Vols Suffer Rare Sweep At Missouri

  • Monday, March 20, 2023

 A disappointing weekend in Columbia ended with a pair of losses in Sunday's doubleheader against Missouri at Taylor Stadium.

Tennessee (15-6, 0-3 SEC) was swept for the first time since 2019 at Arkansas and opens Southeastern Conference play 0-3 for the first time since 2019 when the Vols were swept at Auburn.

For the second game in a row, Tennessee fell in an early hole and was unable to dig itself out after Missouri struck for three runs in the first inning.

The Vols missed out on opportunities to get on the board in the first and second innings, leaving the bases loaded on both occasions.

The Tigers added two more runs in the third inning on an RBI single and a balk to take a 5-0 lead.

UT got a run back in the top of the fourth on a two-out RBI single from Maui Ahuna, who had two of the Vols' six hits in the game.

However, Mizzou answered right back with a solo home run by Dylan Leach to lead off the bottom of the fourth and make it 6-1.

Chase Burns finished with 12 strikeouts but suffered his first loss of the year after giving up seven runs (six earned) on eight hits and a walk in five innings of work. After giving up three consecutive hits to start the game, Burns struck out the next six batters before running into more trouble in the third inning.

Griffin Merritt cut the deficit to five with a solo home run to straightaway center field in the top of the sixth, his seventh round tripper of the season.

Tennessee didn't go quietly in the seventh, scoring a pair of runs on a two-run homer from Zane Denton to pull within three, but Jared Dickey grounded out to end the game one batter later.

Tigers' reliever Zach Franklin earned the win after five innings out of the pen. The senior right hander gave up four runs, just one of which was earned, on four hits while striking out six.

Ross Lovich, Dalton Bargo and Trevor Austin led Missouri at the plate, combining for six hits and five RBIs on the day.

Tennessee was unable to salvage a win on the weekend, falling to Missouri 7-1 in the series finale.

Three errors proved costly for the Vols in the loss, as five of the Tigers' seven runs were unearned, including all four in the bottom of the third inning.

Drew Beam pitched just three innings, allowing four unearned runs on three hits and three walks. He also finished with three strikeouts but was stuck with the loss, falling to 3-1 on the year.

Starting pitcher Austin Troesser was lights out for the Tigers, tossing 4.2 no-hit innings with seven strikeouts to pick up the win. The junior right hander carried a perfect game into the fifth before issuing a one-out walk to Jared Dickey.

After a pitching change, Dickey came around to score later in the inning on a pinch-hit single by Hunter Ensley to break up the no-hit bid.

Making his first start of the series, senior outfielder Cam Chick led Mizzou (16-3, 3-0 SEC) at the plate with a pair of hits, a walk and three RBIs.

UP NEXT: The Vols will look to get back to their winning ways when they return home for a Tuesday midweek game against Western Carolina before hosting Texas A&M for their SEC home opening series next Friday-Sunday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

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