Courtesy / UT Athletics


Game Recap: Baseball | March 30, 2024

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Clutch performances at the plate from a handful of Volunteers led No. 5/5 Tennessee to a 16-11 victory over No. 22/NR Georgia in a back-and-forth slugfest on Saturday evening in front of a record crowd of 5,677 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

The two heavyweights traded blows throughout the night as the two sides combined for eight home runs and 29 hits in the game.

The Vols (23-5, 4-4 SEC) jumped out to an early lead with three runs in the bottom of the first inning after sophomore outfielder Dylan Dreiling hit his first of two massive homers on the night.

The lead didn’t last long, however, as the Bulldogs (22-5, 4-4 SEC) scored seven runs in the third inning to storm back and take the lead. A two-run home run by Charlie Condon and a three-run shot by Sebastian Murillo bookended the inning for Georgia.

Blake Burke answered with a solo blast of his own to lead off the bottom of the third, his 10th of the year and the 40th of his career, moving him into a tie for first all-time at UT with his predecessor at first base, Luc Lipcius.

Burke had another impressive night overall at the plate, leading the team with three hits, extending his hitting streak to 18 straight games in the process, while also tying for the team lead with three runs scored to go along with two RBIs.

After the Bulldogs tacked on another run in the fourth to take an 8-4 lead, the Big Orange posted a crooked number of their own, plating six runs in the bottom of the fifth to regain the lead, 10-8.

An RBI single by Burke and a bases-loaded walk from Kavares Tears brought in the first two runs and set up Dreiling for some more heroics, as the Kansas native laced an 0-2 pitch over the right-field wall for his first-career grand slam to send the sellout crowd into a frenzy.

A two-run homer by Georgia’s Kolby Branch briefly tied the game at 10 in the top of the seventh, but another six-spot for Tennessee in the bottom half of the inning all but iced the game away.

An RBI double by Dean Curley broke the tie before Reese Chapman added to the lead with an RBI walk two batters later. Dalton Bargo, who entered the game as a pinch hitter and got UT’s big fifth inning started with a leadoff single, provided the exclamation point with his first-career grand slam to put the Vols ahead 16-10.

Condon added his second long ball of the night in the top of the ninth, but that was as close as the Dawgs would get as Nate Snead slammed the door with a strikeout to end the game. Despite the loss, Condon had another impressive night offensively to lead UGA, finishing with five hits and three RBIs.

Veteran lefty Kirby Connell was incredible for the Vols in relief, posting a career-long outing of five innings pitched on 94 total pitches to earn the win and improve to 3-0 this season.

UP NEXT: Tennessee and Georgia will square off at 2 p.m. on Easter Sunday to decide the series. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.

STAT OF THE GAME: Dreiling’s monster day at the dish resulted in the sophomore’s first-career multi-homer game and a career-high seven RBIs. His grand slam in the fifth inning was the sixth hit by UT this year, while Bargo’s salami in the seventh helped the Vols tie the single-season program record of seven set in 1998. All seven grand slams this season have been hit by different players.

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