Tennessee Baseball Posts Best Start In SEC History

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Tennessee used another strong Drew Beam outing to earn the series sweep over Missouri Sunday. The Vols improved to 12-0 in conference play with the win, marking the best start in SEC history.

Alabama (1940), Ole Miss (1964) and LSU (1991) all started the conference season 11-0 but none reached the 12-0 mark that Tennessee has.

“I think it’s cool,” reliever Redmond Walsh said. “I think it’s one of those things that we responded good to it and I think we just want to keep it going. I think we want to make a streak that no one else can break.”

It’s an unprecedented run that defies baseball logic. Even in a fantastic season where they made it to Omaha, Tennessee swept just one SEC opponent last season. 

The 2022 Vols swept their first four SEC opponents including a pair of road sweeps at top 10 foes Vanderbilt and Ole Miss.

Missouri — who was Tennessee’s lone sweep last season – gave the Vols their stiffest competition of any SEC opponent to date. 

Tennessee earned the series finale win in the inverse of how they earned the first two wins of the weekend.

The Tigers jumped out to an early lead in the first two games of the series and even led into the seventh inning on Friday and sixth inning on Saturday.

Drew Beam didn’t let it happen again on Sunday. The freshman surrendered a leadoff double, but stranded the runner on third and rolled from there.

Beam earned a career high seven strikeouts and gave up just two earned runs — both of which came in the seventh inning when the Tigers ran him from the game.

Tennessee torched the Missouri bullpen the first two games of the series, tallying 14 runs in 9.2 innings pitched by Tigers’ relievers.

LHP Nathan Landry shut the Vols’ lineup down for three innings, but Tennessee had already done enough to earn the victory.

Luc Lipcius provided the bulk of the offensive juice for Tennessee in the series finale. The first baseman gave Tennessee a one-run lead in the third inning and a three-run lead in the fifth inning with a two-run bomb.

Home runs No. 8 and No. 9 on the season for Lipcius lifted Tennessee to the weekend sweep and extended its win streak to 23 games.

“It’s electric,” Lipcius said of this team. “It’s a really fun team to be around. We don’t take anything lightly. We always want to come in and beat whoever we’re playing. We have a really good offense, we have a really good pitching staff and our defense is really good too so it’s difficult to find a weak spot. Also the dugout is a party every single day. When you have good vibes and a good team it’s a perfect mixture.”

The Vols will be back on the field Tuesday night at Smokies Stadium when they face Tennessee Tech in a midweek game.

Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.