#3 Vols Split Friday Doubleheader at Florida
Courtesy / UT Athletics

#3 Vols Split Friday Doubleheader at Florida

Game Recap: Baseball | May 03, 2024

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – No. 3/3 Tennessee split its doubleheader at Florida on Friday, winning game one 6-2 before a ninth-inning rally came up just short in 4-3 game two loss at Condron Family Ballpark in Gainesville.

Recaps from both games can be found below.

Game 1: Vols 6, Gators 2

The Vols scored four early runs and got a fantastic pitching performance from AJ Causey to take game one of Friday’s doubleheader, 6-2, securing the 11th win in their last 12 SEC games.
The top four hitters in Tennessee’s lineup combined for 10 of the team’s 12 total hits for the game, as they all finished with at least two knocks.

Dylan Dreiling went 3-for-4 with two RBIs while Billy Amick also had three hits, including a pair of doubles, with an RBI and two runs scored.

Chris Stamos got UT off to a solid start on the mound, tying career highs in innings pitched (three) and strikeouts (four) while allowing two runs in his fourth consecutive weekend start.

Causey took over with a runner on first and nobody out in the fourth inning and was dominant from there, tossing five shutout innings with seven strikeouts to earn his team-leading eighth victory.

After the Gators started the bottom of the ninth with back-to-back singles, Kirby Connell came on in relief of Causey to end the threat and lock down his fourth save of the season, getting Hayden Yost to fly out to center field before inducing a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.

Florida starting pitcher Brandon Neely struck out seven but got the loss after allowing four runs on seven hits in four innings of work. Brody Donay led the Gators at the plate with two hits, including a two-run homer in the second inning to drive in their only runs of the contest.

Game 2: Gators 4, Vols 3

Florida evened the series with a 4-3 victory in game two of Friday’s twin bill, holding off a late ninth-inning rally from Tennessee.

A three-run third inning spotted the Gators a 3-0 lead as the Vols struggled to find their footing offensively in the early going.

UT was only able to manage six hits in the loss as UF’s pitching trio of Liam Peterson, Fisher Jameson and Luke McNeillie combined for 16 strikeouts. Peterson got the start and allowed just one hit over four shutout innings while racking up seven punchouts.

Jameson earned his third win of the year after striking out eight batters over four innings of relief, giving up three runs on five hits. McNeillie walked a pair and hit a batter but recorded the final three outs to record his second save.

An RBI double by Blake Burke got the Big Orange on the board in the fifth and a monster home run to left-center field by Billy Amick cut the deficit to one in the top of the eighth.

A couple of defensive miscues allowed the Gators to plate an unearned run in the bottom of the inning and increase their lead back to two heading into the ninth.

Dean Curley started off the ninth inning with a single up the middle before being lifted for a pinch runner. A few batters later, Christian Moore made it a 4-3 game with an RBI groundout, which also moved the tying run into scoring position. However, after a walk by Burke, McNeillie was able to get Amick to pop up to end the game.

Moore and Burke both finished with a pair of hits and an RBI to lead the Vols at the plate.

Drew Beam was the tough luck loser despite providing another quality start for Tennessee, striking out four and allowing three runs on six hits over six innings of work. All three runs Beam gave up came via a pair of home runs from Brody Donay and Colby Shelton in the third inning.

STAT OF THE DAY: The top four batters in UT’s lineup, consisting of Christian MooreBlake BurkeBilly Amick and Dylan Dreiling combined for 15 of the team’s 18 total hits in Friday’s doubleheader.

UP NEXT: The Vols (38-9, 16-7 SEC) and Gators (24-22, 10-13 SEC) will square off on Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m. in a series-deciding rubber game.  

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