NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee baseball took care of Vanderbilt 6-2 in the first game of a three-game series on Friday night in Nashville.
It didn't take long for tensions to run high in this game between the top-ranked Vols and ninth-ranked Commodores.
In the top of the first, right fielder Jordan Beck hit a home run to put the Vols up 1-0. Or so everyone thought. His bat was checked prior to the game and deemed usable. It was marked with a sticker to rule it eligible. Head coach Tony Vitello was furious and let the umpires know his thoughts.
Vitello said during the broadcast that the explanation given to him was the sticker fell off during batting practice, and so when the umpires inspected his bat after the home run they said it was illegal. The ESPN broadcasters said the bats still had stickers from the Vols' last game against Western Carolina.
The home run was taken off the board and the inning was over since there were two outs when Beck was up to bat.
In the top of the second inning, first baseman Luc Lipcius hit a two-run home run. The umpires didn't take that one off the board. Lipcius crossed home plate, grabbed his bat and inspected it himself as a joke. Tennessee went up 2-0.
In the fifth inning with the Vols up 2-1, second baseman Seth Stephenson made contact and sent the ball to the outfield. The Vanderbilt fielders couldn't track the ball in the lights and the ball hit the ground. That put a runner on second and third base for Tennessee.
Beck made another plate appearance and hit a double to bring both of those runs in. The Vols led 4-1.
Later in the inning, third baseman Trey Lipscomb hit one into the outfield and the Vanderbilt fielders couldn't locate the ball in the lights once again. Lipscomb tripled and brought in Beck for a run. Lipscomb scored to make it 6-1 on a wild pitch.
Tennessee is on a 17 game winning streak, which is the longest in program history.
The Vols and Commodores play again on Saturday at 8 p.m. Tennessee can clinch its first series win against Vanderbilt since 2016 with a win in that game.