UT junior Josh Liles
Oct. 10, 2009
By Cameron Harris, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Three runs in the top of the first inning helped the Orange team jump out to a 7-4 advantage in the third game of the Orange and White World Series before heavy rain forced the contest to be halted in the bottom of the eighth Friday evening at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville. The remainder of the game will be completed later this week.
The Orange squad, led by pitching coach Jason Beverlin, wasted little time jumping out in front, getting three consecutive singles from freshmen Chris Fritts and Drew Steckenrider and junior Blake Forsythe to open the game. Forsythe's base knock plated Fritts from second to give him his third RBI of the fall and put his team up 1-0.
Following a sac bunt by freshman Cody Stubbs, junior Matt Duffy drew a walk to load the bases for sophomore Matt Ramsey who knocked in the Orange squad's second run with a sacrifice fly. Back-to-back free passes made it 3-0 in favor of the Orange before White starter senior Aaron Tullo got Fritts swinging to end the inning with the bases loaded.
Tullo would settle down though and infielders coach Bradley LeCroy's squad was able to make things interesting by getting a pair of those runs back over the next three innings. In the bottom of the first, the White team played a little small ball to crack the scoreboard. Junior P.J. Polk and sophomore Zach Osborne got the White offense going with a pair of singles. A groundout by junior Josh Liles put runners on second and third, setting up a sac fly by fellow classmate Cody Hawn.
After a scoreless second frame, the White team took advantage of an error to pick up another tally. The first two batters of the inning were retired by Orange starter sophomore Dylan Hochevar before a miscue by Duffy kept the inning alive. Following a Hawn single, senior Matt Hamaker knocked Liles in from second with a double. Hawn was thrown at the plate trying to score to end the threat, however.
With its lead cut to just one, the Orange unit added a run in both the fourth and fifth frames to go back up by three at 5-2. With junior Bryan Morgado on the mound, Fritts was able to reach base on a fielder's choice before moving to second on his second stolen base of the fall. Fellow first-year Vol Steckenrider then advanced him the final 180 feet with an RBI single.
Morgado found himself in a bit of a jam just moments later as Steckenrider proceeded to swipe a pair of bags and Forsythe walked and immediately stole second to put two runners in scoring position with just one out. The hard-throwing left-hander was able to get out of it though, inducing a ground ball off the bat of Stubbs that resulted in Steckenrider being gunned down at the plate for the second out. He then got another slow roller as Duffy grounded into a fielder's choice to end the inning.
The Orange squad was able to scratch out another run against Morgado in the fifth as singles by Ramsey and senior Cody Grisham, sandwiched around a sac bunt by Hannah, did the job. The White squad responded with a tally of its own in the bottom half of the frame, however, as sophomore left-hander Steven Gruver walked a pair of batters before allowing an RBI double to Hamaker.
The two teams then traded home runs by Liles and Stubbs in the bottom of the seventh and top of the eighth, respectively, to account for the final score of 7-4 before heavy wind and rain forced the coaches to stop play. The remainder of the game will be completed at a time yet to be determined later this week. Prior to that though, the Vols will play the fourth contest of the series at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
VOLUNTEERS TO HOLD FIRST MEDIA HOME RUN DERBY
Prior to the fourth game of the Orange and White World Series on Sunday, Tennessee will host its first Media Home Run Derby at 1 p.m. Fans are encouraged to come out to watch their favorite local media personalities do their best to hit it out of Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Batting practice for the participants will start at 12:30 p.m. and a temporary wall will be set up in the outfield. Among those participating will be the Sports Animal's Jeff Jacoby and UT radio color commentator Kyle Hixson in addition to members of the Daily Beacon staff and others.