Tennessee Baseball Weekly Update (5/12)

May 12, 2014

May 12, 2014
Overall Record: 29-20, 11-16 SEC
Record Last Week: 1-3
Last Week's Results
MON. 5
WED. 7
This Week's Schedule
Home Game
MON. 12
TUES. 13
Morehead St
6 p.m. ET
WED. 14
THUR. 15
Florida *
6 p.m. ET
FRI. 16
Florida *
6 p.m. ET
SAT. 17
Florida *
1 p.m. ET
SUN. 18
Pitcher of the Week Nomination
RHP - 6-2 - 230
Knoxville, Tenn.

Weekly Stats: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 GS, 9.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, .233 Opp.

Season Stats: 5-4, 3.32 ERA, 14 G, 12 GS, 81.1 IP, 72 H, 33 R, 30 ER, 18 BB, 63 K, .240 Opp. BA

Notes: Recent Tennessee graduate Nick Williams turned in the best effort of his career on Saturday, firing nine shutout innings with eight strikeouts in UT's heartbreaking 1-0 loss in 10 to Mississippi State in Starkville.

Despite going home with a no-decision, Williams bested his previous career high for innings pitched, which had been 8.2 set against Vanderbilt last season. The Knoxville native scattered seven hits and three walks while matching his season high of eight punchouts, which tied his mark from a week ago against Kentucky.

Prior to his effort in Starkville, no Tennessee starting pitcher had recorded an out in the ninth inning this season with the longest outing being his 8.0 innings of work against Auburn on March 21.

Williams faced just two batters over the minimum through six innings on Saturday before pitching out of trouble in each of the next three to keep UT's hopes of a series-clinching win alive. He would strand Bulldog baserunners in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings before handing the ball over to the bullpen for extra innings.

For the season, Williams is 5-4 with a 3.32 ERA over 14 appearances, including a team-high 12 starts. His five wins also lead the Vols, as do his 81.1 innings pitched, and he is tied with Andy Cox for the squad-high with 63 strikeouts.

Williams is set to make his 33rd career start for the Orange and White this weekend when Florida makes the trek to Rocky Top. That would place him one start out of the career top-10 in the Tennessee record book. With 77 career appearances on the mound, he already stands second in UT history in that category behind only Craig Cobb who amassed 85 appearances from 2004-07.

Tennessee Weekly Notes

Facing No. 21 Mississippi State on the road, Tennessee narrowly dropped an incredibly hard-fought series, despite not playing from behind for even a single out all weekend, thanks to a pair of extra-inning losses at the hands of the Bulldogs.

After dropping a tough midweek loss to UNC-Asheville, the Volunteers rebounded with a big win on Friday, downing MSU, 4-2, behind the heroics of closer Andrew Lee. UT's sophomore right-hander pulled a Houdiini act and escaped a bases-loaded no-outs jam in the eighth and a bases-loaded one-out quandary in the ninth to preserve the victory for the Vols.

Difficult losses followed the next two days, however, with the Bulldogs prevailing in extra innings on both days. Recent Tennessee graduate Nick Williams gave everything he had on Saturday night, twirling nine shutout innings with eight strikeouts but two MSU pitchers matched him all the way before a walk-off single in the 10th gave the home team a series-tying, 1-0 win.

In Sunday's contest, UT jumped out to a 3-1 lead after just two innings of play, but that was all its offense could manage on the day. A two-run home run by MSU's Wes Rea tied it in the sixth before a 3-1 pitch with the bases loaded and two outs was ruled inside in the bottom of the 12th to bring the series to a dramatic close with Mississippi State prevailing, 4-3, in the finale.

Sophomore southpaw Andy Cox was saddled with a no-decision on Sunday, despite striking out a career-high nine batters over six innings of three-run ball.

With an overall record of 29-20 and an 11-16 mark in SEC play, Tennessee still controls its own postseason destiny as it holds a one-game lead in the league standings over both Georgia and Auburn with SEC-leading Florida coming into Knoxville this weekend.

Before hosting the Gators though, the Volunteers will close out their non-conference schedule against Morehead State at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. They will then have a day off before welcoming Florida to Rocky Top for a three-game set from Thursday through Saturday. The first two games of the series will kick off at 6 p.m. before a 1 p.m. start for the regular-season finale which will be televised on CSS.

Prior to Saturday's contest, UT will honor its five seniors - Pierce Bily, Scott Price, Dalton Saberhagen, Taylor Smart and Nick Williams - with the traditional Senior Day ceremony.

For the most up-to-date information on Volunteer baseball, visit www.UTSports.com/Baseball, follow @Vol_Baseball on Twitter and Instagram at @Vol_Baseball, and like the Vols at Facebook.com/VolBaseball. To purchase tickets to upcoming games, visit UTTix.com





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