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What Tennessee Players Said After Clinching Weekend Series At Vanderbilt

Photo via Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee baseball propelled itself to a tie atop the SEC standings on Saturday afternoon by knocking off Vanderbilt 7-6 at Hawkins Field in Nashville.

It was a thrilling matchup that saw the lead exchange hands multiple times and Tennessee record the final out with the tying run in-scoring position.

Tennessee second baseman Christian Moore was fantastic on the afternoon, hitting three-for-five with five RBIs and the go ahead three-run home run in the sixth inning.

Vols’ relief pitcher Aaron Combs wasn’t at his best but gritted his way through an impressive outing allowing one earned run on one hit and three walks while striking out one batter in 2.2 innings pitched.

After the game, each player met with the media. Here’s what they had to say.

More From RTI: Everything Tennessee Coach Tony Vitello Said After The Vols Defeated Vanderbilt

Christian Moore

On his three-run homer

“I thought it was foul. With this wind today, I guess it kept in. 102 (mph), that’s tough to get to. I was just trying to compete up there with how hard he’s throwing and the situation.”

On the adjustment he made from the previous at-bat when he struck out with the bases loaded

“I just wanted to push it down and get it in my zone. Obviously that pitcher over there, (Carter) Holton, has an insane fastball with a lot of ride so I wanted to push it down… in the next at-bat, I went back to my approach and was seeing it down, and good things happened.”

Him being frustrated after Friday’s game

“I obviously wasn’t too happy with my performance yesterday. That’s just part of it, but today, I just wanted to refresh and we had a one-game lead in the series and I wanted to make it 2-0. Whatever happened yesterday happened yesterday and whatever happened today is in the past as well. Looking forward to tomorrow.”

On Nate Snead and Aaron Combs

“That’s what we do. That’s why we put them in those situations… I knew Combs had us. I trust our guys and I trust the guys in that bullpen.”

On being able to flush a bad performance

“That’s the biggest difference I’ve made. Just coming into this year, just knowing that each day and each at-bat, each game is different than the one before. The faster you figure it out, the more it helps you down the line.

“Yesterday, not very good. Just wanted to flush it. When I take this jersey off, it’s just kind of over with and then just want to be ready for the next day.”

On winning so much over Vanderbilt recently

“It’s an in-state rival. There’s a little more emotional there… That’s a hard question to answer, but I guess because of the in-state rivalry. Vanderbilt has a lot of hype behind their name as well.”

On if the intensity feels the same this year

“Oh yeah. And we’re on the road so I’d say so.”

Aaron Combs

On what was working well for him

“I think my fastball was up in velocity the last couple of outings so that was good, and my curveball was good. They weren’t swinging and missing a lot, though, so I had to deal with that. A little tight zone — it was a good zone — but when you don’t get swings and misses or the calls, it kind of sucks. I threw all four pitches today which I liked.”

On having to grit through today’s outing after so much success recently

“For sure. It’s a little tough, had some tough moments towards the end, but, yeah, I love being in those moments.”

“Definitely have to stop them there with it being a close game to give our hitters some confidence.”

On picking up Kirby Connell and Drew Beam when he comes in the game

“That’s massive. I mean, that’s my whole job and that’s Kirby’s job, too, and sometimes you just don’t get it done. Having someone come in behind you and feeling good about it, I love being that guy.”

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