A grand slam by Andre Lipcius in the bottom of the fifth lifted Tennessee to a 7-1 midweek win over Liberty on Tuesday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
It was the second-career grand slam for Lipcius and came at the perfect time with the Vols struggling to get much going offensively early in the game.
Sophomore pitcher Sean Hunley recovered from a rocky first inning to earn the win for UT. The Mount Juliet, Tenn., native walked three batters but gave up just two hits and one unearned run in six innings of work to improve to 2-0.
Justin Ammons and Ricky Martinez also had great days at the dish on Tuesday, posting three hits apiece while combining for three runs, three doubles and three RBI.
The Flames jumped out to an early lead, taking advantage of two walks and an error by the Vols in the top of the first. Drew Baughman hit a sacrifice fly to left field with the bases loaded to drive in Brandon Rohrer and put Liberty ahead 1-0.
After struggling to string hits together through the first four innings, Tennessee got the offense rolling in a big way in the fifth. A pair of hits and a walk loaded the bases with two outs for Lipcius, who made the Flames pay the price by hitting his second-career grand slam to take the Vols from down one to up three with one swing.
Martinez added to his career day with an RBI single in the sixth to put the Vols up by four and UT kept the train rolling later in the inning with a two-run double by Ammons to increase the lead to 7-1.
Andrew Schultz, Chase Silseth, Will Heflin and Richard Jackson combined to give up just one hit in three scoreless innings out of the bullpen for the Vols.
Sophomore lefty Mason Meyer threw 4.2 solid innings before giving up the grand slam to Lipcius in the fifth and was stuck with the loss after giving p five runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings of work.
LIPCIUS STARTING TO HEAT UP: After a tough start to the year, junior third baseman Andre Lipcius is starting to round into form with five hits and seven RBI over the last three games. His grand slam today was his first home run of the season after leading the team with seven as a sophomore in 2018.
MARTINEZ MAKING IT LOOK EASY: Junior shortstop Ricky Martinez has been on fire offensively for Tennessee over the past week. During that span (five games), the junior college transfer leads the team with a .563 batting average, six runs, nine hits and four doubles.
UP NEXT: The Big Orange close out their nine-game homestand against in-state foe Middle Tennessee tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. The contest will be streamed live on SEC Network+ and the WatchESPN app and feature a live audio broadcast on UTSports.com. Tickets are available at AllVols.com and the Lindsey Nelson Stadium ticket office.