March 15, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Strong pitching and a five-run third inning led Tennessee to a 7-1 victory over Auburn in the second game of Sunday's doubleheader at Robert M. Lindsay Field at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The victory gives the Vols' their first conference win of the season and evens their record at 8-8 (1-2 SEC).
"We needed this win," head coach Todd Raleigh said. "It was a weird series. We left 16 on to their six in the first two games, we out hit them; we did not make an error. I can't remember the last time we went a whole series without making one error. It's hard to pinpoint one thing. I think we could have won three, feel like we should have won two. You have to give them credit, they did not make a lot of errors, but today's win was big for us."
The Volunteers took a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning and would not look back. After left fielder P.J. Polk followed up shortstop Zach Osborne's walk with a single, right fielder Josh Liles drove in his 13th run of the year with a single up the middle. Kentrail Davis then doubled down the left-field line to score Polk. Liles then scored on a ground out by Cody Hawn. Catcher Blake Forsythe then hit his ninth home run of the year, a line drive, two-run home run to right field.
Right-hander Stephen McCray (3-0) pitched five innings in his fourth start of the year for Tennessee. McCray limited the Tigers to one run on three hits while walking two and striking out three.
Auburn hurler Paul Burnside (0-1) went 3-1/3 innings, surrendering six runs on seven hits while striking out one and issuing one walk. Michael Hurst and Rus Harper pitched the final 2-2/3 innings out of the bullpen.
Auburn got on the board with a run in the top of the fourth inning. Third baseman Joseph Sanders led off the fourth inning with a double. He advanced to third on a groundout and then scored on a balk by McCray.
Tennessee extended its lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the fourth. Osborne singled to right field and then advanced into scoring position by stealing second. Right fielder Liles then drove in Osborne for his second run of the game with a single to right field.
The Tigers threatened in the top of the sixth inning, putting runners at second and third with no outs. Left-hander Bryan Morgado came out of the bullpen to replace McCray and struck out the side to end the inning and the Auburn threat.
UT third basemen Tyler Horne gave the Vols a 7-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth when he sent his second home run of the year over the wall in left field.
Volunteer right-hander Danny Wiltz pitched a scoreless seventh, retiring the Tigers in order to secure the victory.
Tennessee wraps up its 12-game homestand when it welcomes two non-conference opponents to Lindsey Nelson Stadium this week. The Vols will matchup with No. 17 Coastal Carolina at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. Tuesday's game will be the Vols second game against the Chanticleers this season. Tennessee will wear green jerseys in honor of St. Patrick's Day. The Vols will then host Tennessee Tech at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, their first midweek, night game of the season.