ROUND ROCK, TX— The University of Tennessee’s baseball team remained undefeated on Sunday, defeating Stanford — who is ranked as the 25th team in the nation — by a score of 7-2 in the third day of the Round Rock Classic. The Vols defeated the nation’s top team, Texas Tech, on Friday night, and won their 2nd game against the Houston Cougars on Saturday.
The Vols first took the lead over the Cardinals in the 2nd inning, when Connor Pavolony got on base off of an error, and Luc Lipcius nailed a triple into left field allowing him to cross home plate. Liam Spence would then give a ball a ride deep into the outfield, allowing Lipcius to tag up making it a two-run advantage for the Volunteers, after the top of the 2nd.
However, in the bottom half of the inning, Stanford answered as Elijah Pleasants had a little bit of difficulty getting the ball over the plate. Pleasants walked the bases loaded with only a single out, and after a quick second out, Pleasants was able to force a ground ball to third base. However, in an unfortunate turn of events, nobody was in the general proximity of where the ball was hit, allowing a run to score, and forcing Tony Vitello to cut Pleasants’ day short in favor of left-hander Drew Gilbert — who quickly forced Cole Hinkleman to fly out to left field.
After a few close calls through the 3rd and 4th innings, Stanford began threatening the Vols yet again in the bottom of the 5th, when they were able to put together two doubles in a row to tie the game at 2 each. After allowing the run, Drew Gilbert was able to masterfully minimize any additional damage, forcing two outs in a row from Henry Gargus and Kody Hunt, to retire the side.
In the top half of the 6th inning, the Volunteers came out extremely focused on regaining the lead, as Jake Rucker got things started with a solid single to right field, and stealing second due to a wild pitch from Alex Williams. With two outs, Evan Russell was able to draw a walk to keep the Vols inning alive. Rucker then sprinted to third and a bad throw got past third base, allowing him to go all the way to home plate, tilting the scoreboard back into the favor of the Big Orange.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Cardinals were looking to tie the game back up, after a lead-off single, followed by a sac bunt put them in business. However, after forcing a quick out, the Vols were able to end the inning after Brock Jones popped it up to retire the side.
In the top of the 7th, the Vols were able to take a commanding lead, after Alerick Soulaire, Zach Daniels and Max Ferguson drew back-to-back-to-back walks, loading the bases. After a wild pitch allowed Soularie to get home the Vols were up 5-2. Ferguson was also able to make it 6-2, as the top half of the inning ended.
Redmon Walsh was then brought to the mound for the bottom of the 7th. He quickly forced three strikeouts in a row to retire the side, before the Vols were able to add one insurance run heading into the 9th inning. In the bottom of the 9th, the Vols were able to seal the deal, earning a sweep in the Round Rock Classic, defeating Texas Tech, Houston, and Stanford. As a result, they should be ranked high in the polls on Monday Morning.
Tennessee will get tomorrow off, before returning to action on Tuesday against Northern Kentucky. The Vols will then play UNC Asheville on Wednesday, before beginning a three-game series with George Washington University on Friday.