KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee freshman Andrew Lee broke out in a big way on Saturday afternoon, delivering a four-hit, five-RBI effort, including two hits in a nine-run third inning, as the Volunteers (6-7) clinched the series win over Alcorn State (2-13) with a 13-6 victory at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
On a day when the Big Orange offense put together 15 hits, Lee led the way by going 4-for-5 with two singles and a pair of doubles, the first two extra-base hits of his young career. His five RBIs are the most in a single game by a UT player so far this season.
“I don’t know if I can ever say I am expecting a 4-for-5 day from a freshman, but I thought he put really good swings on the baseball today,” UT head coach Dave Serrano said. “I thought he used the count leverage in his favor. I know the coaches have been harping at him to put good passes on the ball when he gets count leverage and I thought he did that today. This game is about confidence and obviously he was feeling really good every time he was coming to the plate.”
In addition to Lee’s performance, Taylor Smart and Pierce Bily each had multi-hit games at the plate as well. Smart was 2-for-5 and bashed his first home run as a Vol while Bily finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI.
“I thought Pierce Bily had a great day today,” Serrano said. “He’s one of those unsung heroes. He doesn’t stand out a lot, he just does a lot of consistent things throughout the day and those kinds of things are noticed by this coaching staff.”
On the mound, freshman Trevor Charpie picked up his first collegiate victory in the contest, striking out five batters over five innings out of the bullpen. He came on in relief of fellow classmate Drake Owenby who walked five and allowed three runs in three hitless innings in his first start as a Vol.
With a 2-1 lead through the first two innings, Tennessee absolutely exploded in the third, sending 15 batters to the plate and scoring nine runs on seven hits and an error. The first six Vols reached in the frame, including an RBI single by Lee and a two-run triple by Vincent Jackson, before a successful safety squeeze finally put an out on the board.
Just three batters later, with the bases loaded, Lee struck another big blow with a double to center that cleared the bases. Bily followed with a single on the very next pitch to drive him in and give UT a double-digit lead at 11-1.
Alcorn State answered with four runs of its own in the next two innings, but a solo home run on to “The Porch” in left by Smart and a run-scoring double play in the eighth thwarted any thoughts the Braves may have had about a potential comeback attempt.
Tennessee and Alcorn State will square off in the series finale at noon on Sunday with freshman Aaron Quillen (0-1, 3.21) getting the ball for the Volunteers. UT will be looking for its first series sweep since it took all three games against Alabama at home last season, March 30-April 1, 2012.