March 23, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Both Scott Price and Ethan Bennett hit their first home runs of the season in the second game of Tennessee's doubleheader against Missouri on Saturday, but the Tigers scored multiple runs in each of the first four innings en route to claiming the series finale, 14-6, at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Having won Friday night's opener, 4-0, and walking off with a 7-6 triumph in the first game on Saturday, the Vols still won the weekend series. They are now 13-10 on the year and have an even 3-3 record in Southeastern Conference play. Missouri's record now stands at 8-12, 2-4.
"Coach Bergeron said it perfect [in the team huddle after the game], if we would have gotten blown out in the first game of the doubleheader and then left it all on the field in the second game we wouldn't be saying this is a disappointing feeling. We would be pretty elated that we won the series," UT head coach Dave Serrano said. "I'm not sugar-coating anything because that was an absolute massacre from their offensive standpoint to our pitching staff, but we won the series and we took a step forward. We are 3-3 [in the SEC]. I'm not proud of it but if you look at the standings, everyone's about the same. We just need to get better on the mound. We're not good enough on the mound right now and there's no way around that right now or anything to sugar-coat with that."
After be shut out on Friday night and an emotional walk-off win by the Vols in the opening game of Saturday's doubleheader, Missouri came out looking for revenge in game two. The Tigers got it early and often, scoring 12 runs with multiple tallies in each of the first four innings.
With the Tigers holding a commanding lead, UT took advantage of a Missouri error with two outs to cut into that advantage. Maddox reached on the miscue by the MU first baseball and Taylor Smart followed with a single. Price then took a 1-0 pitch and crushed it over the wall in right-center, just under the retired jersey of former Vol first baseman Todd Helton, for a three-run home run, his first in the Orange and White.
Bennett followed suit in the bottom of the eighth, bringing the tally on the scoreboard to its final resting place with a two-out, two-strike moonshot that landed on "The Porch" in left field. While it was his first of the season, it was his 12th longball in three years as a Volunteer.
Coming into the day, UT had hit just two home runs on the year. Including Vincent Jackson's first career blast in the opening game of the doubleheader, the Vols more than doubled that total on Saturday alone, hitting three.
Bennett, Stewart and freshman A.J. Simcox all finished with two hits in the contest and freshman Davis Aiken made his collegiate debut, appearing as a pinch hitter and playing right field. He became the 17th freshman to see action for the Big Orange this season, further increasing their nation-leading total.
Tennessee will return to the diamond on Tuesday when it welcomes Tennessee Tech to Rocky Top for a 6 p.m. contest at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
For more information about the Tennessee baseball program, visit UTSports.com/Baseball, follow @Vol_Baseball and like the Vols at Facebook.com/VolBaseball. To purchase tickets to upcoming games, go to UTTix.com.