March 18, 2009
A four-run fifth inning and strong defense combined to give Tennessee a 7-5 over Tennessee Tech on Wednesday night at Robert M. Lindsay Field at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Designated hitter Cody Brown and shortstop Zach Osborne combined to go 3-for-6 with four RBIs for the Vols.
Tennessee (9-9, 1-2 SEC) did not commit an error and turned three double plays during the game, one each in the fourth, eighth and ninth innings.
Senior right-hander Ryne Simpson (1-0) earned the victory for Tennessee after pitching one scoreless inning. Simpson allowed a hit to the first batter that he faced before retiring the next three in order. Fellow senior Ty'Relle Harris earned his first save of the year after pitching the final three outs of the game.
Golden Eagle pitcher Blake Forst (0-1) pitched one-third of an inning, allowed two runs (one earned) without giving up a hit. He walked two and struck out none. Starting pitcher Chad Oberaker gave up three runs on four hits through four innings, while walking six and striking out two.
The Volunteers took a 5-3 lead with four runs in the fifth and would not trail again. After loading the bases with no outs on three straight walks, first baseman Cody Hawn walked to drive in right fielder Josh Liles. Brown then hit a sacrifice fly to right field to drive in his second run of the game. Third baseman Mike Hornsby then reached base on a fielding error, scoring catcher Blake Forsythe from third. Osborne followed with a single to drive in his fourth run of the season.
Tennessee Tech took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning when first baseman A.J. Kirby-Jones hit a two-run home run to right-center field.
Tennessee got a run in the bottom of the third to make the score 2-1. Brown singled up the middle with the bases loaded scoring sophomore Kentrail Davis from third.
The Golden Eagles tallied a run in the top of the fifth inning to take a 3-1 lead. After back-to-back singles to lead off the inning, Kirby-Jones drove in his third run of the game with an RBI single back up the middle to drive in center fielder Alex Henry.
TTU cut the Vols' lead to 5-4 when Kirby-Jones hit his second home run of the game over the batters' eye in center field. The sophomore finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs and 4 RBIs.
Tennessee regained its two-run lead 6-4 in the bottom of seventh when Osborne hit a sacrifice fly to left field, driving home Brown who reached on an error.
The Volunteers added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth to go ahead 7-4. Forsythe scored on a balk by pitcher Lee Henry after reaching base on a stand-up triple to center.
Alex Henry scored the Golden Eagles last run of the game in the top of the ninth, scoring from third on a double-play grounder to second.
Hornsby replaced Tyler Horne, who started the game at third, in the top of the fifth inning when Horne excited the game after being shaken up on a play at third base.
Tennessee starter Steven Gruver allowed two runs on three hits in one inning pitched. Freshman Adam Adkins threw the next three innings for the Vols, giving up one run on four hits while striking out five and walking two. Aaron Tullo and Jeff Lockwood also appeared out of the bullpen for UT.
The Volunteers return to action this weekend when they travel to Gainesville, Fla., for a three-game series against the Florida Gators. Game times are set for 6:30 p.m. Eastern time Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Friday night's game will be regionally televised in Florida on the SUN Sports network.