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Offense Explodes As Tennessee Evens Weekend Series At Kentucky

Photo via Tennessee Athletics

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Tennessee baseball responded from its disappointing series opening loss at Kentucky with immediate fireworks on Saturday afternoon. The Vols’ bats exploded at Kentucky as Tennessee evened up the weekend series with a 9-4 victory.

Here’s everything to know about the win.

Tennessee’s Bats Come Out On Fire

After a rare quiet night from Tennessee’s offense in Friday night’s series opener, leadoff man Christian Moore set the tone foe the Vols in game two. The junior second baseman sent a no doubt opposite field home run on Dominic Niman’s third pitch of the game.

That was just the start of a bonkers top of the first inning for Tennessee’s offense.

Not to be done, Blake Burke responded with a mammoth 419 foot solo home run just two pitches later to back it back-t0-back long balls.

Kentucky appeared to have Billy Amick out but a fielding error allowed him to reach base. Then Kavares Tears doubled to right-center field, Dylan Dreiling doubled to left field and Dean Curley doubled to left field. Niman’s day was done.

The Vols ran Kentucky’s stout Saturday starter out of the game before he could record an out. Tennessee didn’t add any more runs off the bullpen in the first inning but scored five runs on five hits while 10 batters came to the plate in the opening inning. It was the same number of hits as Tennessee totaled last night and exceeded the run total.

The game was far from over but the first inning explosion was a fantastic start for Tennessee.

A Shaky But Gritty Performance From Drew Beam

Drew Beam wasn’t at his best on Saturday afternoon. That much was pretty clear when Ryan Waldschmidt sent his first pitch of the game into the Kentucky bullpen for a solo homer.

But while Beam wasn’t fantastic, he was gritty and found a way to get into the middle of the game while preserving a comfortable lead. Kentucky totaled an unearned run off of Beam in the first inning when Nick Lopez reached base on a fielder’s choice, advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on a Mitchell Daly single.

The big moment of Beam’s day came in the second inning when Kentucky’s first two batters reached base and the Wildcats then loaded the bases with two outs. Beam fell behind 3-0 against Emilien Pitre before getting a 3-1 fly out to right field to get out of the jam unscathed.

Beam got into a bit of a groove from there, retiring the next seven batters before facing the top of Kentucky’s order for the third time. The junior couldn’t power through any more there, allowing four straight hits and two runs to end his day.

The junior finished allowing seven hits, four runs and three earned while walking two batters and striking out four in 4.1 innings pitched. Far from Beam’s best but solid on an afternoon where he had plenty of run support.

More From RTI: Play-By-Play Of Tennessee’s Game Two Win At Kentucky

Huge Offensive Performances From Moore, Tears And Dreiling

Tennessee had strong offensive production throughout its one through seven hitters against Kentucky so it was hardly a three-man wrecking crew. But Christian Moore, Kavares Tears and Dylan Dreiling all turned in huge games at the plate in the win.

Dreiling went three-of-five at the plate with the first inning RBI double and two solo home runs into the right field bullpen.

Tears went three-of-five at the plate and came up just a triple shy of the cycle. He hit an opposite field solo home run and the first inning RBI double.

Moore followed up his game opening home run by recording three more singles including a fifth inning RBI single as he finished the game four-of-six with two RBIs.

On a strong day for Tennessee’s offense, the trio was fantastic.

Box Score

Up Next

Tennessee and Kentucky conclude its three-game series Sunday afternoon at Kentucky Proud Park. First pitch is at 1 p.m. ET and SEC Network+ is streaming the game.

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