May 9, 2009
Tennessee third baseman Tyler Horne hit two home runs, including his first career grand-slam, as Tennessee fell to South Carolina 15-12 on Saturday afternoon at Robert M. Lindsay Field at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Horne finished the game 3-for-5 with two runs and a career-high seven RBIs.
"That was a tough one there," UT coach Todd Raleigh said. "Anytime you are up 12-6 with two outs in the seventh at home, you have to feel like you have a good chance to win. We just did not pitch enough to win so it is disappointing."
Tennessee (22-28, 8-18 SEC) built leads of 9-1 and 12-6 but was outscored 9-0 in the final three innings. Despite the loss, the Vols set a season high with 12 runs scored in a conference game.
South Carolina (31-19, 13-13) evened the series at 1-1 after it rallied with four runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game and take the lead. Left fielder DeAngelo Mack's two-run double sent the winning runs across the plate.
Volunteer reliever Bryan Morgado (3-2) allowed four runs on five hits in two innings of work. The sophomore walked two and struck out two.
Gamecocks right hander Parker Bangs (2-2) shutout the Vols in two innings of work. Bangs faced six batters and struck out all six. Alex Farotto picked up his seventh save of the season after pitching a scoreless ninth.
Tennessee took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when catcher Blake Forsythe hit his 14th home run of the season to the scoreboard in right field. Sophomore Kentrail Davis scored on the play after reaching on a double to left-center field.
South Carolina cut the Vols' lead in half in the top of the third when center fielder Whit Merrifield hit a solo home run to left field, making the score 2-1.
The Volunteers built a 9-1 lead with seven runs in the bottom of the third inning. Horne's grand slam was the big blow of the inning. The home run was Horne's ninth of the season and UT's second grand slam in as many games. First baseman Cody Hawn drove in the first run with a bases-loaded walk. Designated hitter Cody Brown and left fielder P.J. Polk then capped the scoring with back-to-back RBI doubles.
A four-run fourth inning by the Gamecocks cut the Vols' lead to 9-5. South Carolina added another run in the top of the sixth on an RBI single by Merrifield to make the score 9-6.
Tennessee extended its lead to 12-6 on Horne's second home run of the game, a three-run shot, to left field. The multi-homer game is the first of Horne's career. Forsythe and Hawn scored on the play after reaching on a double and a walk, respectively.
The Gamecocks made the score 12-9 in the top of the seventh on a three-run homer by designated hitter Parker Bangs. The home run was his fourth of the year. In the top of the eight, South Carolina added two runs on two RBI groundouts to cut the Vols' lead to 12-11.
UT starting pitcher Aaron Tullo worked three innings, allowing four runs on five hits. The junior issued one walk and struck out two. Steven Gruver, Will Locante, Stephen McCray and Danny Wiltz made appearances out of the Tennessee bullpen.
USC starter Nolan Belcher surrendered nine runs on seven hits in 2-2/3 innings. The left hander walked four and struck out one.
The two teams will return to the diamond in Tennessee's final home game of the season on Sunday at 1 p.m. Neither team has announced a starting pitcher. Senior Day festivities will take place prior to first pitch.