Tennessee baseball one win away from Super Regional after 12-7 win over Campbell

The Vols won their program record 55th game of the season by hitting four home runs.
Published: Jun. 4, 2022 at 7:12 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 4, 2022 at 11:08 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Top-ranked Tennessee continued its winning ways facing Campbell University inside Lindsey Nelson Stadium in the second game for each team in this NCAA Knoxville Regional.

The Vols, wearing their big orange jerseys, are the visiting team tonight and are batting first.

Seth Stephenson would open the game for the top ranked Vols with a single to left. Stephenson would steal second, but be stranded there as the Vols fail to score in their half of the first.

UT’s All American Pitcher Chase Dollander was effective in the bottom of the first. Meanwhile in the second, the Vols would get another lead-off hit in the form of a Trey Lipscomb double. He’d make it to third on a fielder’s choice, but would be stranded there as this Knoxville Regional matchup remains scoreless.

Top of the 3rd it was Campbell pitcher Cade Kuehler continuing to deal reaching speeds of 96 and 97mph setting the Vols down in order.

The Fighting Camels would break the ice in the bottom of the third, with a man on Jarrod Belbin takes Chase Dollander deep and out of the park giving Campbell a 2-0 lead and quieting this massive and Tennessee partisan crowd. The SEC pitcher of the year would give up another extra base hit. The runner would move to third and then come in to score on an error by shortstop Courtland Lawson, but the Camels weren’t through. With runners on first and second. Ty Babin singles just past the outstretched glove of second baseman Jorel Ortega, Connor Denning comes around to score and the #1 Vols find themselves in a 4-0 hole. Campbell would load the bases with two outs prompting a visit to the mound by head coach Tony Vitello and pitching change. Vitello would bring in left-hander Kirby Connell, who would retire his first batter ending a long inning for Tennessee.

Tennessee got right back on the board in the top of the 4th after Drew Gilbert doubled with one out and was driven in by Trey Lipscomb to make it 4-1 Campbell. Jorel Ortega then hammered a home run over the porch in left field - his 17th of the season - to make it a one-run ballgame.

And the fun was just continuing for the Big Orange. In the top of the 5th, with two outs and two on and two strikes, Drew Gilbert unleashed some more of his Regional magic driving a fastball deep to right and out of the park. The three run homer would give Tennessee a 6-4 lead. Trey Lipscomb was then hit by a pitch. He’d steal second and advance to third on a wild pitch. Then what amounted to a swinging bunt by Jorel Ortega would bring home Lipscomb giving the Vols a 7-4 lead.

Getting a little tighter and maybe a little uncomfortable for the home crowd. Kirby Connell, who had pitched flawlessly would make one mistake in the 7th. Drake Pierson takes Connell deep. It’s a two-run blast and the Campbells pull to within a run. Connell would be pulled from the game for Chase Burns, but the freshman gets into trouble hitting the first batter he see’s, but then with the bases loaded, Burns strikes out Lawson Harrill to retire the side. The Vols have not lost this season, 46-0, when leading after 6 innings.

In the end, Tennessee hit four home runs and beat Campbell 12-7. They are now one win away from a second Super Regional in a row.

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