Sophomore Chris Fritts had three more hits on Sunday to increase his fall batting average to a team-best .500
Oct. 3, 2010
By Cameron Harris, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A six-run first inning and three-hit performances by freshman Andrew Toles and sophomore Chris Fritts paced the Orange squad to an 8-6 victory in the fourth game of the University of Tennessee baseball team's Orange and White World Series Sunday evening at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. With the win, the Orange team now holds a commanding 3-0 lead in the seven-game series.
"The Orange team swung the bats great again today," UT Head Coach Todd Raleigh said. "I thought we did some good things, but our pitching wasn't too sharp and I wasn't very happy with our defense, although four of the errors were created by pitchers. Offensively, we looked pretty good though. We had a lot of guys give us solid at-bats today, really working the count and taking what the pitchers were giving them."
Toles and Fritts led the way for the Orange squad with a pair of three-hit performances. Toles was all over the box score, finishing the contest 3-for-4 with a double, two stolen bases and a game-high three runs scored. Fritts, meanwhile, was a perfect 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles, a run and a stolen base. The Houston, Texas, native is now hitting an even .500 (8-for-16) through the first four games of the series.
"Andrew is just a really good player and he played well again tonight after a strong game on Friday. We feel he is going to be one of the top freshmen in the country. He has tremendous athleticism, he can run, really throw and he can hit. He's getting better every day and he is going to be a big part of what we do this year."
Other offensive standouts for the Orange team included senior Matt Duffy, who knocked in two runs with a double, and junior Matt Ramsey, who added a 2-for-4 effort at the plate with an RBI, two runs and a stolen base. The Farragut High School product tops all UT players with nine hits so far this fall and is hitting at a solid .429 clip.
For the White squad, freshman Ethan Bennett plated three runs on a pair of hits to increase his team-leading RBI total to five this fall. Junior Chris Pierce, meanwhile, scored two runs and knocked in another as he had a single and a pair of walks.
On the mound, sophomore Drew Steckenrider picked up his first win of the series with three solid innings as the starter for the Orange team. The 6-5 right-hander allowed just two runs on three hits, while striking out one and walking two. Freshman Carter Watson lowered his ERA to 1.29 in a team-high four appearances this fall, tossing 0.2 innings of shutout relief before Nick Williams came on to earn the save with a one-run ninth.
Junior southpaw Steven Gruver suffered the loss for the White squad, yielding six runs, four earned, on six hits in three innings. Sophomores Kevin Greene and Nick Blount and junior Jerod Peper, however, closed out the contest with a combined one earned run over the final three innings of play. Peper tossed a scoreless sixth inning, following 1.1 frames by Blount in which he allowed just a single unearned run on two hits while striking out one.
"I thought Drew Steckenrider and Carter Watson pitched well today. One of our goals was to see how a couple different people bounced back on short rest today and we were able to do that. I was also pleased with how Steven Gruver battled back after a tough first inning. He ran into some bad luck, but fought through it and gave us a couple scoreless innings after that."
It looked like the White squad would be the first to crack the scoreboard on Sunday, getting a runner in scoring position with nobody out in the top of the first, but Steckenrider was able to buckle down and escape without any harm done. Junior Zach Osborne opened the contest by pushing a single through the right side of the infield and quickly moved up 90 feet to second when a pick-off throw from Steckenrider bounced past Tyler Horne at first. After Steckenrider struck out Josh Liles with a 92-mph heater, Ramsey put two outs on the board by gunning down Osborne as he attempted to steal third. Junior Davis Morgan then laced a fly ball the opposite way to the warning track in right-center, but Thurber tracked it down for the final out.
After scoring 16 runs in its win on Friday night, the Orange team picked up right where it left off, putting up a six spot in the bottom of the first. Toles got the ball rolling with a chopper to second that he easily beat out for an infield single. Ramsey then made it two infield hits in a row with a slow roller down the first-base line. Both runners moved into scoring position just seconds later on a successful double-steal before a walk to Duffy loaded the bases with nobody out.
Zeth Stone followed with a bouncer back to the mound, but Gruver was unable to handle it cleanly, allowing the first run of the game to score. Another error on the next play, this one on a grounder to Pierce at second by Toles, brought home two more runs. Toles then stole second to put runners on second and third for Ramsey who singled for the second time in the inning to move the tally on the scoreboard to 4-0. The Orange unit's final two runs of the frame came just moments later when Duffy ripped an opposite-field double to right-center to clear the bases and put the Orange team up 6-0 after one.
The White squad wasn't going to go down that easily though, getting a pair of the runs back in the top of the second. Pierce led off the frame with a walk and was immediately brought home by a double to left-center by Thurber and an RBI groundout by Bennett. Although Steckenrider got the next batter, Adam King to ground out to Duffy at short, Pierce came through with a two-out single to right that brought Thurber in from second.
The Orange team threatened to add to its lead in the bottom of the third with Toles smashing a one-out double over Liles' head in straight-away center, but Pierce made a tremendous diving stab on a liner up the middle by Ramsey and was able to double-up Toles at second to keep the score at 6-2.
That grab seemed to give some of the momentum back to the White team, which promptly cut its deficit to just a single score with three runs in the top of the fourth off of reliever T.J. Thornton. After a groundout to start the stanza, an error by Horne at third base allowed Bennett to reach safely. Back-to-back walks to King and Pierce quickly loaded the bases for Thurber who brought the first run home with an RBI groundout to first. Bennett then pulled a two-out, two-run single through the left side to bring the White squad within one at 6-5.
The Orange team answered immediately, however, scoring a run in the very next frame. With Greene taking over on the mound for Gruver, Norfork greeted him with a line drive to right that bounced off the glove of a leaping Liles at second base for a single. Although he was caught stealing by Wes Walker, Fritts followed with his second double of the day, ripping one down the right-field line, before swiping third on the very next pitch. He would then come home just seconds later on a sacrifice fly to deep center by Horne.
Following a 1-2-3 inning by Thornton, the Orange unit added another insurance run off of Blount in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a two-out rally started by a single off the bat of Toles, his third hit of the game. Ramsey then rolled a routine grounder to third, but the throw by Horne skipped past the first baseman, allowing Toles to race around all the way from first to score and make it 8-5.
With just one out and two on in the top of the sixth, Watson came out of the pen to thwart an attempted comeback by the White team. Although he walked King to load the bases, the rookie from Nashville proceeded to catch Pierce looking by breaking off a curveball on the inside corner for the second out. He was then able to induce a grounder to short by Thurber to keep the White squad off the board.
With the score still at 8-5 in favor of the Orange team heading into the seventh and final inning, Williams was called on to close out the contest. The Farragut freshman struggled early in the frame, allowing the White team to load the bases with no outs on a single, a wild pitch and consecutive walks, he was able to settle down after a quick visit to the mound by Raleigh. Following the conference, Williams got Liles to pop up to second for the first out. Although Morgan brought in a run with a sac fly to center, the game came to a close just one batter later when Walker flew out to Fritts in left-center.
With Fall Break next week, the Orange and White World Series will take a short hiatus before returning with game five on Friday, Oct. 15 at 5 p.m. The sixth and seventh contests will then be played at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 17 and at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 22, respectively. Admission is free and fans are encouraged to attend. Parking is available in the C1 lot behind right field or in C6 on top of the parking garage off of Lake Loudoun Blvd.
2010 Tennessee Baseball Orange vs. White Oct. 3, 2010 at Knoxville, Tenn. (Lindsey Nelson Stadium)
Score by Innings R H E ---------------------------------------------------- White....................020 030 01 - 6 5 3 Orange...................600 110 0X - 8 13 4 ----------------------------------------------------
White IP H R ER BB SO ------------------------------------------------- Steven Gruver (L,0-1)....3.0 6 6 4 1 2 Kevin Greene.............0.2 3 1 1 1 0 Nick Blount..............1.1 2 1 0 0 1 Jerod Peper..............1.0 2 0 0 0 0
2B - Thurber 1(1) 3B - None HR - None HBP - None RBI - Bennett 3(5); Pierce 1(2); Thurber 1(1); Morgan 1(1) SB - None CS - Osborne 1(1)
Orange IP H R ER BB SO ------------------------------------------------- D. Steckenrider (W,1-0)..3.0 3 2 2 2 1 T.J. Thornton............2.1 1 3 0 2 1 Carter Watson............0.2 0 0 0 1 1 Nick Williams (SV,1).....1.0 1 1 1 2 0
2B - Fritts 2(3); Toles 1(2); Duffy 1(2) 3B - None HR - None HBP - Fritts RBI - Duffy 2(4); Ramsey 1(4); Stone 1(2); Horne 1(1) SB - Toles 2(4); Fritts 1(2); Ramsey 1(1) CS - Norfork 1(1); Stone 1(1)
|2010 Orange and White World Series Schedule/Results|
|Game||Date||Result/Time||Game One||Fri., Sept. 17||Tie, 6-6||Game Two||Fri., Sept. 24||Orange, 4-1||Game Three||Fri., Oct. 1||Orange, 16-4||Game Four||Sun., Oct. 3||Orange, 8-6||Game Five||Fri., Oct. 15||5 p.m.||Game Six||Sun., Oct. 17||2 p.m.||Game Seven||Fri., Oct. 22||5 p.m.|