March 11, 2009
Tennessee dropped a 13-10 decision to the No. 30 Louisville Cardinals in their first extra inning game of the season Wednesday afternoon at Robert M. Lindsay Field at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Louisville right fielder Josh Richmond's three-run home run in the top of the 11th inning gave UL the victory after the Volunteers forced extra innings with a single run in the bottom of the ninth.
"We didn't play as good as we have but our fight was great," head coach Todd Raleigh said. "The biggest thing was our starting pitching the last two days has not gotten us very deep and when you start freshmen that is what happens. And when you combine that with four games last weekend, two this week and conference coming up, that handcuffed us a little bit. We just got to our bullpen too quick"
Right-hander Matt Ramsey (0-1, 5.62 ERA) went 2 1/3 innings for the Vols, allowing three runs on three hits while walking one and striking out three. Ramsey pitched scoreless ninth and 10th innings before surrendering the game-winning hit in the 11th.
Second baseman Cody Grisham's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth tied the game at 10-10 and sent the game into extra innings. Junior Jeff Lockwood doubled to center field with two outs and was replaced by pinch runner Will Locante. Locante then scored on Grisham's third hit of the day. Grisham finished the day 3-for-5 with four RBI, including his first home run of the season.
UL reliever Gabriel Shaw earned the victory after pitching the final two innings, shutting out the Vols on only one hit.
The Cardinals took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. First baseman Andrew Clark hit an RBI double to right center field to drive in second baseman Adam Duvall, who previously reached on a walk. Clark then advanced to third on a fly ball and scored on a wild pitch.
The Volunteers did not stay down long, scoring three runs in their half of the first inning. For the second time in two games, right fielder Josh Liles led off the game with a home run to left field. P.J. Polk and Kentrail Davis then followed with singles and Blake Forsythe walked to load the bases. Cody Hawn then grounded out to the first baseman, scoring Polk from third. Tyler Horne then singled through the right side to score Davis, giving the Vols a 3-2 lead.
Louisville tied the game at 3-3 with one run in the top of the second. Richmond singled, advanced to third on a single off the bat of center fielder Drew Hayes and the scored on an error.
The Cardinals took a 6-3 lead with three runs the visitor half of the third. After Clark and third baseman Chris Dominguez reached base on a walk and a hit by pitch, left fielder Phil Wunderlich doubled to left field, scoring Clark from second. Catcher Jeff Arnold then sent a two-RBI double to right field to send Dominguez and Wunderlich across the plate.
Grisham cut the Cardinals' lead to 6-5 with a solo home run over the wall in left field. Shortstop Zach Osborne scored on the home run after reaching base on a fielder's choice.
Tennessee tied the game at 6-6 in the bottom of the sixth inning. Grisham drove in his third run of the game with an RBI single to right field that drove in Horne.
The Volunteers took an 8-6 lead in the bottom of the seventh. UT broke the 6-6 tie on an RBI single off the bat of Hawn. Davis scored after reaching on a walk. Forsythe then scored from third on a wild pitch.
Louisville scored four runs in the top of the eighth inning to take a 10-8 lead. Wunderlich led off the inning with a home run to right field. Richmond followed with a double to left field. Shortstop Ryan Wright singled him in to tie the game at 8-8. Then after putting runners on first and second, Cardinal second baseman Adam Duvall ripped a two-run double to right center field, scoring Wright and center fielder Drew Haynes.
Tennessee added a run in the eighth inning to cut Louisville's lead to 10-9. Liles singled to left field, stole second base and advanced to third on an error. Davis then drove Liles in an RBI single to right field. Davis went 3-for-5 on the day with a RBI and two runs.
Tennessee starting pitcher Steven Gruver pitch 2-2/3 innings, allowing six run on five hits while walking two and striking out four. Junior right-hander Aaron Tullo gave up two runs on three hits through 4-2/3 innings. Tullo walked one and struck out five. Left-hander Bryan Morgado faced one batter in the eighth before being replaced by Danny Wiltz. Wiltz pitched two-thirds of an inning, surrendering one hit. Ryne Simpson pitched the final two outs of the 11th inning.
Louisville pitcher Mike Nastold lasted two innings in his second start of the season. The freshman surrendered three runs on four hits while walking two. Six other Cardinal relievers saw action out of the bullpen.
The Tennessee Volunteers open Southeastern conference play this weekend when they host the Auburn Tigers for a three-game weekend series. Games time are scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.