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AJ Causey Dazzles, Amick Homers Twice in Series-Opening Win Over Bowling Green

AJ Causey pitches against Bowling Green // photo via Tennessee Athletics

AJ Causey galloped off the mound after bringing Bowling Green’s Tyler Ross to his knees on a swing-and-miss strikeout to end the top of the fourth inning.

Causey turned and slammed his sword into his scabbard before greeting his teammates in the dugout. The sword and scabbard were fake, of course, but Causey’s emotion wasn’t. And his dominant outing against the Falcons was very, very real.

Bowling Green had no answers for the junior. Causey had struck out his sixth batter in four innings and was shoving in his first start of the season.

Causey helped lead No. 8 Tennessee to a 11-1, eight-inning run-rule win over Bowling Green in the series opener Friday in Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

Here’s three quick takeaways on Tennessee’s eighth consecutive victory.

Tennessee Ties Season-High With Four Home Runs

Junior third baseman Billy Amick put Tennessee on the board first with a 419-foot solo home run to the left-field porches in the first inning. The Clemson transfer’s fifth bomb of the year was his first of two and Tennessee’s first of four on the evening.

After Bowling Green tied the game in the second with a solo blast, the Vols quickly regained the lead thanks to freshman shortstop Dean Curley, who launched another 419-foot solo home run to left field. 

Tennessee’s third and fourth long balls on the night came in the fifth inning, when Blake Burke launched a two-run bomb to left field and Billy Amick followed it up with a solo shot to right center. 

Amick and Burke led the Vols with three RBI apiece. Burke previously drove in a run with an RBI single in the third, and Amick brought a run home in the third with a sac fly.

Four home runs tied a single game season-high for the Vols, as they also left the yard four times against ETSU and in game two against UAlbany.

More From RTI: No. 4 Tennessee at No. 14 Alabama: How To Watch, Prediction, Complete Preview

AJ Causey Dominates

Causey was fantastic in his first start of the season, shutting down Bowling Green’s lineup for the vast majority of the game. Outside of a Tyler Ross leadoff home run in the second inning, the Falcons couldn’t touch Causey.

The Jacksonville State transfer cruised in 7.0 innings of work, recording nine strikeouts while allowing just one hit, one walk and two total baserunners. 

One baserunner was the home run, while the other reached on a leadoff walk in the fourth. He didn’t stay there long, though, as Cal Stark picked him off during the next at-bat.

Bowling Green struggled mightily with Causey’s movement on his slider, as the submarine-style pitcher kept the Falcons off-balance throughout.

Causey finished his outing retiring his final 11 batters and facing just one over the minimum while throwing 50 strikes on 78 total pitches, proving he is more than capable of being a weekend starter for the Vols.

Dean Curley Returns, Adds to Impressive RBI Total

Curley was missing from Tennessee’s starting lineup in their 7-4 midweek win over High Point on Tuesday, as he took an 88 mph fastball to the head on Sunday against UAlbany.

Curley was impressive in his return to the lineup Friday night, as he continues to be a key contributor for Tennessee’s offense.

Curley went 1-2 at the plate with a home run and two RBI, bringing his season total to eight. Eight RBI on the season puts Curley fourth on the team, an impressive ranking given he’s only started and appeared in five games.

Outside of his solo home home run, Curley’s other RBI came in the fifth inning when he brought a run home with a sac fly.

Up Next

Tennessee will aim to clinch the series with a win on Saturday. First pitch is at 5 p.m. ET inside Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Junior RHP Drew Beam will start on the mound.

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