April 14, 2010
By Cameron Harris, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Junior Cody Hawn recorded a career-high five hits, including his sixth home run of the season, as the University of Tennessee baseball team powered its way to a 16-7 victory over Lipscomb on Tuesday night at Robert M. Lindsay Field at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
"That was certainly a long game and didn't have a lot of rhythm to it," UT Head Coach Todd Raleigh said. "But it was good to get a win and we were able to play a lot of different guys. I thought the biggest play in the game was Cody Stubbs' homer. We fell behind early and after that I felt like we were able to relax. It was good to see him do that because he is going to be a great player.
"After that, we just kept tacking on runs. Cody Hawn had his best game of the year, which was great to see as well. I talked to him before the game and told him just to relax and quit trying to do too much. He did a good job of that and he had great balance and terrific at-bats all night.
"I was also happy to get some of our freshmen involved pitching-wise and I thought both Nick Blount and Alan Walden pitched pretty well. Will Locante came in and got a big, bases-loaded strikeout and then Matt (Ramsey) pitched great in the ninth, striking out the side. Those were all really good things to see."
The Volunteers had 12 different players combine to pound out a total of 20 hits in the game, led by Hawn's five and three each by sophomores Zach Osborne and Matt Ramsey. All nine UT starters had a hit in the contest, marking the fifth time this season that the Big Orange has accomplished the feat.
With his 5-for-6 effort at the plate, Hawn raised his batting average 28 points in just one night. He started the game sitting at .297 for the season and finished at .325, becoming the first player in a Tennessee uniform to tally five hits in a single game since Tony Delmonico did it against Tennessee Temple on May 8, 2007.
In addition to Hawn's stellar performance, Osborne also scored a career-high four runs and junior P.J. Polk tallied three RBIs. Freshman Cody Stubbs, meanwhile, launched the second home run of his career, blasting a three-run shot over the scoreboard in the second inning to give Tennessee a lead it would not relinquish.
Freshman Nick Blount collected the first win of his collegiate career with a perfect inning of relief after UT starter Steve Crnkovich surrendered four runs on eight hits in four frames of action. Redshirt freshman Hunter Daniel and sophomore Matt Ramsey closed out the win with scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth, respectively. Ramsey worked around a walk and a single to strike out the side to end the game.
While the game ended with the Vols on top, it certainly did not start out that way, as the Bisons scored the first three runs of the contest with one in the first and two more in the second. Cory Hale put the first tally on the scoreboard with a solo shot to left in the opening frame of the day. Lipscomb then added two more in the next stanza with a two-out, two-RBI double by M.L. Williams.
Tennessee answered quickly and resoundingly though, putting up a six spot in the bottom of the second. With one out on the board, juniors Josh Liles and Blake Forsythe recorded back-to-back singles before moving up to second and third, respectively, on the first of five Lipscomb errors on the night. Fellow classmate Matt Duffy then gave UT its first run of the day when he reached on the Bisons second miscue, a throwing error by the shortstop.
Ramsey followed with an RBI single before Stubbs smashed a 1-0 fastball well over the scoreboard in right-center to give the Vols a 5-3 lead. Junior Khayyan Norfork and Osborne kept the inning going with consecutive laser-beam singles to center and Polk moved Norfork to third with a fly ball to center. Hawn then knocked in his first of three runs on the day with a hard-hit single to right-center.
Although Lipscomb got one of the runs back in the top of the fourth with a leadoff home run by Kyle Henry, UT got it right back in the bottom half of the frame with singles from Osborne and Hawn and an RBI groundout off the bat of Liles.
Following a perfect half-inning by Blount, the Big Orange really broke the game open with five runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth. An infield single by Ramsey, a four-pitch walk to Stubbs, a passed ball and another free pass, this time to Norfork, gave the Orange and White a bases-loaded no outs situation right off the bat in the fifth. Osborne proceeded to rocket a grounder back up the box, but Lipscomb pitcher Chris Nunn was able to snag it above his head and throw to the plate to cut Ramsey down for the first out.
The Vols were undeterred, however, and Polk followed with a bases-clearing triple to the left-centerfield gap. Three runs scored on the play and Hawn added two more just two pitches later when he took Nunn deep the opposite way for his sixth home run of the 2010 campaign.
Trailing 15-4 at this point, the Bisons tried to claw their way back into the contest with two runs in the top of the seventh and another in the top of the eighth, but it proved to be way too little, too late. The Vols actually added another insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, taking advantage of a leadoff walk to senior Cody Grisham and an error by the left fielder. Grisham was actually thrown out at the plate on a single through the left-side of the infield by freshman Chris Fritts, but Osborne moved up to third on the play before coming home on a delayed steal by Fritts.
Ramsey then came on in the top of the ninth and utilized a hard fastball and knee-buckling curve to strike out the side. He did run into a little trouble after fanning the first batter, as he walked the next guy and gave up a bloop single to left, but the Knoxville, native, settled down and punched out the next two batters to end the game.
The Big Orange will return to Southeastern Conference action this weekend when it travels to Starkville, Miss., for a three-game set against Mississippi State at Dudy Noble Field, April 16-18. For more information on Tennessee baseball, visit UTSports.com or follow @VolBaseball on Twitter.