April 29, 2011
By Cameron Harris, Assistant Media Relations Director
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - No. 3 Vanderbilt broke open a 2-1 game through five innings with eight runs in its final three trips to the plate to claim a 10-1 victory over Tennessee on Friday night at Hawkins Field.
"We certainly had our chances tonight," UT Head Coach Todd Raleigh said. "We had the leadoff baserunner on in four of the first five innings, had the bases loaded with nobody out and only scored one. We had second and third with one out and didn't score. You just can't do that against a good team. We also made a few uncharacteristic errors that we usually don't make. When you give a good team more than three outs you pay for it and that's what happened to us tonight."
Freshman Andrew Toles posted his 17th multi-hit game of the season, tying him with senior Khayyan Norfork for the team lead. He tallied a pair of singles off of Vanderbilt starter Sonny Gray and stole his 18th base of the year.
Senior Steven Gruver (4-5) suffered the loss for the Big Orange, despite crossing the six-inning barrier for the 10th time in 11 starts this season. The southpaw from Canfield, Ohio, struck out five, but allowed five earned runs (eight total) on seven hits and four walks in 6.2 innings of work. Gray improved to 9-1 for Vanderbilt after yielding just one run on four hits and a season-high four walks and striking out six in eight frames.
Tennessee got the scoring started in the top of the third, scoring once after loading the bases with nobody out. Junior Davis Morgan and sophomore Chris Fritts both walked to start the frame before Toles reached on a sacrifice bunt attempt. He laid it down past the mound on the third base side and Gray tried to flip it with his glove to third, but Morgan slid in safely ahead of the force attempt.
Junior Zach Osborne followed with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to right on an 0-2 offering from Gray to plate the first run of the game. That would be all the Big Orange would get though as Gray was able to get a pair of comebackers to the mound to escape without any further damage.
Vanderbilt tied the game up in the bottom of the stanza, getting a run of its own without the benefit of a hit as well, using a walk, an error and a run-scoring groundout. The Commodores then got a solo home run from Austin Westlake in the fourth before breaking the game open with three runs in both the sixth and seventh and two more in the eighth.
Tennessee and Vanderbilt will have a quick turnaround as they will return to Hawkins Field at noon CT on Saturday for the second game of the weekend series. The contest will be televised live on CSS with Matt Stewart and Rusty Ensor on the call. It will also be available online at ESPN3.com. Redshirt freshman Jon Reed (1-1, 4.11) will get the starting assignment for the Vols, while the Commodores will counter with lefty Grayson Garvin (8-1, 2.32).