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GREENVILLE, S.C. — The Tennessee baseball team returned to winning form Tuesday with a 4-2 win over Furman at "Fluor Field at the West End." Solid pitching—three Volunteers hurlers combined to record 10 strikeouts—was key to helping the Big Orange improve to 26-27 on the year.
Vols second baseman Danny Lima collected a pair of hits and drove in a run as Tennessee snapped a nine-game losing skid. Joey Rosas upped his record to 4-2 with a strong start, and Danny Wiltz notched his team-leading fourth save of the year.
Lima drove in the game’s first run with an RBI single off the left-field wall in the top of the second. Vols left fielder Shawn Griffin scored on the play after doubling off the wall in left earlier in the frame.
Furman third baseman Brian Harrison tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the third with an RBI double down the left-field line. Harrison tried to put the Paladins (29-21) on top later in the inning when Connor Lind singled to right field, but UT right fielder Josh Liles fired a perfect throw to the plate in time for catcher Yan Gomes to apply the inning-ending tag.
With two outs and two men in scoring position in the top of the fifth, Vols pinch-hitter Jarred Frazier ripped a hard grounder toward Harrison at the hot corner. Harrison let the ball slip past his glove, and both runners scored on the error to put Tennessee back on top. Liles followed with an RBI double off the left-field wall, scoring Frazier and making the score 4-1.
Paladins left fielder Bobby Hubbard made it a two-run ballgame with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the sixth. That marked the end of the night for Rosas, who tied a career-high with six strikeouts through five innings while limiting Furman to a pair of runs on five hits.
Sophomore Steve Crnkovich was the first arm out of the UT bullpen, and the right-hander worked a pair of scoreless innings before handing the ball over to Wiltz for the final two frames—during which he held the Paladins hitless with a pair of strikeouts.
The Paladins brought the potential winning run to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but Wiltz got Marcus Rose to harmlessly ground out to first base and end the game.
Tennessee’s win Tuesday gave it a sweep in this year’s two-game series with Furman, and the Vols now lead the all-time series with the Paladins 7-2, dating to 1925.
Vols pitchers struck out a total of 25 batters in UT’s two triumphs this season over Furman.
Tennessee on Wednesday travels to Columbia, S.C., where it closes out the regular season with a three-game series at 18th-ranked South Carolina (34-18, 13-14 SEC) that runs Thursday through Saturday at Sarge Frye Field. Game times are set for 7 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday. The series marks the final regular-season action at Sarge Frye Field, as the Gamecocks are scheduled to move into a new facility in 2009.