Despite holding No. 24 Alabama to three runs in Saturday’s game two victory, the win wasn’t without drama for Tennessee’s pitching staff.
Alabama’s Zane Denton struck Tennessee starter Chase Dollander with a line drive in the upper right arm in the first inning.
Immediate drama followed when third base umpire Jeffrey Macias ejected Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello and pitching coach Frank Anderson.
However, the long term concern for Tennessee is Dollander’s status. The Vols got the final out of the inning on the Denton liner, but Dollander didn’t return for the second inning.
The Georgia Southern transfer was in Tennessee’s dugout with a sling around his right arm for the remainder of the game.
“Chase, to be honest, I don’t know,” Tennessee assistant coach Josh Elander said. “There’s many things going on during the game. With Dr. Klenck and Woody, we will get some good info and make sure he is taken care of. I don’t know to be honest with you.”
Camden Sewell relieved Dollander in the second inning and quickly faced a similar issue. Owen Diodati hit a low liner that hit Sewell in the foot before going to third baseman Trey Lipscomb who made the throw to first to end the inning.
Sewell stayed in the game to pitch but wasn’t 100% after that. The junior looked uncomfortable playing defense and after a near collision at first base in the sixth inning Tennessee trainer Jeff Wood came out to look at the right-hander and Sewell threw a practice pitch.
One pitch later, Denton ended Sewell’s day with a two-run home run to right field.
Sewell had a boot on his left foot following the game.
“I think Cam is fine,” Elander said postgame.
Despite the two-run homer to end his day, Sewell was fantastic allowing just those two runs while earning the win in 4.1 innings pitched. The Cleveland, Tennessee native got Tennessee deep in the game with a lead despite being put in a less than ideal situation.
“I thought he was elite,” Elander said. “You guys have seen that. He did that when we in Hoover against Florida. He has always been a guy. There is 104 mph down there and Redmond and all those guys. Cam is always a guy who seems like in a jam, he finds a way to get us out. He got smoked in the foot and his back was tightening him up. I let him back out there because I wasn’t going to take the ball from him in that moment. He was rolling. Tip of the cap to Zane Denton. Great hitter, really great swing on what I thought was a ball down. I am glad Cam is in our dugout.”
Freshman Drew Beam will get the ball for Tennessee in Sunday’s series finale against Alabama. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. ET.