Tennessee baseball stacked program records during a power-packed three-game sweep against Iona.
The No. 16 Vols (7-0) scored 68 runs on the weekend, finishing with a 68-3 edge against the Gaels. UT beat the Gaels 12-2 in seven innings Sunday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium to complete the sweep. UT won 27-1 on Friday and 29-0 on Saturday.
Tennessee hosts ETSU on Tuesday before traveling to Houston to face No. 1 Texas, Baylor and Oklahoma in the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic starting Friday.
The offensive records
Cortland Lawson slugged a two-run homer onto the second deck of the party porches in leftfield Sunday, giving Tennessee 60 runs during the series and breaking a 113-year-old record.
Tennessee scored 59 runs against Tusculum on April 1-3, 1909, the previous program record for runs in a three-game series.
HEAT:‘It is abnormal:’ Tennessee baseball’s Ben Joyce throws 103 mph pitch vs UNC Asheville
The Vols set two records with their 29-0 win Saturday: The largest margin of victory in program history and the most runs in a game under coach Tony Vitello. The previous record for victory margin was 28, set in a 29-1 win against Morehead State on Feb. 14, 2004.
The previous record for runs under Vitello was 28, which UT set in a 28-3 win against Longwood on March 3, 2020.
UT is outscoring opponents 117-7 through seven games. UT has hit 24 homers, while allowing one.
Trey Lipscomb, national player of the week candidate
Trey Lipscomb had a nice start to the weekend when he knocked a two-run homer to the right center. He never stopped performing, hitting for the cycle Friday to start a monster series.
Lipscomb was 10-for-12 with two homers, 14 RBIs and five runs. He had three doubles and two triples. He fell a double short of the cycle Saturday.
The junior third baseman is off to a torrid start, hitting .586 and slugging 1.308. He has four homers and 20 RBIs. Lipscomb struck out for the first time this season Sunday, giving him one in 29 plate appearances.
Catching depth is a big development
Tennessee entered the offseason with one true catcher in Charlie Taylor, who redshirted in 2021. It has three now.
Evan Russell has played well as the starting catcher. Taylor has proven he is a steady backup. Jared Dickey is capable of pushing both.
“Probably the best part of what he has got going on is the rapport with our pitchers,” Vitello said of Russell.
Dickey started at catcher on Sunday while Russell got an opportunity in left field, his former position before moving to catcher. Taylor was unavailable to play Saturday and Sunday because of a minor injury. Vitello has called him a “reliable No. 2” at catcher.
“He has come a long way and he is really kind of Evan Russell 2.0,” Vitello said of Dickey. “He is a converted outfielder, who coach (Josh) Elander and really his teammates have helped make better back there.”
Dickey is hitting .800 with a pair of homers in 10 at-bats. Vitello called the redshirt freshman “a valuable utility player to the max.” Vitello also praised Dickey after UT’s opening series against Georgia Southern, saying he proved he was a legitimate backup catcher.
Chase Dollander will strike you out
Tennessee’s pitching had comfortable leads throughout the weekend, but continued a dominant start. The Vols have allowed runs in four of 61 innings.
Chase Dollander has pitched 10 of those innings and racked up 21 strikeouts. The Georgia Southern transfer had 11 strikeouts in his first start against his former team on Feb. 19. He had 10 in five innings Saturday.
“I feel like my stuff is playing really,” Dollander said.
Tennessee used 15 pitchers in the three games, spreading innings throughout its staff.
Mike Wilson covers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it.