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Tennessee Baseball’s Bats Fall Flat In Series Finale Loss At Vanderbilt

Photo via Tennessee Athletics

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee baseball’s offense fell flat as the Vols dropped their series finale at Vanderbilt 3-0 on Sunday afternoon.

Led by JD Thompson, Vanderbilt’s pitching staff became the first team to shut out Tennessee all season long. Here’s everything to know about the series finale loss.

A Poor Outing For Zander Sechrist

Tennessee baseball needed a strong outing from starting pitcher Zander Sechrist after exhausting a good chunk of its reliable bullpen arms int he first two games of the weekend series.

Things couldn’t have started better for Sechrist as the left-handed pitcher struck out the first two Vanderbilt batters he faced.

But things went poorly from there for the left-handed pitcher. RJ Austin gave Vanderbilt a two-out baserunner with a single to right field and then Alan Espinal took Sechrist deep for a two-run homer an at-bat later.

Vanderbilt added another run in the second inning when a Jonathan Vastine blooper dropped in right field for a two-out RBI single.

Tennessee went to the bullpen to open the third inning making it a three-run, two inning outing for Sechrist. The lack of offensive production compounded the issue but it was still a poor outing for Sechrist.

JD Thompson Tosses A Gem For Vanderbilt

Sunday’s matchup was the only game that Vanderbilt didn’t announce its starting pitcher before the series. But JD Thompson one upped already strong outings from Bryce Cunningham and Carter Holton the first two games of the weekend series.

The left-handed pitcher came out dialed in striking out the side in the top of the first inning. It jumpstarted what was a fantastic outing for Thompson. He allowed just two hits while striking out nine Vols in six shutout innings. His one shortcoming was a somewhat shaky command— three walks and two hit batters. But it mattered little as he worked his way out of the few tight spots he found himself in.

Tennessee didn’t oft threaten against Thompson. The Vols came their closest to adding a run in the fifth inning when Hunter Ensley worked a leadoff walk and Dean Curley was hit-by a pitch. But then Thompson struck out both Robin Villeneuve and Cal Stark before getting a Christian Moore fly out to get out of the inning.

Vanderbilt needed a series finale win to salvage the weekend badly. Thompson answered the bell and held down a fantastic Tennessee offense.

More From RTI: Play-By-Play Of Tennessee Baseball’s Series Finale Loss At Vanderbilt

Strong Nate Snead Outing Keeps Tennessee In Striking Distance

After throwing just three pitches to get the final two outs of game two of the weekend series, Tennessee called upon Nate Snead to relieve Sechrist has he’s done almost every weekend this season.

Snead turned in a strong long relief outing in the series finale, allowing no runs on five hits and one walk in 4.1 innings of relief. The flame throwing right hander struck out four Commodores batters in what was a stout appearance.

The transfer pitcher showed the importance of Tennessee using his versatility out of the bullpen over the weekend as he both closed a game and was an effective long reliever.

Snead’s strong outing was good enough to keep Tennessee within striking distance but it mattered little on a quiet afternoon for the Vols’ offense.

Box Score

Up Next

Tennessee baseball returns to Lindsey Nelson Stadium on Tuesday night where they will face the Belmont Bruins. First pitch for the final midweek game of the season is at 5 p.m. ET. SEC Network+ is streaming the game.

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