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Strong Outing by Steven Gruver Not Enough as Vols Drop 2-0 Decision to No. 3 South Carolina



April 8, 2011


By Cameron Harris, Assistant Media Relations Director

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
R
H
E
SC
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
-
-
-
2
7
0
UT
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
-
-
-
0
3
2
Pitching
IP
H
R
ER
BB
SO
W - Holmes
7.0
3
0
0
0
7
L - Gruver
8.0
7
2
2
1
4
SV - Price
0.1
0
0
0
0
1
Batting Leaders
AB
R
H
RBI
BB
HR
UT - Norfork
4
0
2
0
0
0
UT - Fritts
2
0
1
0
0
0
Team Notes
Tennessee dropped to 19-12 overall and 2-9 in SEC play with its fifth straight loss...UT is now 33-45 all-time against South Carolina, including an 18-15 mark in Knoxville...The Big Orange was shut out for the second straight game and fourth time this season...Tennessee was 0-for-9 with runners on base...The Vols are now 0-for-21 with runners on this series and 3-for-53 over their last six SEC games...The Tennessee pitching staff walked just one hitter while striking out seven...Tennessee was held to a season-low three hits...Two of the team's three hits were doubles... The Orange and White was held without a stolen base for the 11th time this season...Official game time was two hours, 28 minutes...Attendance was 2,070, bringing the weekend total to 5,505.

Individual Notes
Steven Gruver posted his fifth quality start of the season with 8.0 innings of two-run ball...With four strikeouts and just one walk, he has now struck out 53 and walked just 11 this season...Gruver induced 14 groundouts to five fly outs...Of the seven hits he allowed, six were singles...He threw first-pitch strikes to 19 of the 32 batters he faced...He threw strikes on 69 of his 106 pitches...Drew Steckenrider struck out the side in the top of the ninth on 20 pitches...Khayyan Norfork had two of the team's three hits with a double in the first and a single in the sixth...Chris Fritts also had a two-out double in the second...Josh Liles tied the team-high for putouts in a single game with 13, matching his own effort in the first game of a doubleheader against Manhattan on March 12.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - In a game that was decided by a single pitch, Tennessee could not back up junior Steven Gruver's solid, eight-inning performance with any run support, falling to third-ranked South Carolina on Friday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The Volunteers managed just three hits and six total baserunners in the contest, with none moving past second base.

"It was a tough one for us," UT Head Coach Todd Raleigh said. "We're just in a funk right now, that's all I can say. We are 2-for-40 with runners on in our last three games and we're not going to win games like that. I thought we had a good scouting report again. We knew what they were going to do and we told our guys, but I think we're just trying too hard. "

After going 0-for-12 with runners on base on Thursday night, the Vols were 0-for-9 on Friday. In the team's last six SEC games, it is 3-for-53 in those situations. In total, Tennessee managed just three hits against the Gamecock trio of Colby Holmes, John Taylor and Matt Price. Holmes moved to 3-0 with the win, while Price picked up his second save in as many days and ninth of the season.

Suffering the tough-luck loss was Gruver, who scattered seven hits over eight innings of work. He struck out four and walked one. The only two runs of the game came on a two-out, two-run home run by Christian Walker in the sixth inning as he took a 1-0 changeup and hit it over the wall in left. The other six hits yielded by the junior southpaw were all singles.

"(Gruver) pitched good," Raleigh said. "He gave up two runs in eight innings and gave us a chance to win, there's no doubt about that. If somebody had told me they'd just get two, I thought we'd win. We are just in a funk that I've never seen before here."

Sophomore Drew Steckenrider gave the Big Orange a chance to rally in the bottom of the ninth, by striking out the side in the top of the frame. The Vols were only able to manage a two-out walk by Matt Duffy, however, as Price followed Steckenrider's example and recorded the final three outs of the game via strikeouts.

Senior Khayyan Norfork got back on track after a short slump at the plate, recording a double and a single for two of UT's three hits. Sophomore Chris Fritts had the other with a two-out, two-bagger in the second. Fritts also reached once when he was hit by a pitch to lead off the eighth. Junior Zach Osborne was the only other Tennessee player to reach base as he was also plunked by a 1-0 pitch in the third.

The Vols had opportunities in both the sixth and eighth innings when they were able to get their leadoff hitter on base, but the Gamecocks turned double plays in both frames to thwart the Orange and White's efforts.

The Big Orange returned the favor in the top of the eighth when the Gamecocks looked poised to break the game open after loading the bases with just one out. Gruver got Adrian Morales to bounce into a 6-4-3 double play, however, to keep the UT deficit at just two.

Tennessee and South Carolina will close out this weekend's three game series with a noon showdown on Saturday. The contest will be televised live on SportSouth with Andy Demetra and Rusty Ensor on the call.

For the most up-to-date information on Tennessee baseball, visit www.UTSports.com/baseball and be sure to follow @Vol_Baseball on Twitter.

 

 

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