Freshmen Dominate in Tennessee’s secondhome bout of the season, take down ETSU

Photo Credit: Ian Cox/ Tennessee Athletics

By Jace Brown

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – There were great showings all around for Tennessee on
Wednesday night, especially from the talented freshman class that put on a clinic in
Tennessee’s 16-0 run rule win over ETSU.

Freshman left-hander Matthew Dallas made his first career start for the Vols (4-1) and
allowed just two Buccaneers to reach base. Dallas pushed across three strikeouts with
one walk before leaving the game in the hands of fellow freshman and Pigeon Forge,
Tennessee, native, Dylan Loy.

Loy was credited with the win despite pitching in solely in the fourth inning. Loy faced
three batters, striking out two and picking off the lone man to reach base with a slick
pick-off move.

The Tennessee pitching staff allowed just one hit on the night, but sturdy defensive play
all over the field saved it from a few more. Outfielder Reese Chapman subbed in to the
outfield and immediately made a diving catch along the right center field wall to save an
extra base knock.

Pitching aided the Vols in their rout of the Buccaneers (3-1), but the offense flexed its

Coming off Tuesday night’s performance where they plated three runs against a winless
UNC-Asheville, Tennessee piled on 11 runs in the third inning and dropped in four more
throughout the remainder of the contest.

Tennessee’s Cannon Peebles, Kavares Tears, and Robin Villeneuve all dropped in one
RBI apiece before the home run factory that is Lindsey Nelson Stadium came into play.

Freshman infielder Dean Curley made his presence known in his first-ever appearance
and start for the Big Orange. In his second at-bat of the day, Curley sent a 3-run laser
over the left-centerfield wall to grow Tennessee’s lead to seven. In the sixth, Curley was
just shy of another home run, sending a long ball off the top of the wall before racing
around the bags for a standup triple.

“I think the better debut would’ve been if it would’ve come earlier,” said Tennessee head
coach Tony Vitello about Dean Curley. “Results don’t always reflect the work that’s
been put in or the talent that’s there… it’s one more thing that I think gives our club

That would not be the only home run of the contest, let alone the inning.

Three batters later, following a Hunter Ensley RBI single, infielder Christian Moore
blasted one off the batter’s eye for his first home run of the season and grew the lead to
double digits.

Tennessee found itself immediately back in scoring position thanks to a double smacked
into right field by Blake Burke. Billy Amick followed that up with the longest (and likely
hardest) hit ball of the night, sending the ball over all three levels of the left field

“Billy (Amick) got me pretty good one time,” said tonight’s starter Dallas about their
head-to-heads in practice. “First pitch fastball right down the middle, he’s got me every
single time and hit it 440. I knew it right off the bat… it’s like you try not to look at it.”

There was another late game knock off the bat of Colby Backus. In his second at-bat of
the night, he nailed one to dead center and basked in its glory as it scraped over ETSU
center fielder tommy Barth’s glove and out of the ballpark. Backus, a junior, marked up
his first home run as a Vol.

It was a night of redemption after a lackluster showing during Tuesday’s game with all
facets looking in mint condition. The Vols look to keep the train rolling for the remainder
of this 15-game homestand with a weekend series versus the University of Albany.
Game one is Friday, February 23rd at 4:30 ET from Lindsey Nelson Stadium.