Tennessee routs UNC Asheville at home

Cory Sanning

19th-ranked Tennessee baseball was back at it again on Wednesday.

Hosting UNC Asheville at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in frigid temperatures, it seemed the weather was the only aspect of the game that was cold for the Vols.

Behind an emphatic showing at the bats, Tennessee (9-0) routed the Bulldogs 12-1 and have outscored its opponents 101-16 over the program's last nine games. It also marks the best single-season start under head coach Tony Vitello.

Junior Alerick Soularie got the scoring started for the Vols with a solo home run during the second inning that not only got UT on the board first, but opened the flood gates. 

The preseason All-American had been just 4-for-25 at bat through nine games.

RBI hits from Jake Rucker and Zach Daniels in the third inning extended Tennessee's lead to before an emphatic showing in the sixth and seventh. The Vols totaled nine runs during that span, spearheaded by home runs from Evan Russell and Connor Pavalony.

Liam Spence and Pete Derkay also joined in on the action, driving in three runs in the seventh inning to cap off an impressive spurt for UT.

It wasn't just the plate where the Vols impressed the most, either.

Freshman pitcher Mark McLaughlin recorded the first of his collegiate career, pitching five shutout innings while giving up just one hit and logging five strikeouts. 

Tennessee will be back in action on Friday as it welcomes George Washington to Knoxville for a three-game series at home. First pitch is scheduled for Friday at 4 p.m. ET.

All games can be streamed on SEC Network+ and the ESPN app. 

Photo courtesy of Tennessee athletics

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