April 3, 2010
By Cameron Harris, Assistant Media Relations
OXFORD, Miss. - Despite scoring more runs off Ole Miss starter Drew Pomeranz than any other team this season and rallying from three down to tie the score in the fifth inning, the University of Tennessee baseball team couldn't hold the Rebels off the board late and dropped a 7-3 decision Friday night at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field in Oxford, Miss.
Freshman Chris Fritts hit the second home run of his collegiate career, while junior Matt Duffy finished the contest 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. P.J. Polk was also able to extend his hitting streak to a season-best eight games with a single in the fourth and Blake Forsythe tied his career high with three walks.
Junior Bryan Morgado suffered the loss for the Volunteers after allowing six runs on 10 hits in six innings of work. He struck out seven and walked four on a season-high 114 pitches, including 72 strikes.
UT also got strong performances out of the bullpen from redshirt junior D.J. Leffler and sophomore Dylan Hochevar as both recorded a pair of outs without allowing a run. For Leffler, it was his third scoreless appearance in as many games, while both of Hochevar's outs came via a strikeout.
Although he ended up with the win, the Big Orange got to Pomeranz for three earned runs, two more than any other team this season, on five hits. He also walked a career-high six batters in the contest, while matching Morgado with seven punchouts in seven innings.
Ole Miss struck the first blow of the game, scoring a run in the bottom of the second. The Vols were fortunate to keep it to just a single tally though, as the Rebels put runners on the corners with nobody out after a leadoff walk and a Texas League single down the line in right. Following a brief conversation with UT pitching coach Jason Beverlin, Morgado induced a textbook 4-6-3 to get a pair of outs, but it also allowed the runner to come home to score for the first run of the game.
The Rebels added two more in the next frame, going ahead 3-0 following three singles, a bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice fly. The Vols were not going to go away that easily though and they stormed back to tie the game at 3-3 with two runs in the fourth and another in the top of the fifth.
In the fourth, Polk got things rolling with a first-pitch single through the left side of the infield for UT's first hit of the game. Fellow classmate Khayyan Norfork followed by lacing a liner to center to put two on with nobody out. Although Pomeranz got junior Cody Hawn swinging for the first out, a walk to Forsythe loaded the bases. Once again, Pomeranz got a big out via a strikeout, this time by Josh Liles, but Duffy came through with a clutch, two-out single to bring home two runs.
Now down by just one, the Vols tied things up on the second pitch of the fifth inning as Fritts powered one deep down the left-field line to knot the game up at 3-3 with his second home run of the year.
It did not remain tied for long, however, as Ole Miss answered with a solo home run by Matt Smith in the bottom of the fifth and a two-run shot by Tim Ferguson in the sixth to go up by three, 6-3. Taylor Hightower added an RBI single in the seventh to account for the final score.
UT will look to get back on track at 4 p.m. CT on Saturday before closing out the series at 1:30 p.m. CT on Sunday with a contest set to be televised on SportSouth. UT's Bob Kesling and Rusty Ensor will be on the call. For more information on Tennessee baseball, visit UTSports.com or follow @VolBaseball on Twitter.