Tennessee beats Florida to win SEC Baseball Tournament
HOOVER, Ala. — Join hundreds of other Tennessee fans in our game thread where you can follow along for live play-by-play updates and commentary as No. 1 Tennessee (52-7) takes on Florida in the SEC Tournament Championship Game.
The Vols are looking to win their first SEC Tournament since 1995.
First pitch: 3 p.m. ET
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Here’s four quick takeaways from Tennessee’s 8-5 win over Florida on Sunday to win the SEC Tournament:
Rounding 1st — Tennessee wins the SEC Tourney
Tennessee's win over the Gators on Sunday secured its first SEC Baseball Tournament Championship since the tournament expanded in 1995 following division tournaments.
The Vols had previously won the SEC East Tournament in 1993, 1994 and 1995, but never had won an SEC Tourney that consisted of all the teams in the league.
Tennessee is the first school to win both the SEC Baseball and SEC Basketball tournament in the same year since the SEC implemented the basketball tournament once again in 1979.
The Vols also became the fourth SEC baseball team to outright win both the SEC regular-season title and the SEC Tournament in the same year since the league adopted the “Omaha” bracket in 1998.
Rounding 2nd — Vols break it open
Tennessee struggled at the plate for most of its win over the Gators. It struggled specifically with situational hitting for the first four innings, and as a result, the game was scoreless entering the fifth.
Thats when the Vols exploded for four runs to take a 4-0 lead. After Seth Stephenson executed a squeeze bunt to get the Vols on the board, Drew Gilbert smoked a bases-clearing double to give them a 4-0 lead.
Tennessee scored three more runs an inning later to take a commanding 7-0 lead. It did so courtesy of a Stephenson RBI double, as well as a two-run Luc Lipcius double, respectively.
The Gators would combine to score five runs in the eighth and ninth inning, but the Vols' seven runs over the fifth and sixth inning were too much to overcome.
Rounding 3rd — Sewell starts
Senior right-hander Camden Sewell texted Tony Vitello Sunday morning asking to get the baseball and start against Florida in the title game. Vitello obliged and Sewell proceeded to pitch five scoreless innings to lead the Vols to a win.
Sewell improved to 7-1 on the season with his 5.0 innings of work. He gave up six hits, but didn't allow a walk and struck out one on 61 pitches. 42 of Sewell's pitches were strikes.
Headed for Home — Up Next
Tennessee now turns its attention to the NCAA Tournament. It was announced on Sunday night by the NCAA that the Vols will host the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament next weekend in Knoxville.
The full bracket will be released at 12 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
Tennessee's starting pitcher: Senior RHP Camden Sewell (6-1, 2.93 ERA, .95 WHIP) made his first start of the season and his 24th appearance.
Sewell's season stats entering the game: 43.0 IP, 33 H, 15 R, 14 ER, 8 BB, 40 K, .214 opponent batting average
Florida's starting pitcher: Freshman LHP Carsten Finnvold (1-0, 16.62 ERA, 2.77 WHIP) made his first start start of the season and his fifth appearance.
Finnvold's season stats entering the game: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 6 BB, 3 K, .316 opponent batting average
T-1st: Tennessee 0, Florida 0
Jordan Beck walked with two outs, but Drew Gilbert struck out to end the inning.
B-1st: Tennessee 0, Florida 0
Florida's Sterlin Thompson singled with one out, but Camden Sewell bounced back with a strikeout and a pop up to second to end the inning and strand Thompson after he stole second.
T-2nd: Tennessee 0, Florida 0
Tennessee wasted Trey Lipscomb being hit by a pitch and taking second on a wild pitch to lead off the second inning. With Lipscomb on second, Jorel Ortega grounded out to third, Evan Russell struck out and Blake Burke struck out to end the inning.
B-2nd: Tennessee 0, Florida 0
Gators designated hitter Jac Caglianone singled with one out in the second. Sewell responded with a fly ball to right and a ground ball to second to get out of the inning.
T-3rd: Tennessee 0, Florida 0
Tennessee wasted a lead off Cortland Lawson triple in the third. After Lawson nearly hit a solo homer, Seth Stephenson popped up to second, Luc Lipcius popped up to third and Jordan Beck struck out looking to end the inning.
B-3rd: Tennessee 0, Florida 0
Evan Russell threw out Sterlin Thompson trying to steal second after the Gators' second baseman singled with one out.
T-4th: Tennessee 0, Florida 0
Trey Lipscomb walked with one out before being doubled up when he took for for second when Jorel Ortega popped up in the infield, and Lipscomb couldn't find the ball.
B-4th: Tennessee 0, Florida 0
After Ty Evans singled with one out and stole second, the Gator right fielder advanced to third on a ground ball to third that Trey Lipscomb made a nice diving stop on. Luc Lipcius also did a great job of scooping Lipscomb's throw for the second out.
Sewell then got Florida designated hitter Jac Caglianone to fly out to deep left to end the inning and strand Evans on third.
T-5th: Tennessee 4 (+4), Florida 0
Tennessee scored four runs on three hits and one Florida error in the top of the fifth inning.
Evan Russell got it going when he reached second on a throwing error by Gators third baseman Colby Halter to lead off the inning. After Blake Burke singled to put runners on the corners, Seth Stephenson laid down a beautiful squeeze bunt to score Russell from third.
Burke and Stephenson were then able to advance to second and third on a wild pitch. Florida elected to intentionally walk Jordan Beck to load the bases and pitch to Drew Gilbert. The Vols' centerfielder then smoked a bases-clearing double to left field that made it a 4-0 ball game.
B-5th: Tennessee 4, Florida 0
After a pair of two-out singles from the Gators, Camden Sewell got a fly ball to left field to end the inning and strand the pair.
T-6th: Tennessee 7 (+3), Florida 0
The Vols opened the game up in the sixth inning when they scored three runs on three hits.
After Jorel Ortega doubled and Evan Russell walked to lead off the inning, Seth Stephenson would eventually hit a two-out RBI double down the left field line to score Ortega. Luc Lipcius then cleared the bases with a two-run double that made it 7-0.
B-6th: Tennessee 7, Florida 0
Florida catcher BT Riopelle singled to lead off the sixth, but was immediately doubled off on a weak pop out to second base.
T-7th: Tennessee 7, Florida 0
Trey Lipscomb singled and Jorel Ortega walked to put a pair on in the seventh with one out. Evan Russell then grounded into a double play to end the inning.
T-8th: Tennessee 7, Florida 0
After Seth Stephenson singled and reached second on a throwing error, Luc Lipcius struck out to end the inning.
B-8th: Tennessee 7, Florida 3 (+3)
The Gators spoiled the shutout in the bottom of the eighth, scoring three runs on four hits.
Ben Joyce entered in the eighth to pitch for the Vols and gave up a lead off walk. Gators catcher BT Riopelle hit a two-run home run to spoil the Tennessee shutout and make it a 7-2 game.
Tony Vitello then went to Zander Sechrist out of the bullpen, who gave up a double and a single to the only two batters he face. With runners on the corners and one out, Vitello brought in Kirby Connell.
The lefty immediately picked up a strikeout for the second out, and then after an RBI single made it 7-3, Connell got a ground ball to third to end the inning and prevent further damage.
T-9th: Tennessee 8 (+1), Florida 3
Drew Gilbert crushed a solo home run to right field in the top of the ninth inning to push the Vols' lead back to five, 8-3.
B-9th: Tennessee 8, Florida 5 (+2)
Florida scored two runs in the ninth on two hits and one Tennessee error before Redmond Walsh got the final out on a fly ball to left field to win the SEC Baseball Tournament.
Final Box Score
Where Tennessee is ranked this week:
Perfect Game: No. 1 (-)
USA Today Coaches Poll: No. 1 (-)
D1Baseball: No. 1 (-)
Collegiate Baseball: No. 1 (-)
NCBWA: No. 1 (-)
Baseball America: No. 1 (-)
This Week's Schedule
Thursday, May 26
SEC Tournament – 8-seed Vanderbilt (1) vs. 1-seed Tennessee (10)
Friday, May 27
SEC Tournament – 4-seed LSU (2) vs. 1-seed Tennessee (5)
Saturday, May 28
SEC Tournament – 1-seed Tennessee (12) vs. 12-seed Kentucky (2)
Sunday, May 29
SEC Tournament Title Game – 1-seed Tennessee (8) vs. 7-seed Florida (5)