W: Chase Dollander (8-0)
L: Smith, Brandon (3-5)
Tennessee (47-7, 23-5 SEC) got off to a perfect start to the showdown on the road. After a groundout to start the game, Luc Lipkius, Jordan Beck and Drew Gilbert hit back-to-back home runs to give Big Orange a 3-0 lead in the blink of an eye.
The Vols set the single-game program record with seven long balls and hit a season-high 25 hits that night. The 25-run winning margin was the widest for an SEC game in program history.
As the offense poured onto the runs, Chase Dollander mowed down bulldog hitters in a dominant performance on the mound to improve to 8-0 on the year. The sophomore right-hander had six strikeouts in six no-hit innings and gave up just one walk before leaving the game after a long seventh-inning top.
This offensive attack continued in the third as Gilbert and Jorel Ortega drove ahead of outstanding newcomer in races Blake Burke smashed his 10th Home run of the season, a three-run shot into the second deck of the porches in right midfield.
The Vols scored three more times in both the fifth and sixth innings, highlighted by a triple homer by Ortega to the deadlock. The redshirt sophomore infielder smashed his second homer of the night and 14th of the season in the eighth inning. Ortega ended the night with a game high of five hits and eight RBIs, both career highs.
UT released its biggest offensive burst in the seventh inning, going over seven runs. Lipcius smashed his second home run of the night — a two-barrel shot to the left — before an RBI single from Ortega, a two-barrel double Evan Russel and an RBI single out Christian Scott.
Eight of UT’s nine starters collected an in-game base knock, while seven had multiple hits and three had four or more hits on the night.
SEC nominee for Player of the Year Trey Lipscomb went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate, his second game of the season to score four goals and his 20thth Multi-hit outing of the year. His strong at-bats were mirrored by Russell, who was 4-of-5 with three doubles and three RBIs. His doubles came in consecutive innings when he hit an extra bagger in the fifth, sixth and seventh.
Mississippi State (26-28, 9-19 SEC) had two runs in their last three innings, but overall it was a quiet offensive night for the Bulldogs, who lost their ninth SEC game in their last 10 contests.
The Big Orange will look to secure the series with a win tomorrow night. The first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be streamed online on SEC Network+ and the ESPN app.
BIG ORANGE BOPPER: Tennessee set the program record for home runs in a single game for the second time this season and also hit seven against James Madison on March 9. This comes after the Vols annihilated six home runs in their midweek bout against Belmont on Tuesday, May 17 at Lindsey-Nelson Stadium.
EIGHT WITH TEN: Blake Burkes The third inning home run made him the eighth volunteer hitter with 10 or more home runs this season. Others on the list are three who had home runs tonight, Luc Lipkius, Jordan Beck andd Jorel Ortegaplus Trey Lipscomb, Evan Russel, Christian Moore and Cortland Lawson.
BIGGEST MARGIN VS. THE LEAGUE: With the win, Tennessee surpassed their all-time winning margin in a 20-run SEC game, played May 8, 2010, against Georgia, 25-5.
RUNNING RUNNING: 27 was the most runs the state of Mississippi has given up in a single game since 1966.