Blake Forsythe (11)
Feb. 27, 2009
The Tennessee baseball team dropped an 11-6 decision to West Virginia on Friday afternoon at BB&T Coastal Field in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Volunteers battled back from down 6-0 to tie the game with six runs in the fifth inning, but with one run in the seventh and four more in the ninth, the Mountaineers came away with the victory.
With the loss, the Vols fall to 1-3 on the season, despite their best offensive production of the season, six runs on 11 hits.
West Virginia catcher Tobias Streich broke the 6-6 tie with a solo home run to left field in the top of the seventh inning of Tennessee pitcher Aaron Tullo.
The Vols threatened in the sixth and eighth innings, loading the bases twice but were unable to come up with the big hit. Tennessee continues to struggle hitting with runners on the bases, leaving 12 runners on base.
WVU reliever Chris Enorato picked up his first victory of the season after pitching 4-1/2 innings of relief for the Mountaineers. Tullo took the loss for the Volunteers. In his first Tennessee appearance, he allowed only one run on two hits through four innings of work. The junior also struck out two and walked one.
Tennessee rallied with six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game at 6-6. The Vols scored five runs on six hits and sent 11 batters to the plate. Catcher Blake Forsythe got the scoring started when he lead off the inning with a solo home run to right field, his second of the season. First basemen Cody Hawn provided the big blow of the inning, a grand slam over the wall in center field. Hawn drove in second basemen Cody Brown, left fielder P.J. Polk and center field Kentrail Davis who reached two singles and a walk. The homerun was Hawn's first of the season and gives him seven RBI on the season. Forsythe, batting for the second time in the inning, then singled to left field to drive in Liles who reached base on a walk and then stole second.
The Mountaineers scored three runs in the third inning to take a 6-0 lead. Shortstop Jedd Gyorko led off the inning with a single up the middle. Second basemen Vince Belnome then scarified him over to second where he was driven in by a double deep to left-center field by first basemen Joe Argreste. Agreste moved up to third on a wild pitch before scoring on an error off the bat of right fielder Grant Buckner. third basemen Dan DiBartolomeo then doubled down the left-field line to drive in Buckner for the Mountaineers third run of the inning.
West Virginia added two more runs in the top of the second inning, extending its lead to 3-0. Buckner doubled, followed by a walk to DiBartolomeo. A groundout to second by designated hitter Justin Ellis, advanced the runners to second and third, respectively. Left fielder Justin Parks then tripled down the right field line, scoring both Buckner and DiBartolomeo.
The Mountaineers took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a fielders' choice off the bat of Streich. West Virginia loaded the bases with only one out before Streich's grounder to short drove in center fielder Austin Markel. Markel reached base on a walk.
Tennessee starter Bryan Morgado pitched three innings, allowing six runs (four earned) on six hits while striking out three and walking three. Will Locante, Ty'Relle Harris and Ryne Simpson also saw action out of the bullpen for the Vols.
West Virginia starting pitcher Jarryd Summers gave up five runs through 4-2/3 innings, giving up six hits while walking two and striking out one.
The Vols action at the 2009 Baseball at the Beach tournament continues tonight as they take on Coastal Carolina at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time. Left-handed pitcher Nick Hernandez (0-0, 5.40 ERA) will take the mound for Tennessee against right-hander Andrew Fleet (1-0, 1.50 ERA).