MESA, Ariz. – Earning its first win of the 2023 campaign, the second-ranked Tennessee baseball team took down UC San Diego, 7-0, Sunday afternoon behind an emphatic pitching performance by Drew Beam and a late offensive surge.
Beam started off his sophomore season dealing at the spring training home of the Chicago Cubs, Sloan Park. The Murfreesboro native went six innings, allowing just three baserunners and punching out six. He did not allow a run or a walk, and demonstrated incredible efficiency, making it through his stellar outing in just 86 pitches, facing two batters over the minimum.
The offense provided run support beginning in the fourth inning, as Blake Burke laced a triple to center field and was driven home by Zane Denton the very next at-bat. Denton would come all the way around to score two batters later, as Kyle Booker sent him home with an RBI groundout.
Tennessee (1-2) would add to its lead in the sixth inning when Burke launched an opposite-field home run to left center, a solo shot. Burke was a sparkplug for the Vols’ offense in the tournament finale, going 2-fo-4 with a triple, a homer, two runs scored and one RBI.
The remainder of the game was in the hands of the bullpen, but the offense was not finished just yet, tossing up a crooked number in the seventh. Tennessee was able to chase home four runs in the frame and it started with a leadoff single from Cal Stark. Two batters later, Austen Jaslove looped a single into center to push the Big Orange backstop home. A double steal put two runners in scoring position, and they would both cross the plate on an RBI groundout followed by a wild pitch. Christian Moore capped the scoring with an exclamation point, ripping a home run to left field to increase the Vols’ distance to 7-0 after seven innings.
UCSD (1-2) would not go down quietly though, loading the bases with just one out in the top of the eighth. Then enters Zach Joyce, brother of flamethrower and VFL Ben Joyce. Joyce came into a jam, but with poise, he struck out back-to-back hitters on just seven pitches, getting Tennessee out of the inning and maintaining the shutout that it would finish off just an inning later.
For the day, Tennessee accumulated 10 hits, three of those for extra bases, and swiped three bases. On the bump, UT pitchers struck out 10 Tritons while defensively the Vols did not commit an error in the contest.
Up next, Tennessee returns to Rocky Top and will play its home opener against Alabama A&M on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 4:30 p.m. ET. Tickets are still available in very limited quantities on AllVols.com.