NASHVILLE – It was yet another dazzling pitching performance from Drew Beam that led No. 1/1 Tennessee to a 5-0 shutout victory and series sweep of No. 3/9 Vanderbilt on Sunday afternoon at Hawkins Field.
Beam continued his incredible freshman campaign by going the distance and throwing the first complete-game shutout by a UT pitcher since Garrett Stallings vs. Ole Miss on May 16, 2019.
The Murfreesboro, Tennessee, native, allowed just two hits, faced one batter over the minimum and did not allow a Vanderbilt player to advance past first base for the entire game. Beam retired the last 16 batters he faced in the contest.
The Vols’ bats were held in check in the early going by Commodores’ starter Patrick Reilly – who allowed just one run and two hits in five innings – but got going in the second half of the game to help Tennessee pull away late.
The Big Orange (27-1, 9-0 SEC) scored four runs over the final three innings after entering the seventh leading 1-0, courtesy of a Drew Gilbert solo home run in the fourth.
Lipcius doubled the UT lead with a clutch two-out RBI hit in the top of the seventh to put the Vols ahead 2-0. Christian Scott singled to lead off the inning and stole second with two away to move into scoring position before scoring on the Lipcius single to center field.
Tennessee struck again in the eighth to add another insurance run to its tally. Trey Lipscomb singled up the middle with one out before Evan Russell drew his third walk of the day to move him into scoring position. Jorel Ortega made the Commodores (20-7, 4-5 SEC) pay for the free pass with an RBI single into left center to make it a 3-0 game.
The Vols added two more runs for good measure in the ninth when Gilbert drove in his second and third runs of the day with a double to right field. The junior from Stillwater, Minnesota was one of just two UT players to finish with multiple hits in the game. Lipcius was the other, finishing 2-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI.
Spencer Jones and Dominic Keegan had the only two Vanderbilt hits on the afternoon as both finished the game 1-for-3.
UP NEXT: Tennessee takes its 19-game win streak back to Knoxville for a midweek game against another in-state foe in Lipscomb on Tuesday, April 5 at 6:30 p.m. The Vols will remain home for the next two weekends as they play host to Missouri and Alabama at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
BEAM IS BIG TIME: True freshman right hander Drew Beam continues to one up himself with each start. Beam became the first Vol pitcher to throw a complete-game shutout since Garrett Stallings in 2019 with his dominant performance on Sunday against the Commodores.
The Murfreesboro native has pitched at least 7.1 innings in each of his three SEC starts this season and has allowed just six hits and one run combined in those three outings.
HISTORIC START TO SEC PLAY: Tennessee’s 9-0 start to SEC play is its best in program history, topping an 8-0 start by the 1966 Vols. The start is also the second best of any SEC team since the league expanded in 1992. The only squad with a better record to start conference play is Florida in 1994 (10-0). UT will have a chance to match that start next Friday against Missouri.
PLAYING FROM AHEAD: It’s been quite some time since Tennessee has trailed this season. The last time the Vols were behind in a game was during the first inning vs. Rhode Island on March 13. UT has not trailed for 116.0 consecutive innings played.
STRIKE FIRST, STRIKE HARD, NO MERCY: The Vols scored first in all three games this weekend and are now 24-1 when scoring first this season. UT’s opponent has scored first just three times all season.