KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – No. 3 Tennessee won its sixth straight game and completed the series sweep over Dayton on Sunday afternoon, shutting out the Flyers 6-0 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Early offense and dominant pitching were once again the driving forces in the win, as the Volunteers (6-2) jumped out to an early 5-0 lead after two innings and held the Dayton bats in check for the entirely of the afternoon.
Drew Beam improved his record to 2-0 on the year with another stellar outing on the mound, allowing just one hit over 5.1 shutout innings while finishing with four strikeouts. The sophomore right hander did issue three walks but was never seriously threatened by the Flyers’ offense on the day. Beam has yet to allow a run in 11.1 innings of work this season.
Sophomore slugger Blake Burke sparked the offense with a pair of solo home runs, his third and fourth of the year, while Christian Moore also had two RBIs thanks to a clutch two-out double to the gap in right-center during a four-run second inning for the Big Orange.
UT used five pitchers in relief to finish the game. The group combined to toss 4.2 scoreless frames and allowed just a single hit. Kirby Connell came on to retire the final two batters of the sixth inning before giving way to Zach Joyce, who set the side down in order in the seventh. Junior college transfers Jacob Bimbi and Bryce Jenkins combined to pitch a scoreless eighth before Andrew Lindsey finished the game with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Michael Adair and Matt Maloney recorded the only two hits for the Flyers (0-6) on the day. Starting pitcher Nate Espelin fell to 0-1 on the year after allowing five runs (three earned) on four hits in just 1.2 innings pitched.
Tennessee continues its 15-game homestand with two midweek games against Charleston Southern on Feb. 28 and March 1. First pitch for Tuesday’s contest is slated for 4:30 p.m. and both games will be streamed on SEC Network+ and the ESPN app.
PURE PITCHING DOMINANCE: The Vols were overpowering on the mound all series long, holding Dayton to just three runs and nine combined hits over the three games. UT pitchers also teamed up for 41 total strikeouts in the series with 20 on Friday, 15 on Saturday and six on Sunday.
Tennessee hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of its last six games and has posted three shutouts in that span.
BURKE BLASTS ARE BACK: Sunday marked the second-career multi-homer game for sophomore first baseman Blake Burke, who now leads the team with four long balls this season.
NON-CONFERENCE SERIES SUCCESS: Tennessee has now recorded a sweep in nine if its last 11 regular-season non-conference series dating back to 2020. The Vols have not lost a regular-season non-conference series since March of 2020 against Wright State.