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BaseVols get hammered by Vandy in SEC Tournament opener, 13-4, as offense yields just 7 hits and strands 7 runners while Commodore bullpen throws 5 IP of 3-hit, zero-run ball

Tennessee managed just seven hits, stranded seven runners and relied on a Reese Chapman home run for three of the four runs scored, while Vanderbilt relied on the Volunteer pitching staff for 15 hits, four home runs and seven total extra-base hits. put the Vols in the losers bracket with a 13-4 blow.

Both starting pitchers, Vandy’s Devin Futrell and Tennessee’s Nate Snead (making his first start of the season) got through the first inning quickly. Each man got the opponents down to start the game, and although Snead gave up a one-out single in the top of the second, he got a double play to end the inning without allowing a run. Snead threw 15 pitches in the first two frames.

Futrell, who has started all but two games this season – including one against the Vols in Vandy’s 3-0 win in the recent regular season series when he threw 3 IP – allowed one hit, no walks, no runs and struck out five in a relief outing – giving up a leadoff walk in the B2 and a consecutive run-scoring double off the bat of Hunter Ensley. This RBI was Ensley’s seventh in the last five games.

Futrell came back with a strikeout by Kavares Tears, a ground ball by Dean Curley and a flyout by Reese Chapman, leaving Ensley in scoring position, although the Vols took an early 1-0 lead.

Snead retired the T3’s first batter and showed no warning signs of the impending doom. Through the first two frames he had been tapping into his repertoire of pitches: he was locating his fastballs – a two-seamer at 94-95 MPH, the four-seam fastball at 97-98 MPH and dropping a few gnarly breaking pitches traps. the table.

But after that lead-off K, Snead started taking lumps. The rest of the inning went as follows: a full-count walk, a double to put two men in scoring position, a run scored on a wild pitch, a ground-ball out, two straight singles, one of which scored a run scored. and finally a three-run home run for Commodore cleanup hitter Alan Espinal, who, like Futrell, was a crucial part of Vandy’s Sunday win to prevent the sweep when he hit his ninth home run of the year. Today’s longball put him in double figures for the year (10).

After possibly looking as good as he had all year in the first and second, he ultimately looked like one of his worst performances of the season when he surrendered five runs on four hits before Vitello pulled him for Andrew Behnke, who put on a tourniquet. scored and ended the inning with a four-pitch K.

In the B3, Blake Burke hit a two-out double, but Billy Amick flew out to center on the first pitch he saw, leaving another Vol on base and in scoring position.

Behnke came out for T4 and gave up a single between a flyout and a complete strikeout. But next, Behnke threw a pitch a few feet above Stark’s head for a wild pitch that allowed the runner to get into scoring position first, and sure enough, the next batter singled to center to score the run. Dylan Loy came in for Behnke on the RBI single, and Calvin Hewett, the man who had singled earlier in the inning, easily stole second and then took advantage of another UT wild pitch at 100 feet to come from home. Loy eventually got a groundball to end the inning, but Vandy added another run on two singles and two wild pitches from the Vols staff.

The offense showed momentum in the bottom of the fourth after Futrell got the first two outs. Tears singled and Dean Curley walked before Reese Chapman scored on an 0-1 pitch for his sixth dinger of the season for three runs.

Vanderbilt’s 6-1 lead was cut to 6-4 and the Vols were back in the ball game.

Loy started the fifth inning, but allowed a single and a double before Vitello passed to Kirby Connell. Connell grounded out before another grounder advanced the runners and moved one over home plate. Tennessee and Cal Stark caught Vandy trying to steal home with a great play by Stark to recognize the situation and get into position to tag the runner before the Vandy player could tag home.

Now down 7-4 and with a new pitcher on the mound, the Vols had a chance to take the lead. Reliever Luke Guth walked Blake Burke and Dylan Dreiling, but Tennessee failed to get a hit and stranded two more runners.

AJ Russell came in for the sixth, throwing for the first time since throwing 3 IP and 69 pitches against Ole Miss in late March. That was an outing after he returned from missing 3-4 weeks with soreness in his arms, and after the game against the Rebels, Vitello and Frank Anderson shelved him again due to more soreness in his arm.

He was rusty – when he hit the first batter he faced and served a single to the next player. He recovered quickly as he struck out the next batter, but Hewett came next, reached on a fielder’s choice and then stole second base again. With two outs and two RISP, Russell struck out his second man of the half inning, stranding two runners and keeping the Commodores from adding to the UT deficit.

Russell ended up pitching just one half inning, with one hit allowed, two Ks against five batters. 15 of his 22 pitches went for strikes.

The Commodores changed pitchers again for the B6, and despite a one-out single, UT ended the frame with another runner left behind and another missed opportunity to restore Vandy’s lead.

Vanderbilt scored two more runs in the seventh, three runs in the eighth and one more in the ninth, while Tennessee had three hits and no runs starting in the fifth inning.

Christian Moore and Billy Amick both finished 0-4, and Kavares Tears went 1-4 with three strikeouts. Burke was the lone bright spot, as he went 2-3 with a double and a walk. Towards the end of the match, Vitello started treating it like a midweek match and throwing arms as much as possible. He used a total of eight pitchers, with Snead tagged for the loss (8-2 this year), while Connell and Russell were the only two arms used who did not allow a run or multiple runs. The pitchers combined for three wild pitches in the first four innings tonight, after all arms combined for 19 wild pitches in the regular season.

The Vols move into the losers bracket filled with top teams like Kentucky, Arkansas and now Tennessee. UT will face the loser of the Mississippi State/Texas A&M game starting tonight sometime around 9:30 PM. Per NCAA rules, Tennessee’s game will begin approximately 30 minutes after the Kentucky-Arkansas game, which starts at 10:30 a.m.

Thursday May 23

Game 9: No. 3 Kentucky vs. No. 2 Arkansas | 10:30 am | SEC Network

Game 10: No. 1 Tennessee vs. Loser Game 8 | 30 minutes after Game 9 | SEC Network

Game 11: No. No. 11 LSU vs. No. 10 South Carolina | 5:30 PM | SEC Network

Game 12: No. 8 Vanderbilt vs. Winner Game 8 | 30 minutes after Game 11 | SEC Network