Tennessee Beats Mississippi State By Quarter Of One Hundred In Series Opener

by -

No. 1 Tennessee’s offense put up football numbers Thursday, hanging 27 runs on Mississippi State in the series opener.

Sophomore Chase Dollander dominated on the mound as the Vols bullied the Bulldogs, 27-2.

Here’s everything to know about the obliteration.

Dollander No Hits Bulldogs In Six Inning Outing

Tennessee starting pitcher Chase Dollander was nearly perfect in his six inning outing Thursday night against Mississippi State.

The sophomore pounded the strike zone, throwing just 19 balls while holding Mississippi State scoreless and hitless through six innings. Dollander surrendered a walk — his lone baserunners — while striking out six.

Tony Vitello pulled the Georgia Southern transfer after six innings and just 61 pitches. However, Tennessee scored seven runs in a 35 minute top half of the seventh inning, giving Dollander’s arm significant off time between innings.

“I think he’s kind of one of our most improved players within the season. He just kind of had an interruption there,” Tony Vitello said postgame. “He’s a guy going into the postseason with which ever role we give him — he’s going to start a game for us at some point in Hoover and we’ll see what’s after that.”

Dollander has been phenomenal in his four appearances and two starts since returning from a deep right-arm bone bruise. The right-handed pitcher has allowed just one earned run and six hits in 16.2 innings pitched since returning from injury.

Vitello and pitching coach Frank Anderson have made Dollander their weekend opening starter the last two weeks and the sophomore’s performances have proved he’s earned that spot entering postseason play.

An Offensive Outburst

The numbers tell the best story of Tennessee’s offensive production in its series opening victory at Mississippi State. The Vols scored three runs in the first, five runs in the third, three runs in the fifth, three runs in the sixth, seven runs in the seventh, two runs in the eighth and four runs in the ninth for 27 runs on 25 hits.

Fifteen different Tennessee players earned at-bats with 10 earning hits and 12 reaching base. Trey Lipscomb, Evan Russell and Jorel Ortega each recorded four hits and Ortega drove in seven runs with a pair of long balls.

Speaking of home runs, Tennessee set the tone early with Luc Lipcius, Jordan Beck and Drew Gilbert homering on three straight at-bats in the first inning. In total, the Vols hit seven home runs in the win with five different players going deep. Luc Lipcius joined Ortega in the multi-home run performance.

“I think Luc Lipcius was a guy who kind of led the charge so to speak,” Vitello said. “There were other guys too. Jorel, as the game went on he just kept getting stronger. Logan Steenstra off the bench had a phenomenal swing. You could pick a part a bunch of different little instances but we were fortunate enough to have guys like Trey that got on base five times in a row. When you get into games you have to get something from each spot in the lineup. Obviously we got more than that tonight.”

The offensive outburst was ridiculous as Vitello’s team put up offensive numbers that rival Josh Heupel. It was by far Tennessee’s best offensive performance of the season and the Vols have outscored their last two opponents 45-2.

Final Stats

Up Next

Tennessee is looking to clinch its ninth SEC series victory on Friday night in Starkville. First pitch from Dudy Noble Stadium is set for 7 p.m. ET and the SEC Network+ will stream the 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.