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#4 Tennessee Volunteers pounce on #3 Kentucky with five home runs in 9-4 win | Local sports

No. 2/4 Tennessee scored five points before No. 3/3 Kentucky recorded a clean sheet and never looked back, evening the weekend series with a 9-4 victory on Saturday afternoon in front of another record crowd at Kentucky Proud Park.

Christian Moore and Blake Burke started the game with back-to-back home runs to give the Vols a 2-0 lead in the blink of an eye. After Billy Amick reached on an error, UT again pounced on Wildcats’ starting pitcher Dominic Niman with three straight RBI doubles to make it 5-0 and chase him out of the game.

The Big Orange hit five home runs in the afternoon, marking the ninth time this season they have hit five or more in a game, including the third time on the road.

After Kentucky scored twice in the bottom of the first, including a leadoff homer of its own by Ryan Waldschmidt, UT answered with a solo shot by Kavares Tears in the second and added two more runs in the fifth to extend the lead to 8-2.

Dylan Dreiling led off that fifth inning with the first of his two long balls in the game, giving him 15 for the season. His second of the day came on a 3-1 pitch in the eighth inning, which produced the final run of the game.

Despite a somewhat rough start, Drew Beam was solid on the mound for most of his outing before running into trouble in the fifth inning. The junior retired eight batters in a row before giving up four straight hits in the fifth, ending his day after 4.1 innings pitched and four strikeouts.

Aaron Combs came on in relief of Beam and managed to limit the damage in the inning to just two runs. Aside from a sixth-inning jam that he was able to work out of, Combs was dominant out of the bullpen, posting career highs with 4.2 innings pitched and seven strikeouts while allowing just three hits and no walks to earn his first win of the achieve competition. season.

Tennessee (32-7, 11-6 SEC) had four players finish with multiple hits after no players did so in Friday night’s game. Moore led the charge with a career-high tying four hits and a pair of RBIs, while Tears, Dreiling and Dean Curley combined for eight hits, six runs scored and six RBIs.

Waldschmidt had another big day at the plate for the Wildcats (32-6, 15-2 SEC), leading them with three hits, two runs and an RBI.

UT’s win on Saturday ended UK’s 11-game SEC win streak.

Moore tied Burke’s home run record for the second time this season after hitting his leadoff homer in the first inning, the 43rd of his career. Unfortunately for Moore, that lasted a minute or two as Burke threw his 44th two pitches later.

Next up, the Vols will play their fourth Sunday rubber match this year after Saturday’s win to even the series at one game apiece. Tennessee is 2-1 in its previous three winner-take-all game threes with wins over Ole Miss and Georgia.