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Late Rally; Strong Pitching Leads Vols to 7-5 Victory over No. 1 LSU
Cody Hawn

Cody Hawn

April 18, 2009

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BATON ROUGE, La. - The Tennessee baseball team scored three unanswered runs in the eighth and ninth innings to earn a 7-5 victory over top-ranked LSU on Saturday afternoon at Alex Box Stadium. The Vols evened the series while earning their first SEC road victory of the season.

"This team is tough," UT coach Todd Raleigh said. "We have a lot of heart. Our kids play hard. That is the one thing--our kids play hard so I am very proud of them. We didn't make any mistakes; we should have won the game. We lead the SEC in fielding percentage and did a good job in that regard. Our guys put the pressure on them and put the ball in play."

The Vols' victory is their first over a top-ranked team since they took two out of three against No. 1 LSU at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in 1993.

Tennessee (18-22, 4-13 SEC) collected 11 hits on the day including a 3-for-5 afternoon from first baseman Cody Hawn. Kentrail Davis and Cody Grisham also had two hits each.

Senior right-hander Danny Wiltz (1-1) pitched a scoreless seventh inning and sophomore lefty Bryan Morgado earned his second save of the season, shutting out the Tigers through two innings of work. Morgado struck out four batters and did not issue a walk. All four batters struck out looking.

LSU (28-11, 11-6 SEC) committed five errors allowing three unearned runs, its most errors this season and most in a game since March 22, 2008 versus Arkansas.

The Volunteers scored two unearned runs in the top of the eighth inning to take a 6-5 lead. With the bases loaded second baseman Ryan Schmipf committed a fielding error that allowed Grisham and right fielder Jarred Frazier to score. Grisham reached on a single through the left side and Frazier reached on an error by the pitcher.

Tennessee added an insurance run in the top of the ninth on Grisham's solo home run to left field. The homer was his second of the season.

LSU took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning on back-to-back RBI hits by designated hitter Blake Dean and first baseman Sean Ochinko.

Tennessee tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the fourth. Third baseman Tyler Horne drove in his sixth run in four games with an RBI triple to center field scoring Hawn. Hawn reached on a single. Catcher Blake Forsythe drove in Horne with an infield single to the third baseman.

The Tigers took back their lead with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. RBI singles off the bats of Schimpf and Dean gave LSU a 4-2 advantage.

The Vols got one run back in the fifth inning on Hawn's run-scoring single through the middle. P.J. Polk scored on the play after doubling to reach base and advancing to third on a single by Davis.

Tennessee tied the game at 4-4 in the sixth inning on a fielder's choice grounder by shortstop Zach Osborne, sending Forsythe home.

LSU catcher Micah Gibb's sacrifice fly to center field scored Dean in the bottom of the seventh to make the score 5-4.

Tennessee starting pitcher Nick Hernandez allowed five runs on nine hits through six innings of work. The junior walked a season-high four batters while striking out five. Danny Wiltz pitched a scoreless inning out of the bullpen.

LSU right-hander Louis Coleman worked 7-1/3 innings in his seventh start of the season. Coleman allowed six runs (three earned) on 10 hits while striking out a career-high 11 batters. He did not issue a walk.

The two teams meet in the series finale Sunday 1 p.m. Right-hander Austin Ross (4-4, 3.68 ERA) will take the hill for the Tigers while the Volunteers have yet to announce a starting pitcher.

 

 

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