Nov. 2, 2009
By Cameron Harris, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - In the final game of the University of Tennessee baseball team's Orange and White World Series, first year pitching coach Jason Beverlin's Orange squad used a seven-run sixth inning, highlighted by a towering grand slam by freshman Cody Stubbs, to earn its sixth victory of the series, 69-23, as determined by the team's production scoring method, on Friday evening at Lindsey-Nelson Stadium. Sophomore Adam Adkins tossed two shutout innings of relief to pick up his third win of the fall.
Stubbs finished 2-for-5 with a game-high five RBIs, while fellow classmate Drew Steckenrider added three RBIs. Sophomore Steven Gruver started the contest for the Orange squad, allowing just one hit in two near-perfect innings. Redshirt freshman Hunter Daniel and sophomore Dylan Hochevar each added a shutout inning out of the bullpen in the victory.
For the White squad, junior Bryan Morgado and seniors Steve Crnkovich and Stephen McCray combined to open the game with five scoreless innings, striking out a total of eight hitters while allowing just two hits. Morgado collected four of those punchouts in the first two innings and Crnkovich followed suit with three more over the next two frames. Offensively, sophomore Josh Liles, junior Khayyan Norfork and senior Matt Hamaker paced the team with two hits each.
The Orange and White teams were both split into two offensive groups, with players from both sides used in a variety of different defensive lineups. Players were awarded points for positive plays such as a hit, or stolen base and had points taken away for negative plays like a strikeout, missed sign or failed sacrifice bunt. The final score was determined 75 percent by the production of the position players with the other 25 percent coming from the pitching staff.
Infielders coach Bradley LeCroy's White squad opened the scoring in the bottom of the third when Hamaker followed a Liles single with a two-run home run to left-center to give him a team-high four round-trippers this fall.
Both teams were kept off the scoreboard until the Orange took control with a seven spot in the top of the sixth. Following a leadoff walk by sophomore Matt Ramsey and a single by Steckenrider, Stubbs punched a double down the right-field line to plate a run and put runners on second and third with no outs. Although Ramsey grounded out to second on the following play, it was enough to bring Steckenrider in from third to tie the game. Steckenrider then added his second single of the inning to make it 3-2 in favor of the Orange, but was caught stealing shortly thereafter for the second out of the frame.
Junior righthander Spencer Clifft looked to have minimized the damage when he got Stubbs to hit a groundball to short, but it was mishandled allowing the inning to continue. After Ramsey reached first on a hit-by-pitch, a wild pitch moved him and Stubbs up 90 feet to put both into scoring position. Clifft then walked Steckenrider to load the bases and Stubbs followed with a massive grand slam to right. LeCroy then called on sophomore Josh Allman to end the inning, which he did as Ramsey flew out to center. The Orange squad continued to tack on the runs the following inning, adding three more to go ahead 10-2. Back-to-back singles by junior Tyler Hannah and freshman Chris Fritts opened the frame before Allman got junior Blake Forsythe to pop out to short for the first out. Hannah brought home a run with another single and Fritts cleared the bases with a two-RBI double down the left-field line.
The two teams traded runs in the ninth and final inning to account for the final score, as the Orange squad won its second straight game to win the fall series, 6-1.