UT junior P.J. Polk extended his hitting streak to seven games with a 2-for-3, four RBI, three run effort
April 1, 2010
By Cameron Harris, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee baseball team scored at least two runs in every inning it came to bat and had five different players hit home runs as it defeated Presbyterian College, 25-6, Wednesday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville. All nine Volunteer starters had at least one hit and scored a run in the contest, as UT tallied its eighth-highest single-game run total in school history.
"Obviously, we swung the bats well tonight," UT Head Coach Todd Raleigh said. "I think we're in a good place right now offensively going back to the last two games against LSU. We got some guys going and I think we're doing a better job of seeing the ball.
"If we keep putting ourselves in a position to win, then we will. We go into the seventh, eighth, ninth inning of every game down a run, our bullpen has to pitch better. Our starting pitch has been awesome. We need to score a few more runs. On Friday night, we go against one of the nation's best pitchers, so it's going to be a battle."
By the end of the night, the Big Orange saw its team batting average rise 11 points, going from .269 to .280. Juniors Khayyan Norfork and Matt Duffy paced the offensive attack with three hits each, while juniors P.J. Polk, Blake Forsythe and Josh Liles, sophomore Matt Ramsey and freshman Cody Stubbs each added a pair of hits.
Forsythe, Ramsey, Polk, Hamaker and Norfork all blasted home runs in the contest and Polk and Duffy topped the team with four RBIs each, while Norfork and Ramsey both knocked in three runs. Junior Cody Hawn was just 1-for-2 in the victory but walked a career-high four times, finishing just one off the school record of five set by Chase Headley and J.P. Arencibia. Freshman Andy Yates even got in on the action, notching a single in his first collegiate at-bat.
Polk's 2-for-4 effort extended his hitting streak to a season-best seven games, and his home run in the third inning made him the first Tennessee player to hit a longball in three consecutive games since Shawn Griffin did so in four straight contests from April 5-8, 2008.
The 25 runs scored by the Vols on Wednesday marked the most during Raleigh's tenure in Knoxville by six as they set the previous high with 19 against Binghamton earlier this season. The last time a Tennessee team scored 25 runs came against Radford on March 11, 2005.
Lost in all the offensive excitement was another strong performance by the Orange and White pitching staff. Junior Rob Catapano improved to 3-0 on the year with four strong innings of work, allowing three runs on four hits while striking out a season-high five. Redshirt junior D.J. Leffler and redshirt freshman Hunter Daniel both added two frames of shutout relief to the victory as they combined to strike out five, walk just one and not allow a hit.
The Big Orange opened up an 11-0 lead with two runs in the first, three in the second and six in the third before the Blue Hose were able to crack the scoreboard. After allowing PC to score three in the top of the fourth, UT responded with two in its half of the inning, five more in the fifth and a two-spot in the sixth to go up 20-3. Presbyterian College was able to scratch across three more in the top of the seventh, but the Vols just kept rolling with two of their own in the bottom of the frame and three more in the eighth to bring the score to its final tally.
In all, Tennessee scored 26 runs on a season-high 22 hits and one PC error, while the Blue Hose brought six runners home on six hits. UT also continued its stellar defensive play, recording its 12th errorless game of the 2010 campaign and fifth in the last seven contests.
The Vols will look to take their hot bats to Oxford, Miss., this weekend for a three-game set against No. 11 Ole Miss, beginning with a 6:30 p.m. CT match-up on Friday, April 2. UT will also square off against the Rebels at 4 p.m. CT the following day before closing out the series at 1:30 p.m. CT on Sunday with a contest set to be televised on SportSouth. For more information on Tennessee baseball, visit UTSports.com or follow @VolBaseball on Twitter.