Tennessee Infielder Lands Golden Spikes Performance of the Week

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Coming off of a terrific week at the plate, Tennessee second baseman Jorel Ortega has been given the final Golden Spikes Performance of the Week award.

Ortega’s award comes after a four-game stretch that included four wins against Belmont and Mississippi State. Ortega had eight hits in 18 at-bats in those four games, including a massive five-hit game in Tennessee’s opener against Mississippi State in Starkville. The redshirt-sophomore second baseman also added 14 RBIs and four home runs, including two against Mississippi State last Thursday.

In addition to the announcement regarding Ortega, Golden Spikes also announced the 31 semi-finalists for the regular-season Golden Spikes Award, which includes two Tennessee players.

According to the release from Golden Spikes, both Tennessee third baseman Trey Lipscomb and starting pitcher Chase Burns have been selected as nominations for the final award.

Fans do have voting access to the award, which can be found here.

Earlier this week, the SEC released its end-of-regular season awards for the 14 conference teams. Tennessee racked up plenty of awards, including Coach of the Year (Tony Vitello), Pitcher of the Year (Chase Dollander), and Freshman of the Year (Drew Beam). In addition, Tennessee’s Trey Lipscomb was named an All-SEC First Team selection with Burns coming in as an All-SEC Second Team selection.

Lipscomb finished the season with other-worldly numbers at the plate. The senior infielder totaled 74 hits, 61 runs, 21 home runs, and 74 RBIs with a .351 batting average over the course of the season.

Trey Lipscomb has emerged as a star for the Tennessee Volunteers in 2022, hitting over .340 and crushing 21 home runs with 74 RBI to this point in the season,” Golden Spikes’ description states. “The senior third baseman has an OPS over 1.150 and leads the Vols in hits, runs scored, home runs, RBI and total bases. Lipscomb also sits atop the SEC leaderboards in home runs, RBI and total bases, while posting the second-highest slugging percentage and ranking second in runs scored in the conference. He has led Tennessee’s offense to a record-breaking year and the 2022 SEC Regular Season Championship.”

Burns, on the other hand, has been incredibly impressive leading the Vols’ rotation for the majority of the year as just a freshman. In 67.2 innings pitched this season, the right-hander from Gallatin, Tennessee had a 7-1 win/loss record, a 2.53 ERA, and threw 88 strikeouts compared to just 22 walks.

Chase Burns has been electric on the hill in his first year of collegiate baseball,” Golden Spikes’ description states. “The regular Friday night starter for the Vols has gone 67.2 innings in 14 appearances and 13 starts, striking out 88 opposing hitters, and holds a 7-1 record with a 2.53 ERA. The first-year right-hander holds the lowest ERA in the SEC and has allowed the second-fewest earned runs in the conference at 18. Burns has helped Tennessee’s pitching staff to the lowest ERA in the country by almost 0.80 points.”

Voting for the 2022 Golden Spikes Award can be found here.

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.