What went improper for No. 1 Tennessee baseball at Kentucky in first sequence lack of season

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Coach Tony Vitello felt it could possibly be good for Tennessee baseball to study it wasn’t invincible throughout its sequence in opposition to Auburn.

The Vols obtained the largest reminder but of their invincibility per week after Vitello’s remark.

No. 1 Tennessee (42-6, 20-4 SEC) dropped its first sequence of the yr, dropping the primary two video games at Kentucky (26-21, 9-15) earlier than successful the seven-inning finale 7-2 on Saturday.

“We had this aura that we were the invincible team,” first baseman Luc Lipcius mentioned. “We were just going to come in and we were going to beat you. Now, we know we do actually have to try.

“I feel it’s actually good for us taking place the stretch that we will’t take something without any consideration.”

UT had received all 10 sequence this season and 10 straight highway sequence relationship again to a 2019 sequence at Arkansas.

“I think our guys have set the standards kind of higher and that is what we are living by,” Vitello said. “They know we have to do better if we want to continue to achieve as May goes on.”

How Tennessee misplaced the sequence

Tennessee misplaced back-to-back video games to open the sequence. The Vols misplaced 3-2 in 13 innings Thursday and 5-2 within the second sport, which began Friday however concluded Saturday after an eighth-inning postponement on account of rain.

“It was almost like we let off the gas a little bit,” Lipcius mentioned. “We didn’t actually play like ourselves. I feel it should gentle the hearth underneath us to all the time play our greatest.”

Tennessee had its lowest-scoring sequence of the season, totaling 11 runs. The Vols averaged 9.5 runs per sport this season and seven.6 in SEC play.

Vitello bemoaned baserunning miscues, which included three double performs within the finale and Seth Stephenson getting picked off within the first inning Thursday.

“At some point in the year, you have to have your worst weekend or your weekend where you don’t play your best I should say,” Vitello said.

Why Tennessee didn’t find a steady offensive groove

Lipcius struck out looking with the bases loaded to end the first inning Thursday, a bad start to what proved to be a miserable first two games offensively. The Vols struggled to string together hits and did not execute with runners on base.

UT left the bases loaded in each of the first three innings of the opener among its season-high 15 runners left on base.

“If you are going to have at-bats that are semi-worthless or don’t produce anything for your team or you give up outs on the bases,” Vitello said, “then all of a sudden you are throwing out of whack what is going on on the scoreboard.”

Tennessee finished Thursday with one hit in its final 42 at-bats, two runs despite 12 walks and no extra-base hits. The Vols had five hits in each of the first two games and only did damage in the second game with back-to-back fourth-inning doubles to score a pair of runs.

Second baseman Jorel Ortega went 4-for-11 in the first two games, while the rest of the Vols went 6-for-63.

“I think it was just guys getting outside themselves,” Vitello said. “Being in a hurry at the plate or on the bases. Something to learn from for sure.”

How Tennessee prevented a sweep

Tennessee hit a pair of homers within the finale Saturday, its solely two of the sequence. Lipcius had the game-winning hit, a chopper with the infield in that bounced over the outstretched glove of UK first baseman Jacob Plastiak.

“I know it was a really down weekend for us so the fact we can scrape away one is really good,” Lipcius said.

Jordan Beck provided insurance with a three-run homer with two outs in the seventh. Cortland Lawson hit UT’s first homer of the series when he hit a fifth-inning solo shot.

Drew Beam gave UT a competitive start, allowing one earned run on six hits in four innings. Redmond Walsh and Trey Lipscomb made critical plays in the fifth in a 2-2 game. Lipscomb picked a throw from catcher Evan Russell that could have hopped into left field on a stolen base.

Walsh struck out shortstop Ryan Ritter looking with the runner at third to end the inning.

“I think it is going to help us learn to bounce back a little better,” Walsh said. “I thought we should have had a little better bounce back (Friday). Once you get to the tournament, it is two in a row and you are done.”

Mike Wilson covers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at and comply with him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you get pleasure from Mike’s protection, think about a digital subscription that can permit you entry to all of it.

This article initially appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: How Tennessee baseball misplaced first sequence of the season at Kentucky

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