Vols drop finale, series to Kentucky

Tennessee got back on the diamond on Rocky top on Sunday, hoping to take an important Southeastern Conference Eastern Division series from Kentucky.

Kentucky got at least one hit from 8 of 9 spots in the lineup and took down Tennessee 10-2 on Sunday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville.

The victory gave the visitors from Lexington a Southeastern Conference series victory and marked the Orange & White’s third league series defeat. Tennessee won 14-5 on Friday.

A 3-1 Wildcats lead got busted open with a four-spot in the eighth on two singles and two walks.

Nick Senzel doubled and singled for Tennessee (17-11, 3-6 SEC). He scored the Vols’ first run on a sacrifice fly by Jordan Rodgers in the bottom of the fourth.

A fielder’s choice off the bat of Vincent Jackson brought home Benito Santiago with no outs in the bottom of the eighth to make it 7-2.

The visitors put the game away with three more scores in the top of the ninth off reliever Daniel Vasquez, who did not get an out. Alex Harper-Cook came on and struck out a pair without giving up a score in the one frame.

Tennessee did not get the dominant start from left-hander Andy Cox that it needed. The senior gave up five runs on eight hits in 7 1/3 innings with four strikeouts and two walks.

Photo by Danny Parker
“I thought it was Andy’s best start of the year,” Serrano said. “It was a tale of two games and it’s kind of been that way all weekend. Our starting pitchers gave us an opportunity each and every game. — very proud of them. But then the game completely changed when we went to the bullpen.”

Jon Lipinski gave up a pair of run sand got a pair of outs in the eighth.

Gunna McNeill and Zach Reks had multi-hit games for the No. 24-ranked Wildcats (20-8, 6-3). Kyle Cody (3-1) fanned eight and walked two in seven innings. Zach Strecker worked a near-perfect eighth and ninth.

Kentucky 5, Tennessee 4: On Saturday, the Vols lost a one-run lead in the seventh, rallied with two runs in the ninth but it wasn’t enough.

Tennessee ace Zach Warren (4-2) gave up nine hits and four runs in 7 1/3 innings with four strikeouts and no walks. He was outdueled by Dustin Beggs (7-0), who fanned eight in eight frames. Sean Hjelle got his fourth save.

Senzel doubled twice and drove in a pair. Leno Ramirez doubled, singled and brought in one.

The Vols host Morehead State on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Eastern before an SEC weekend at South Carolina. Harper-Cook will get the start for the midweek contest.

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