Tennessee found itself looking for a much needed SEC win as they entered game one of a three game series with No. 13 Kentucky on Friday night.
Entering the series with the Wildcats there were only nine SEC games left in the regular season and the Vols were a game out of making the SEC Tournament. With a prime opportunity hosting six of their final nine SEC games the Vols where looking to start off the series with Kentucky with a bang.
It took a come from behind effort by UT, but the Vols got the win they were looking for in game one by a score of 6-2 to move to 9-13 in the SEC.
Kentucky would get out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Kole Cottam hit an RBI home-run that scored Troy Squires who had drawn a walk right before Cottam came up to bat.
Vols Starting pitcher Will Heflin would settle down a bit in the second inning as he walked one and had a second batter advance to first on a strike out swinging, however it was on a wild pitch and the batter would windup being safe at first base.
Despite the troubles Heflin got out of the inning without Kentucky recording a hit and leaving both runners on base.
The Vols offense would start to settle in in the second inning as well. Andre Lipcius lead off the inning with a single through the right side and would wind up scoring on a single to left field by Evan Russell to cut the Wildcats lead in half.
Heflin would get the first out of the third inning before being replaced by Zach Linginfelter.
Linginfelter would strikeout Cottam and walk Luke Heyer who would be caught stealing by Vols catcher Benito Santiago to end the inning.
The Vols offense would keep up their momentum from the second inning as Brandon Chinea would get a leadoff single to start off the UT half of the third inning.
Lipcius would then hit a RBI single through the right side to score Chinea a few batters later.
Linginfelter would settle into a grove for the Vols and shutout the Wildcats as he remained on the mound for UT until the ninth inning.
The Vols would take the lead in the bottom of the when Jay Charleston scored off of a Justin Ammons triple. Ammon would wind up scoring the Vols fourth run of the game when Lipcius singled to right field.
UT added a fifth run in the bottom of the sixth inning when Santiago scored from second base on a single by Nico Mascia.
Tennessee would add their sixth and final run of the game in the bottom of the seventh inning when Lipcius hit a solo home run to get the games to its final score of 6-2.
Linginfelter would windup with the win for the Vols after pitching five and two thirds innings allowing just two hits, while striking out seven and walking four batters. In the ninth inning Garrett Crochet would come in in relief of Linginfelter.
Crochet would recored his first save of the season and two strikeouts in his lone inning of work. For Linginfelter it would be his third win of the year and move his recored to 3-4.
For the Vols the win moves them into 12 place and for the moment into the 12 team field for the SEC Tournament.
Tennessee will enter Saturdays game just one game back of three teams with a 10-12 SEC record.
The Vols will have a chance to move higher into the SEC standings in game two of the series with Kentucky on Saturday with first pitch at 6 pm and game three set for Sunday at 1 pm.
Written by: Sam Forman
Edited by: Shea Payne