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Tennessee Closes Out 2011 With Walk-Off Win Over Auburn



May 21, 2011

Box Score |  Photo Gallery 


By Cameron Harris, Assistant Media Relations Director

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AU
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UT
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Pitching
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W - Williams
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Batting Leaders
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UT - Toles
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UT - Liles
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UT - Duffy
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UT - Morgan
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Team Notes
Tennessee finished the 2011 campaign with an overall record of 25-29, including a 7-23 mark in SEC play with the win...The walk-off victory was UT's second of the season...The Vols had been 0-27 when trailing after six innings and 0-28 when trailing after seven innings this season...Auburn stranded 11 runners, while the Big Orange left just six men on base...The Tigers outhit Tennessee, nine to five...The win marked just the Orange and White's fifth of the year when it was out-hit by its opponent...The Vols had scored just nine runs in the ninth inning all season, before plating two in the ninth on Saturday...Tennessee finished with a 5-2 record against teams from the state of Alabama this year...UT was 20-16 at home in 2011...With another outfield assist on Saturday, the Vols finished with a school-record 24 on the year...A crowd of 1,668 was on hand for the season finale...The Big Orange averaged 1,455 fans in 35 home dates...Official game time was two hours, 28 minutes...The Vols averaged two hours, 34 minutes per nine-inning contest in 2011.

Individual Notes
Tennessee honored its five seniors - Rob Catapano, Matt Duffy, Tyler Horne, Josh Liles and Khayyan Norfork - prior to the game...Liles finished ninth in school history with 188 games played...He hit his first home run of the season (19th of his career) in his final collegiate at bat to tie the game in the eighth inning...He finishes with 199 career hits...Catapano started the contest for UT on the mound, allowing just two runs in 4.2 innings...Davis Morgan knocked in a run for the fifth consecutive game and finishes the season on a four-game hitting streak...Andrew Toles had the walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth...He also had a base hit in the fifth and finishes second on the team with 19 multi-hit contests on the year...Drew Steckenrider's run-scoring groundout in the ninth was his fourth RBI of the season...Nick Williams picked up the second win of his career, allowing one unearned run on one hit in two innings of work...Toles gunned down a runner at the plate to end the top of the second inning, giving him four outfield assists in his rookie season...Zach Osborne laid down the 22nd sacrifice bunt of his career during UT's ninth inning rally to tie him with Bryce Christensen (1994-95) for the school record.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee freshman Andrew Toles delivered a walk-off single to cap a two-run ninth inning that gave the Volunteers a 4-3 victory over Auburn to close out the 2011 campaign on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The contest marked the end of the collegiate careers of five UT seniors - Rob Catapano, Matt Duffy, Tyler Horne, Josh Liles and Khayyan Norfork.

Prior to Saturday's ninth-inning comeback, the Big Orange had been 0-28 when trailing after seven innings this season. Tennessee finishes the year with a 25-29 overall record and 7-23 mark in Southeastern Conference play.

"All those things you need to do to win a game, we did today," UT Head Coach Todd Raleigh said. "We really squelched a lot of (Auburn) rallies. We were down a bunch today, but Josh (Liles) got the huge, huge home run. Rob (Catapano) pitched great to start the day, (Drew Steckenrider) pitched great, Nick Williams was great, T.J. Thornton was great getting that one punch-out. Everything we did, every little move we made, seemed to go our way.

"It's been a tough season. We've been hurt beyond recognition, but the kids never gave up. We got in a couple of bad spells, but our league isn't that separated. Auburn only has (four) more wins than us overall. We just couldn't get over the hump in conference play down a couple of players, but the kids battled hard. They had every reason this weekend to not show up, but they played hard."

Liles, who hit a game-tying home run in the eighth inning in his final collegiate at-bat, finishes his career with 199 total hits and in ninth place in the Tennessee record book with 188 games played. Duffy added a walk and his team-leading 15th double in the contest as well, while Norfork finished the year as UT's leading hitter with a .332 batting average. Catapano started the game for the Big Orange, allowing two runs in 4.2 innings.

Toles finished 2-for-4 at the plate on Saturday and saved a run in the second inning when he gunned down a runner at the plate for his fourth outfield assist of the year. It was another freshman that picked up the win for the Vols, as Nick Williams yielded just one unearned run and one hit over the game's final two innings.

Trailing by one entering the final frame, Tennessee wasted little time getting runners on base as junior Davis Morgan was hit by a 2-2 curveball to start the inning. He quickly moved up to third when junior Zach Osborne laid down the 21st sac bunt of his career, tying him for the school record. The pitcher tried to get the force out on second on the play though and his throw sailed into center for an error to put runners on the corners with nobody out.

Steckenrider followed just three pitches later with a high chopper over the mound to bring Morgan in from third and tie the game. Toles then gave the Big Orange a walk-off win when he ripped a 1-2 pitch right back up the middle for an RBI single. Osborne came around from second to score just ahead of the throw to the plate to end the game.

Auburn actually struck the first blow of the contest, using back-to-back, two-out RBI singles by Cullen Wacker and Tony Caldwell to jump out to a 2-0 lead. The Tigers looked like they would add to their advantage in the top of the sixth when they got a runner to third with just one out, but the Tennessee bullpen was able to get out of the jam as junior southpaw T.J. Thornton recorded a huge strikeout on Kevin Patterson and sophomore Drew Steckenrider got Creede Simpson to pop out to second.

The Vols then used that momentum to their advantage in the home half of the sixth to cut their deficit in half. With one out on the scoreboard, Duffy launched a first-pitch fastball deep to right-center high off the wall for a double. Following a productive groundout that moved him to third, junior Morgan came through with a clutch two-out single to left to bring him home. Morgan recorded at least one RBI in each of the final four games of the season.

Auburn tried to grab the momentum back in the top of the seventh, but once again, the Orange and White was able to escape a major jam unscathed. With Steckenrider on the mound, the Tigers managed to load the bases with just one out. UT's hard-throwing righty buckled down, however, and got Caldwell swinging and Wes Gilmer to fly out to center to keep the tally on the scoreboard at 2-1 Auburn.

After a scoreless seventh inning, Liles took it upon himself to tie the game, crushing the first pitch he saw in the eighth well over "The Porch" in left to put the two teams in a 2-2 deadlock. The longball was his first of the year and 19th of his career.

The Tigers weren't going to go away that easily though, and answered with an unearned run in the top of the ninth to set up the Volunteer heroics in the final frame.

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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