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Tennessee Baseball heads to Lexington for top five showdown in series with Kentucky

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The Diamond Vols hit six home runs Tuesday night to crush Bellarmine 20-5, extending their winning streak to seven games. Blake Burke hit a grand slam in the second inning, his 13th home run of the season and 43rd of his career. This weekend, Tennessee Baseball heads to Lexington to face the No. 3 ranked Kentucky Wildcats. Here are a few things to watch for during this important series. 

Blake Burke continues to make Tennessee Baseball history

Not only does Burke hold the Tennessee career record for home runs, but he also brings a 27-game hitting streak into this weekend’s matchup. This is the longest active streak in college baseball and tied for the longest in Tennessee Baseball history, set in 1975. A hit for Burke Friday night will break the almost 50-year-old record. 

SEC no problem for the Wildcats

Kentucky is currently 14-1 in SEC play this season. However, Tennessee has taken six of the last 10 meetings. Home field is a huge advantage with Kentucky leading 81-74 in games played in Lexington. 

Cats on the prowl

Swinging hot bats for Kentucky are the Ryans – junior Waldschmidt and senior Nicholson. In Tuesday’s instate win over Louisville, Waldschmidt hit two home runs and led the team with six RBIs. Nicholson has hit a home run in four straight games. He has racked up seven home runs in his last six games. 

Solid pitching from both Tennessee Baseball and Kentucky

The probable pitching matchups have been released and both Tennessee and Kentucky starters come into play with winning records and impressive ERAs. Especially notable is Sunday’s starter for the Wildcats, Mason Moore, who has a 7-0 record and an ERA of 3.45. 

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Bottom line

This series against Kentucky could be one of the most important of the season. The Vols currently trail the Wildcats by four games in the SEC East standings. A series win will certainly cut into that lead as Tennessee Baseball looks to take over first place.

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