KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Third-ranked Tennessee brought the bats Wednesday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium as it run-ruled Alabama A&M, 23-1, for the second consecutive night. Catcher Charlie Taylor had a career day at the plate, going 4-for-5 with three runs scored, a triple, two home runs and five RBIs.
Already leading 6-1 entering the home half of the fifth, Tennessee (3-2) hung 15 runs on the board to increase its lead to 21-1. It was the most runs scored in a single inning by the Vols in program history – topping the 14 runs UT put up on NC State and Chattanooga in 1998 and 1977, respectively. That total came thanks to eight hits, four of the extra-base variety, and three Alabama A&M (3-2) errors. Taylor accounted for two of those knocks, blasting a three-run shot in his first at-bat before shooting an RBI single through the right side in his second trip to the plate.
He wasn’t done just yet, as the Dunwoody, Georgia, native led off the sixth inning with a long homer to the newly-installed third deck in left field. In total, Taylor finished the afternoon just a double away from the cycle after belting a triple off the wall in the third inning. He set career-bests in runs scored (3), hits (4), triples (1), total bases (12) and RBIs (5).
Twelve Vols collected a hit on the night as UT finished the game with 17 hits as a team and 17 combined RBIs.
Tennessee’s pitching staff continued to impress, running its consecutive scoreless-innings streak to 22 before the Bulldogs pushed across a run in the fifth. AAMU could only get three runners on base all game as Aaron Combs, Bryce Jenkins and Zach Joyce each retired all three batters they faced. Joyce was especially impressive, coming out of the bullpen in the seventh inning and striking out three Bulldogs and finishing out the win. In his young career at Tennessee, the right-hander has punched out all five individuals to step in the box against him.
Combs earned the victory in relief, replacing Zander Sechrist who fired two strong frames in his first start of the season. The JUCO transfer, Combs, picked up his first Division I win in the contest. Tennessee’s pitchers combined for 10 strikeouts, marking the third-consecutive game with double-digit punchouts by the Big Orange.
The Bulldogs run in the top half of the fifth came after Miles Jackson tripled to center and scored on a bunt single by Jalen Ford. Starter Anthony Mateo took the loss.
UP NEXT: Tennessee is back home on Friday afternoon as it opens a three-game set against Dayton. First pitch on Friday against the Flyers is slated for 4:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network+.