March 20, 2013

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Tennessee uses nine-run third to top Western Carolina


By Phil Stanton @roadtoomaha


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee’s big inning was greater than Western Carolina’s.


The Catamounts put up five in the top of the second, but the Volunteers answered with nine in the bottom of the third as Tennessee outscored WCU 10-5 Wednesday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.


WCU (12-9) batted around in the top of the second against UT starter Aaron Quillen. Jacob Hoyle had a leadoff triple the eluded the diving Christin Stewart in right. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Adam Martin. With two outs, Luke Gragg stole home on the back end of a double steal for the second run. Cody Jones had a RBI single before Julian Ridings capped the rally with a two-run triple to left center, just beyond the glove of a diving Pierce Bily to make it 5-0.


The Vols (11-9) responded by sending 13 to the plate in the bottom of the third. Parker Wormsley was hit by a pitch to start the inning and was sacrificed to second. He was still at second following a line out to left. Scott Price doubled to left to plate Wormsley, the start of 10 consecutive hitters to reach in the inning. Stewart had a run-scoring single and moved to second on a base hit by Taylor Smart. Vincent Jackson, Bily and David Houser each had RBI singles as UT took a 6-5 lead. Wormsley singled and Will Maddox was plunked to load the bases before Jeff Moberg delivered a two-run single and Price capped the rally with a RBI base hit to give the Vols a 9-5 advantage.


“I don’t think there was anything more needed for this team than that,” UT head coach Dave Serrano (left) said. “I commend the offense for picking up Quillen. He had a rough start, gave up a five. It looked like it was going to be one of those ugly midweek games. We bounced back with nine. I think we hit through the lineup with two outs which was unbelievable. I said to the team after that sometimes wins like that can do wonders for a team and we’re looking for something like that. We needed that big-time.”


Tennessee had nine hits during its two-out explosion in the third. The Vols have already had seven games in which they didn’t get nine hits.


UT is batting .325 (81 for 249) with two outs, compared to .247 (109 for 441) with less than two outs. The Vols have had 103 RBI this season and 59 have come with two outs (57.3%).


“I’ve noticed that about this team,” Serrano said. “I’d like it to start happening with zero outs.”


The Vols added an insurance run in the seventh as Bily led off with a base hit and scored on a one-out single by Wormsley.


Trevor Charpie took over on the mound for the Vols in the third and tossed six scoreless innings, scattering five hits with two walks and two strikeouts. He raised his record to 2-0. Charpie had thrown 16 innings in eight previous appearances in 2013.


“Trevor’s outing was huge for us,” Serrano said. “Never in my wildest dreams when I went into today’s game plan did I think he was going to go as many innings as he did. That outing for him was big for us and, more importantly, big for him too.”


Tennessee’s defense was flawless, the fourth time in the past eight outings it has played an errorless game.


“That gets brushed under the rug in a 10-5 game but the defense was spectacular,” Serrano said. “We made all the routine plays. That’s how you win these kind of games in the midweek with the defense that we through out there today.”


Price and Bily both finished with three hits. The 14 hits by the Vols was their third-highest total this season.


Ridings had three hits for the Catamounts. WCU had 11 hits and drew five walks, but stranded 10.


(game photo by Phil Stanton, head shot courtesy of UT Media Relations)