The Tennessee baseball team split a doubleheader at UNLV on Saturday, scoring eight consecutive runs to win Game One before coming up just short in a Game Two rally.
Tennessee baseball coach Dave Serrano
Here are press releases from both games, courtesy of the UT sports information department.
Sunday’s four-game series finale between the Vols (1-2) and Rebels (2-1) is scheduled to start at 4:05 p.m. EST.
NINTH-INNING RALLY FALLS SHORTS, VOLS FALL IN GAME TWO, 5-4
LAS VEGAS — Down by four runs heading into the ninth inning, the Tennessee baseball team rallied to within one and loaded the bases before a hard-hit line drive to center was caught to end the game and give UNLV a 5-4 win in the nightcap of a doubleheader on Saturday.
"There is nobody in the program or in the dugout today that is wearing the Vol uniform that is proud that we are 1-2 right now, but as the coach of this program I go away tonight with a lot of good thoughts about what this team has done so far," UT head coach Dave Serrano said. "We knew there were going to be challenges. I think there are a lot of good things going on, it is just the things that we need to clean up.
"Those little things add up to why we were on the short end of a 5-4 game, but character-wise, I have no complaints at all about the way these guys are playing. They are playing hard, there is no quit and this is going to pay dividends for us down the line as we continue to grow up together, knowing that we can come back and we will start winning these games when we start cleaning up the things that we need to."
After scoring 17 runs in the first two games of the series, the Tennessee offense was held in check by UNLV starter Buddy Borden who struck out nine and allowed just one unearned run on four hits in 7.2 innings.
The top two hitters in UT's lineup, sophomore Will Maddox and freshman A.J. Simcox each finished with three hits in the contest to account for six of the team's nine hits, four of which came in the ninth inning.
The Vols actually got the scoring started in the contest, as Maddox drove the first pitch of the game into right for a leadoff single. He would later steal second with two outs before coming around to cross the plate on a UNLV error.
From there it was all Borden until he gave way to reliever Zack Hartman in the eighth inning. The Rebel offense, meanwhile, scratched across runs in the second and third frames before scoring twice more in the sixth and one more time in the seventh.
Despite trailing 5-1 going into the game's final stanza, the Vols refused to give in. After setting a school record with 92 hit batters last season, UT finally got its first of the 2013 season at a critical time as Andrew Lee took one off the back to lead off the ninth. Freshman Jeff Moberg then picked up his first collegiate hit with a single to center before Christin Stewart crushed an RBI double off the top of the wall in right field.
Now down by three and down to its last two outs after a strikeout, freshman David Houser loaded the bases for the Vols by taking one for the team off his right leg. Yet another freshman, Vincent Jackson cut the UNLV lead down to two as he brought a run in on an RBI fielder's choice. That would give the Vols a slim margin of error though as it left them with just one out to work with.
Maddox stood tall, however, stroking a single up the middle to make it a one-run game. Simcox followed with a chopper over the mound that went for an infield single and loaded the bases once again. Price then hit a pitch on the nose, but right at the centerfielder to end the contest with Tennessee one run short.
Freshman Matt Esparza suffered the loss in his collegiate debut after yielding a pair of runs in three innings of work.
UT will look to even the series in the weekend finale at 4:05 p.m. EST on Sunday. The Vols will start a true freshman for the third consecutive game as right-hander Aaron Quillen gets the nod.
VOLS OPEN DOUBLEHEADER WITH 8-3 WIN AT UNLV
LAS VEGAS — The Tennessee baseball team rattled off eight unanswered runs to overcome an early deficit and claim its first win of the 2013 season, downing UNLV, 8-3, in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday at Earl E. Wilson Stadium in Las Vegas.
One of seven true freshmen in the starting lineup for UT, southpaw Andy Cox picked up his first career win in his collegiate debut, throwing four of the game's seven innings in which he allowed just two earned runs while striking out two.
Another first-year Vol, freshman Trevor Bettencourt finished out the contest, fanning four of the 11 batters he faced over the final three frames for his first career save.
Four different Tennessee players posted two-hit performances at the plate, including freshman Vance Vizcaino who was 2-for-3 with a walk, two RBIs and a run scored.
Also helping the team pound out 11 hits in the contest were sophomore Will Maddox and juniors Scott Price and Taylor Smart who each had two hits. For Price, he is now hitting .778 through the first two games of the season after going 5-for-5 last night.
The Rebels jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead through two innings but much like Friday night's season opener, the Vols refused to go out without a fight.
Tennessee got the comeback started in the third, with Price knocking Maddox in from second with an RBI single into right field. It was the next inning in which the Tennessee offense exploded though.
Back-to-back singles by Andrew Lee and Smart started the frame off, followed by consecutive walks to Stewart and Vizcaino, the second of which brought in UT's second run of the game. Although the next two Vols were retired, another run crossed the plate on an RBI groundout by Vincent Jackson.
An odd play on a wild pitch then gave Tennessee the lead as a pitch got away from the catcher and Stewart scored from third. In the process of trying to retire him at the plate, an errant throw then allowed Vizcaino to come racing in all the way from second.
Now leading 5-3, the Vols continued to apply the pressure in the fifth, plating three more runs. A throwing error to start the inning gave the Vols a runner on second with nobody out. Smart then pulled a bouncing single into left for his first RBI at UT.
Freshman Christin Stewart put two runners on with a base knock of his own before Vizcaino drove Smart in with his second hit of the game. UT's final run of the game came just moments later thanks to a balk with a runner at third.
From there, Bettencourt did the rest of the work, holding the Rebels to just two baserunners over the final three innings for the save and giving Tennessee its first win of the season.