Tennessee Baseball Sets New Program Record on Tuesday

by -

Records are continuing to break in Knoxville, Tennessee. On Tuesday night at Lindsey-Nelson Stadium, Tennessee’s Logan Steenstra launched the Vols’ 108th home run of the season. The home run was a significant one as it broke Tennessee’s single-season home-run record.

According to Tennessee Athletics, “the mark surpasses the previous single-season program record of 107 that was set in 1998 (56 games).”

“It’s good feedback for them,” Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello said. “One of these days when they’re around their grandkids they’ll see that records are meant to be broken. … I think it’s good feedback for our guys. Something they can hang their hat on down the road, but overall we want to have good at-bats and I think it’s a byproduct of that.”

Five Volunteer players went yard in the Vols’ home game against Alabama A&M on Tuesday night, including Jordan Beck, Kyle Booker, Blake Burke, Ethan Payne, and Steenstra. Tennessee was victorious over Alabama A&M by a score of 14-1.

Now, with 11 games still remaining in the regular season, the 2022 Vols will only be adding to their own home run record.

“I think a little bit because of the work in the weight room and cages,” Vitello said of if he anticipated these offensive numbers. “I’d say the other combo in that whole deal is having good athletes and we’re blessed with guys if you ask them to do something they can make the adjustment relatively quickly. … We have good facilities and a bunch of coaches who are willing to help the kids so repetitions. Father of learning is repetitions or something — somebody smart said something like that — you saw the potential. How many or how few, who knows, but, again, circumstances have a little to do with that.”

See Also from RTI: Tennessee Lands Former Five-Star and USC Transfer Bru McCoy

Tennessee’s team home run record also comes just one game after another record was broken in Knoxville. In Sunday’s win against Auburn, Tennessee pitcher Ben Joyce tossed a 105.5 mile per hour fastball, breaking the record for the fastest recorded pitch in college baseball history.

Five Tennessee players have cracked the double-digit mark in home runs in the first 45 games: Trey Lipscomb has 18, Jordan Beck has 12, Jorel Ortega and Luc Lipcius have 11, and Evan Russell now has 10 after a two home run performance last Friday against Auburn. In addition to those five players, though, Tennessee has 10 more with at least one home run on the year.

“We have like 25 home runs on the bench,” Tennessee outfielder Kyle Booker said. “It’s pretty tough to get out there.”

It’s not hard to notice how valuable Tennessee’s big bats have been this year, and how it has helped them separate from the competition.

Tennessee has led the nation in home runs for the vast majority of the season. The Vols are currently sitting in first place with 108 in 45 games, with Old Dominion behind them with 95 in 41 games. No other team in college baseball has hit more than 90 home runs either.

The Vols will be on the diamond in Lexington for a series with the Kentucky Wildcats starting on Thursday and going through Saturday. Thursday’s game will begin at 7:00 p.m. ET and will be on the SEC Network.

Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.