Moore's Record-Setting Day Leads #2 Vols To Thrilling Win At #3 Kentucky

  • Monday, April 22, 2024
Christian Moore Leads Vols To Series Win (UT Athletics)
Christian Moore Leads Vols To Series Win (UT Athletics)

A record-setting performance from Christian Moore along with contributions from a variety of others led No. 2/4 Tennessee to a 13-11 victory and a huge road series win against No. 3/3 Kentucky on Sunday afternoon in front of another sellout crowd in Lexington.

Moore tied the single-game program record with three home runs and finished the day with four runs scored and six RBIs to lead the Big Orange to their fifth straight SEC series win.

His first homer opened the scoring in the third inning and gave the Vols an early 2-0 lead, but the Wildcats quickly responded with six unanswered runs over the next three innings to take a 6-2 lead.

UT (33-7, 12-6 SEC) fought back, however, and scored five runs in the top of the sixth to retake the lead as Blake BurkeBilly AmickDylan Dreiling and Cannon Peebles all drove in runs in the inning to put the Vols back ahead, 7-6.

After a two-run homer by Grant Smith put UK back in front in the bottom of the sixth, it was Moore who tied things back up in the top of the seventh with his second long ball of the day. Kavares Tears put Tennessee back in front with his only hit of the game, a two-run shot into the bullpen in right field.

Another Wildcats' home run in the bottom of the seventh cut the deficit to one, but Moore saved his best for last, hammering a 1-0 pitch over the left-field wall in the top of the eighth for a three-run blast that proved to be the game-winning hit.

Kentucky (32-7, 15-3 SEC) didn't go down without a fight, hitting back-to-back solo homers in the bottom of the ninth before bringing the tying run to the plate with two outs, but sophomore righthander Marcus Phillips came on to record the final out and record his second save of the year.

The top six batters in UT's order combined for all 11 of the team's hits to go along with 11 RBIs and 10 runs scored.

Burke and Dean Curley joined Moore as Vols who posted multi-hit efforts, finishing with two apiece. Burke's  two singles extended his program-record long hitting streak to an incredible 30 straight games.

Kirby Connell picked up his fourth win of the year after a gritty relief outing of 4.1 innings. Kentucky reliever Travis Smith got the loss after allowing five runs on four hits in just one inning of work.

STAT OF THE GAME: Moore became the seventh player in program history to hit three home runs in a game and just the fourth to do so in an SEC game, joining Evan Russell (vs. Vanderbilt and LSU in 2021), Todd Helton (vs. Arkansas in 1995) and Rusty Ensor (vs. Vanderbilt in 1981). Moore is also the second Vol to homer three times in a game this season, joining fellow middle infielder Dean Curley, who did so against Kansas State on March 5.

With his record-setting performance, Moore also moved into sole possession of UT's career home run lead, passing Burke for the first time. The Brooklyn, New York, native, now has 46 career homers and leads the team with 19 on the year, including 13 in conference play.

UP NEXT: Tennessee returns to Knoxville to kick off a five-game homestand on Tuesday night against Western Carolina. The Vols then host Missouri for a Thursday through Saturday series at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

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