#1 Vols Advance To SEC Title Game With 6-4 Win Over Rival Vanderbilt

  • Sunday, May 26, 2024
  • UT Sports
Vols Reach Tournament Finals (UT Athletics)
Vols Reach Tournament Finals (UT Athletics)

For the third time in four years, No. 1/1 Tennessee will play for the Southeastern Conference Tournament Championship after taking down rival Vanderbilt, 6-4, in Saturday's semifinal at the Hoover Met.

Another stellar Zander Sechrist start on the mound and some more fireworks from Christian Moore at the plate led the way for the Volunteers, who improved to 49-11 on the year.

Sechrist posted his fifth start of five or more innings by going six strong to earn the win and improve to 3-1 this season. The senior lefthander struck out five and allowed just two runs on four hits. Both runs came on a Braden Holcomb two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Moore added another multi-hit effort to his resume with three knocks, none bigger than a mammoth 441-foot blast over the batter's eye in center field that put the Vols ahead by three runs in the sixth inning after the Commodores scored two runs to tie the game a half inning earlier.

Cannon Peebles, who got the start at catcher, also had a productive day, finishing with a pair of hits, two runs scored and an RBI.

Dalton Bargo added a hit, a walk and an RBI, as well, while Kavares Tears continued his impressive tournament showing with two more hits and a run.

Marcus Phillips locked down his third save of the year by pitching a career-high three innings and tying a career best with three strikeouts.

Reliever Luke Guth got the loss for Vanderbilt (38-21) after giving up three runs on five hits in two innings of work. Offensively, Jonathan Vastine had a pair of sacrifice flies to drive in two runs to go along with Holcomb's homer.

STAT OF THE GAME: Tennessee will look to win its fifth SEC Tournament title, including the second under head coach Tony Vitello, on Sunday when it takes on LSU.

The Vols defeated Florida, 8-5, in the 2022 championship game, which is their only title since the tournament adopted its current 12-team format in 2013.

UP NEXT: UT will take on No. 11 seed LSU for the SEC Tournament title on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

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