Vols Tie Strikeout Record in Series-Clinching Win Over Indiana

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A complete performance from the offense and the pitching staff led Tennessee to a 11-0 shutout and a series-clinching victory over Indiana on Saturday evening at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Despite first pitch being delayed over two hours because of heavy rain in the area, Vols’ starting pitcher Zach Linginfelter was dominant from the start, striking out 13 batters (one off his career high) while allowing just two hits in six shutout innings. UT’s pitchers combined to strike out 21 Indiana batters on the day, tying the single-game program record that was set on May 18 of last year at Missouri.
Middle infielders Jake Rucker and Ricky Martinez led the Vols at the plate, finishing with two hits and two RBI each. Martinez also scored a pair of runs. Evan Russell continued to hammer the ball with two more doubles, bringing his season total to six.
The Vols jumped out top an early lead for the second day in a row, scoring twice in the bottom of the second inning. Martinez used his speed to record an infield single that brought home Russell to open the scoring. One batter later, an error by Indiana’s shortstop allowed Connor Pavolony to score from second and give UT a 2-0 lead.
The Big Orange tacked on two runs in the fourth to increase the lead to 4-0. Rucker laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to score Martinez from third, and after a walk to Justin AmmonsJay Charleston ripped a 2-1 pitch to left center to bring in Luc Lipcius from second.
Tennessee exploded for four more runs in the fifth to blow the game open. Martinez and Rucker both had RBI hits in the inning while an error and a wild pitch allowed the other two runs to cross the plate to make it 8-0. UT added a run in the seventh and two more in the eighth to cap the scoring.
Hoosiers’ starter Tanner Gordon was roughed up in 4.1 innings of work, allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits while also walking four batters. The bullpen didn’t fare any better, giving up six runs over the final 3.2 innings.
Tennessee relievers Chase WallaceCamden Sewell and Chase Silseth allowed just one hit and combined for eight strikeouts in three scoreless innings. The Vols’ bullpen has yet to give up a run and has allowed just three hits this season.
The Orange and White have now outscored their opponents 45-1 through six games this year while allowing only 22 hits in that span.
SWING AND A MISS: The Vols’ pitching staff had another incredible performance on Saturday, especially in the strikeout department. Tennessee tied the single-game program record for strikeouts in a game with 21, a record that was set in the final series of the season last year at Missouri. UT has struck out 74 batters over 54.0 innings pitched this season while allowing just one run and 22 hits in that same span.
Hard-throwing junior Zach Linginfelter finished one strikeout away from tying his career high of 14 that he set in the aforementioned game at Missouri last year. The trio of Chase WallaceCamden Sewell and Chase Silseth combined for eight strikeouts out of the bullpen.
RUCKER HAS BREAKOUT PERFORMANCE: Freshman second baseman Jake Rucker had a breakout performance in Friday’s win, finishing the day 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI. Rucker also had a hit in Friday’s series opener.
UP NEXT: The Vols will go for their second straight series sweep in Sunday’s series finale, which is slated to start at 1 p.m. Tickets are available at AllVols.com and the Lindsey Nelson Stadium ticket office.