The Tennessee baseball team completed a series sweep over 29th-ranked UNLV with a 4-2 win Sunday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Tennessee sophomore pitcher Andrew Lee (UT photo)
UNLV (4-3) was able to tie the game in the top of the ninth inning on Saturday, but that was not the case in game three, Tennessee (7-0) made the defensive stops it needed in the bottom of the ninth to close out the series.
"It was a good weekend for us in many aspects, we held on to a lead, we came back after giving up a lead and then we held on to a lead again, today," Vols coach Dave Serrano said. "I said it each day that I knew UNLV wasn't going to go away, and it showed in the seventh inning today, when they scrapped up two runs."
Tennessee got on the board first as freshman Nick Senzel drove in teammate A.J. Simcox in the bottom of the third inning to give the Vols a 1-0 lead.
The Vols scored three more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning that started with Will Maddox's stand-up triple that brought home Nathaniel Maggio and Tyler Schultz. Senior Scott Price's sacrifice fly to centerfield would then bring in Maddox to extend the lead to 4-0.
"It's always good to end with a couple hits, I hadn't had any previously, but I felt good at the plate and I was able to get a couple of hits today," junior second baseman Will Maddox said.
Tennessee got another superb performance from sophomore pitcher Andrew Lee who gave up four hits and two runs in 6 2/3 innings on 85 pitches. Lee was replaced by fellow sophomore Trevor Bettencourt who got the save.
"I definitely wanted to finish that inning, I was a little selfish about that, but it's just up to coach about that honestly," Lee said. "We go about seventy-five pitches however many innings that is and we just work off of that right now. I'm not mad about it all because that is just going to save us for later in the season."
UNLV put together a pair of runs in the top of the seventh inning as Edgar Montes drove a shot to centerfield making it a 4-2 game.
The Vols had many impressive defensive plays, including a handful by third baseman Taylor Smart who snagged a shot down the third baseline and his throw to first base to get the first out in the top of the ninth inning to help secure the win.
"I'm very proud of our guys, they start out 6-0, they're feeling good about themselves, like they should, but we are not allowing them to get complacent," Serrano said. "This was the most energy I have seen out of them all year long."
Tennessee hosts Quinnipiac next weekend at Lindsey Nelson.