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Vols beat Quinnipiac in ten innings 4-3

Vols beat Quinnipiac in ten innings 4-3

Posted on 02 March 2014 by Allen

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A walk-off single by senior Taylor Smart in the bottom of the 10th inning propelled the No. 28 Tennessee baseball team to a 4-3 victory over Quinnipiac, giving the Vols a program record ninth-consecutive win to start the 2014 campaign.

Tennessee’s 9-0 record bests the previous record of 8-0, set in the 1992 and 2003 seasons. Sophomore southpaw Andy Cox improved to 2-0 on the season with 6.2 stellar innings of relief. The Arlington, Tenn., native struck out a career-high eight batters while allowing just two hits in front of a crowd of 2,415 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium on sunny Saturday afternoon.

“I was going up and down the dugout when we were down 3-0 and saying how beautiful this game is because it gave us another test that we’re going to have to pass,” said third-year head coach Dave Serrano. “It wasn’t easy, but we passed. I commend our guys for that. They’re not quitting, they’re not perfect – they never will be perfect – but they keep fighting because they feel something. Again, we’re only through a portion of our schedule but they’re feeling good, and confidence can do a lot for anyone, let alone individuals that are 18 to 22 years old.”

Smart’s game-winning single capped a UT comeback after the squad fell behind 3-0 in the early innings, and was down to its final out in the bottom of the ninth. After three walks – two of which were intentional – loaded the bases in the 10th, Smart stroked a 2-2 pitch to left field plating pinch runner Johnny Youngblood from third to seal the win.

The walk-off heroics came an inning after the Vols found themselves down to their last out. After Smart was hit by a pitch to start the frame, a sac bunt by Parker Wormsley and a balk moved him up to third, before a seeing-eye single through the right side by A.J. Simcox tied the game at 3-3.

Quinnipiac jumped on Tennessee early when freshman Matthew Batten (Shelton, Conn) doubled to the right-center gap to give the Bobcats a runner in scoring position. With two outs, Guglietti doubled off the right field wall to score Batten and give the Bobcats an early 1-0 lead.

Sophomore Rob Pescitelli (West Islip, N.Y.) led off the top of the 2nd with a walk before Ryan Nelson (Knoxville, Tenn) doubled down the left field line to to score Pescitelli and extend Quinnipiac’s lead to 2-0. Nelson was then moved to third on a ground ball by freshman Matthew Oestreicher (North Haven, Conn). Ruditys’ sacrifice fly to left scored Neleson to give the Bobcats a 3-0 lead.

Sophomore outfielder Vincent Jackson, freshman Nick Senzel and Simcox paced an eight-hit Tennessee attack with two hits each. Jackson also drove in a run with an RBI single in the eighth and stole his first two bases of the season in the contest.

Senior Scott Price saw his hit streak come to a close at 20 games, tying for the fourth-longest streak in program history. Former Vol Kris Bennett also had a 20-game hit streak during the 2000 campaign.

The Volunteers will look to record their third-consecutive weekend series sweep for the first time since 2005 on Sunday. Freshman and Knoxville native Kyle Serrano will toe the rubber in the series finale against the Bobcats, which is set for a 1 p.m. start at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

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Vols smash Quinnipiac 13-2

Vols smash Quinnipiac 13-2

Posted on 28 February 2014 by Allen

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The Quinnipiac University baseball team fell to the University of Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville 13-2, in the first of three games at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The Bobcats drop to 0-4 on the year while No. 28 Tennessee improves to 8-0 on the year.

Prior to the start of the game, Jane Nelson – mother of Quinnipiac sophomore Ryan Nelson – threw out the ceremonial first pitch.University of Tennessee head coach Dave Serrano worked with Quinnipiac head coach Dan Gooley in organizing the series so that Ryan’s father – Eric – and his family would get to see his youngest son play. Eric Nelson recently passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer.

The Vols had 13 runs off 13 hits and limited Quinnipiac (0-4) to just three hits today. Will Maddox hit a homerun in the second innning and finished with 3 RBIs in the game. Scott Price also had 3 RBIs and two hits for the Vols. Vincent Jackson had a triple in the 5th and wound up scoring and knocking in two.

Bobcats junior Vincent Guglietti (East Haven, Conn) and sophomore Lou Ianotti (North Haven, Conn) led the way offensively for the Bobcats. Guglietti went 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored while Ianotti was 2-for-3 with a triple and a run scored.

Guglietti doubled down the right field line to lead off the top half of the 5th inning and later scored on an RBI groundout by sophomore Rob Pescitelli (West Islip, N.Y.). Ianotti led off the top of the 9th by scorching a ball to the right-center field gap that rolled all the way to the wall for a triple. Junior Brian Ruditys (Boothwyn, Pa.) then worked his second walk of the game to give Quinnipiac runners on 1st and 3rd with no outs. Sophomore Mike Palladino’s (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) double-play ball scored Ianotti and made the score, 13-2.

Tennessee added to its SEC lead in triples in the fifth inning, as Jackson drilled a two-RBI line drive down the right field line to put Tennessee up 7-1. Jackson made it 8-1 when Nathaniel Maggio hit into a 4-6-3 double play. The Vols now have six triples in 2014.

Williams kept the Bobcats off the board again in the sixth, sitting them down in order with two of his five strikeouts. The senior retired the first three batters he faced in six of his seven innings of work.

The Vols will host Quinnipiac Saturday and Sunday at home

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Senzel Grand Slam lifts Vols past UNLV

Senzel Grand Slam lifts Vols past UNLV

Posted on 21 February 2014 by Allen


No. 29 UNLV baseball (4-1) suffered its first loss of 2014 as Tennessee (5-0) was able to hold off a Rebels’ ninth inning rally to win 8-7 on Friday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Nick Senzel’s grand slam in the seventh inning was the difference in the game.

The Volunteers took an early lead, scoring in the bottom of the second inning after UNLV starter Erick Fedde (1-1) gave up a two-out double that scored a run.

The Rebels took the lead in the top of the fifth when senior Matt McCallister hit a two-run home run. The Vols bounced back, scoring two runs in the sixth and added five more runs in the bottom of the seventh to extend their lead to 8-2.

UNLV rallied in the ninth inning, scoring five runs on five hits. With two outs, and the tying run on third base, Tennessee elected to send in their closer Drake Owenby (3 saves) who ended the rally and the game by striking out Dylan Ellis.

The Rebels took advantage of three Volunteer errors in the game, but also committed two costly errors of their own which resulted in multiple unearned runs.

Tennessee senior Nick Williams (2-0) earned the win after allowing two runs, one earned and one unearned, on three hits and striking out six in 6.0 innings.

Fedde allowed three runs on seven hits and struck out seven while walking three in 6.0 innings of work. Joey Lauria pitched 2.0 innings in relief, allowing four unearned runs on one hit while striking out three.

From the plate, all nine UNLV batters recorded a hit and McCallister led the team with two RBI. Joey Armstrong extended his hitting streak to 10 games, while T.J. White extended his to six games and Joey Swanner extended his to five games.

Tennessee avenged three one-run losses to the Rebels in Las Vegas last season with tonight’s one-run victory. The squads return to the Lindsey Nelson Stadium diamond on Saturday at 1 p.m. UT freshman Kyle Serrano (1-0, 3.60) and UNLV junior John Richy (1-0, 2.45) will face off on the hill.

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UT remains undefeated with 5-3 win over Appalachian State

Posted on 19 February 2014 by Allen

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Senior Scott Price set the tone with a leadoff home run in the first inning, and sophomore Drake Owenby closed the door with a four-out save to give the Tennessee baseball team a 5-3 win over Appalachian State on Wednesday.

The win gives the Volunteers a 4-0 start to the 2014 season with the unbeaten UNLV Rebels (4-0) coming to Knoxville for a three-game series this weekend.

“Like I told the team, we’ll always take wins,” said head coach Dave Serrano. “I felt like we had to overcome ourselves a little bit today. I thought from an offensive standpoint we weren’t on it and that’s human nature. When you score 31 runs in the previous three games, you come out and you have a tendency to get complacent.

“We as a coaching staff keep stressing that we have done nothing yet and we have to continue to remind them that we’re proud we’ve gotten out of the gate 4-0, but we’ve done nothing and have to keep working each and every day to become a better team. The ingredients are there, it’s about us doing that.”

After a 1-2-3 inning from sophomore lefty Andy Cox in the top half of the first, Price ledoff the bottom portion of the frame by sending a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left field to give Tennessee the early 1-0 lead. It was UT’s first leadoff home run since former Vol Khayyan Norfork accomplished the feat on March 17, 2011 against Austin Peay. The hit also extended Price’s hit streak to 16 games, dating back to an April 26, 2013 matchup at Florida.

“We think that (Scott Price) is going to start the game off with a big bang most of the time,” said Serrano on moving Price to leadoff. “Like I continue to say, and it’s not to put pressure on him, he’s one of the better hitters in the SEC and one of the better hitters in the country. The opponents get the opportunity to face him right out of the gate and he just continues to square-up baseballs like he has done for the last year and a half.”

Working on a pitch count, Cox gave Tennessee four strong innings, allowing just two hits and one run to earn the victory. The Arlington, Tenn., native retired his first seven batters and tossed 52 pitches – 33 for strikes – in his first start of the season.

The Mountaineers (0-4) leveled the game with an RBI double by catcher Ozzy Gonzalez in the top of the fourth inning, but the Vols quickly regained control with a Vincent Jackson sacrifice fly to score Christin Stewart in the bottom half.

Tennessee executed the inside game perfectly in the fifth inning as Will Maddox – hitting from the No. 9 slot – walked to lead things off. Maddox went on to steal second and reach third on a passed ball. Sophomore shortstop A.J. Simcox dropped down a perfectly-placed bunt, sending Maddox across the plate to give UT a 3-1 lead. With Price on second after reaching on a walk and Simcox at first, Stewart ripped a RBI double just out of reach for the diving App State right fielder. Price came around to score and Tennessee held a 4-1 advantage after five innings of play.

Trevor Bettencourt and Peter Lenstrohm combined to throw three strong innings of relief, allowing no runs to cross the plate. However, the Mountaineers were able to keep the Big Orange off the scoreboard for both the sixth and seventh innings.

The Mountaineers made things interesting in the top of the eighth inning, posting two runs on three hits off junior college transfer Zac Grotz. With Grotz struggling, Serrano turned to Owenby.

The sophomore closer came in with two down in the eighth and immediately got out of the jam with an infield flyout to Maddox at second base.

Behind a Nick Senzel triple and a David Houser sacrifice fly, the Vols tacked on an insurance run in the eighth, giving them a 5-3 lead. Serrano handed the ball back to Owenby in the ninth, and he was able to get a groundout and sit two Mountaineers down on strikes to clinch the four-out save and the victory. It was Owenby’s second save in four days.

Tennessee returns to action with a highly-anticipated series against UNLV this weekend. The Vols welcome the Rebels to Knoxville after traveling to Las Vegas a season ago, where UNLV won three out of four. Game times are slated for 5 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. UT will send senior Nick Williams to the mound on Friday, freshman Kyle Serrano on Saturday and sophomore Andrew Lee on Sunday.

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Vols sweep Purdue with 8-2 win

Posted on 17 February 2014 by Allen


Tennessee took advantage of six walks issued by Purdue and piled on seven runs in the second inning en route to an 8-2 win on Monday and a season-opening series sweep of the Boilermakers.

For the weekend, the Volunteers (3-0) outscored Purdue (0-3) by a 31-4 margin and hit .388 with a .505 slugging percentage. On the mound, the Vol pitchers closed the opening series with a 1.33 ERA.

“It was a good weekend for many reasons; a sweep is always good,” said head coach Dave Serrano. “We got a lot of guys in and a lot of pitchers got their feet wet for the first time. “I’m proud of how we opened up. There are a lot of good things happening, but I keep reiterating to our team that we still have a long ways to go. I don’t think anyone has ever won an SEC championship or a national championship on a weekend sweep. It gets us going in the right direction, but I told them that even if we started 0-3, we are still going to work on the same things come Wednesday. We are still going to continue to build as a team and a program and not be satisfied with where we are at.”

Making his first career appearance on the mound for the Vols, sophomore starting right-hander Andrew Lee delivered a five-inning, four-hit performance with three strikeouts to earn the victory. Coming off Tommy John surgery in the summer of 2012, the Morristown, Tenn., native played first base and was a designated hitter for UT as a freshman in 2013. The Vols’ ace delivered 75 total pitches in the appearance, including 49 for strikes.

“Today was a team win, but it was mainly about Andrew Lee,” said Serrano. “He has worked extremely hard. I never will forget that phone call in June of his senior year that he told me that he was going to need Tommy John surgery and wouldn’t be able to pitch for us his first year. He has worked extremely hard, and there has been a lot of patience involved in this. He has healed well, and he is a welcome member on this pitching staff. He did exactly what I talked about. He pounds the strike zone, and he sets the tempo. I am very proud of him.”

Purdue struck first in the game, benefiting from a Scott Price error in the outfield in the top of the second inning, which allowed designated hitter Kyle Wood to come around and score on a Kyle Johnson single.

Shortly after, Price made up for it at the plate. With the bases loaded in the second frame, Purdue walked in back-to-back runs and balked a third. Junior Will Maddox was walked as well to reload the bases with Price stepping into the box. The senior then delivered the Vols’ biggest hit of the night, sending a double to the left-center wall and clearing the bases to give Tennessee a 6-1 lead.

Sophomore A.J. Simcox followed with a sacrifice bunt to move Price to third. A pitch got away from Purdue’s Gavin Downs and Price came home to extend the lead to 7-1 in the second inning. Price extended his hit streak to 15 games dating back to last season with a four-RBI, 2-for-3 performance.

Tennessee would tack on one more run in the game as Price placed a single through the right side to score Maddox in the third inning. Wood picked up a two-out double in the top of the eighth to cut the deficit to the final margin of 8-2.

Junior College transfers Peter Lenstrohm and Zac Grotz pitched in relief for the Vols after Lee’s five innings. Lenstrohm worked through two innings, allowing just one hit, while Grotz closed out the night with two innings of his own.

The Vols scored their eight runs on just seven hits. Freshman designated hitter Nick Senzel continued his hot start to the season, going 2-for-2 at the plate and stealing a base. Simcox, Maddox and Jeff Moberg each added singles in the contest.

Tennessee is now 3-0 for the second time under Serrano. The Big Orange swept Northern Illinois to start the 2012 season.

The Orange and White returns to the Lindsey Nelson Stadium diamond on Wednesday afternoon against Appalachian State, in a game that was originally scheduled for Tuesday. The Vols will send left-handed pitcher Andy Cox to the mound to take on the Mountaineers at 3 p.m. ET.

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