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Tennessee Baseball Survives Midweek Scare Against Queens

Photo via Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee baseball trailed early and again in the seventh inning before a big swing from Dylan Dreiling pushed the Vols past Queens for a 6-3 midweek victory on Tuesday night.

A bad start, some strong bullpen pitching and a regrettable decision by Queens. Here’s how the Vols got it done against the Royals.

A Short Outing From Marcus Phillips

Tony Vitello diverged from his recent midweek formula of giving left hander Dylan Loy the ball for the game’s first few innings. Instead, Vitello opted for hard throwing right-handed pitcher Marcus Phillips.

Phillips tipped his hand on the first pitch he threw— a breaking ball that hit Queens’ leadoff man Jake Barbour. The junior college transfer struck out Dillon Lewis then proceeded to walk the next three batters to bring home the first run of the game and end his evening.

Loy then relieved Phillips and allowed only one of the inherited runs to score, getting a fielder’s choice and a strikeout to get out of the inning.

In the micro, the bad outing was bad for Tennessee because the Vols fell behind early just a week after dropping a midweek game against Lipscomb.

But the bigger concern was in the macro. Phillips is a fringe weekend bullpen arm for Tennessee and is very talented. His short outing was a step in the wrong direction.

A Career Outing From Dylan Loy

While it was a poor performance from Phillips, Loy was fantastic in an extended relief outing. After getting Tennessee out of the first inning, Loy threw 2.2 more scoreless innings.

The freshman allowed just two hits and surrendered no walks while striking out five batters in 3.1 innings pitched. Both the innings pitched and strikeouts marked no career-highs for Loy.

While it’s almost exclusively been midweek outings, Loy has allowed just five runs in his last seven outings with three of those runs coming in a three inning outing against Western Carolina.

It doesn’t feel like Loy is knocking on the door of a bigger role at this point but his development has been noticeable this season. His 10 outs were massive in helping Tennessee avoid a midweek upset against Queens.

More From RTI: Christian Moore In Striking Distance Of Tennessee Single-Season Home Run Record

A Regrettable Intentional Walk In The Seventh Inning

Queens held a 3-2 lead entering the bottom half of the seventh inning. The Vols tied the game thanks to a pair of singles from Dalton Bargo and Christian Moore and a Billy Amick RBI groundout.

But even after the Vols tied the game, the result was still very much in doubt. Tennessee was knocking on the door with a runner on third and two outs. Queens elected to put Kavares Tears on first base. On paper it made sense, Tears had two its on the night and a fly out to the warning track.

But Dylan Dreiling is perhaps the best clutch hitter on Tennessee’s team and that’s who Queens pitcher Jack Renaud had to tussle with by putting Tears on first.

Dreiling made the Royals pay, launching the second pitch he saw far into the East Tennessee night to give Tennessee a 6-3 lead, its first of the night.

Once the Vols took the lead, they never looked back coasting through the final two innings to the midweek victory.

Box Score

Up Next

Tennessee baseball opens up a three-game series at Vanderbilt on Friday night. First pitch at Hawkins Field is at 7 p.m. ET. The SEC Network+ is streaming the game.

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