott in the seventh inning.
As a team, 10 different Vols got in on the offensive outburst. The eight pitchers that threw also combined for 13 total strikeouts on the night.
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