The Tennessee baseball team split a double-header against Missouri on Saturday. The took game one on a walk-off single by Pierce Bily, 7-6.
In game two, Tennessee's pitching struggled as they fell 14-6 in the night cap. With their win on Friday, the Vols clinched the series against the Tigers.
Both Scott Price and Ethan Bennett hit their first home runs of the season in the second game of Tennessee's doubleheader against Missouri on Saturday, but the Tigers scored multiple runs in each of the first four innings en route to claiming the series finale, 14-6, at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Having won Friday night's opener, 4-0, and walking off with a 7-6 triumph in the first game on Saturday, the Vols still won the weekend series. They are now 13-10 on the year and have an even 3-3 record in Southeastern Conference play. Missouri's record now stands at 8-12, 2-4.
"Coach Bergeron said it perfect [in the team huddle after the game], if we would have gotten blown out in the first game of the doubleheader and then left it all on the field in the second game we wouldn't be saying this is a disappointing feeling. We would be pretty elated that we won the series," UT head coach Dave Serrano said. "I'm not sugar-coating anything because that was an absolute massacre from their offensive standpoint to our pitching staff, but we won the series and we took a step forward. We are 3-3 [in the SEC]. I'm not proud of it but if you look at the standings, everyone's about the same. We just need to get better on the mound. We're not good enough on the mound right now and there's no way around that right now or anything to sugar-coat with that."
After be shut out on Friday night and an emotional walk-off win by the Vols in the opening game of Saturday's doubleheader, Missouri came out looking for revenge in game two. The Tigers got it early and often, scoring 12 runs with multiple tallies in each of the first four innings.
Tennessee got on the scoreboard in the second inning when Christin Stewart scored on a groundout by Pierce Bily following a leadoff triple, but that would be it until the fifth.
With the Tigers holding a commanding lead, UT took advantage of a Missouri error with two outs to cut into that advantage. Maddox reached on the miscue by the MU first baseball and Taylor Smart followed with a single. Price then took a 1-0 pitch and crushed it over the wall in right-center, just under the retired jersey of former Vol first baseman Todd Helton, for a three-run home run, his first in the Orange and White.
Bennett followed suit in the bottom of the eighth, bringing the tally on the scoreboard to its final resting place with a two-out, two-strike moonshot that landed on "The Porch" in left field. While it was his first of the season, it was his 12th longball in three years as a Volunteer.
Coming into the day, UT had hit just two home runs on the year. Including Vincent Jackson's first career blast in the opening game of the doubleheader, the Vols more than doubled that total on Saturday alone, hitting three.
Bennett, Stewart and freshman A.J. Simcox all finished with two hits in the contest and freshman Davis Aiken made his collegiate debut, appearing as a pinch hitter and playing right field. He became the 17th freshman to see action for the Big Orange this season, further increasing their nation-leading total.
Tennessee will return to the diamond on Tuesday when it welcomes Tennessee Tech to Rocky Top for a 6 p.m. contest at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Down by a run to Missouri going into the bottom of the ninth, Tennessee used a safety squeeze by Parker Wormsley to tie the contest before Pierce Bily gave the Vols a 7-6 win with a walk-off single in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Junior Scott Price finished 4-for-5 at the plate and scored the game's winning run. Freshman Vincent Jackson also had four hits in the victory, including the first home run of his young career, a monster two-run blast off the top of the scoreboard in the fourth inning.
Freshman Drake Owenby improved to 2-0 on the season after pitching the top of the ninth for Tennessee. Fellow classmate Aaron Quillen also pitched well, firing three innings of relief, allowing two runs on two hits while striking out a pair.
Although Missouri raced out to a 3-0 lead through three innings, the Vols got back into the game with one swing of the bat with Jackson's blast in the fourth. The Tigers pushed their lead back to two runs with a tally in the top of the sixth but the Big Orange responded by taking its first lead of the game in the home half of the frame.
As has been their M.O. all season, it was a two-out rally that gave the Vols the lead as Jackson got things started with a single before scoring just two pitches later on a double high off the wall in right-center by David Houser. Taylor Smart then brought Houser in with a single up the middle and Will Maddox put UT in front with a triple to right.
The Tigers weren't going to go away that easily though and retook the lead with single runs in the top of the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, setting up Tennessee's dramatic finish.
Jeff Moberg got the ninth-inning rally started with a leadoff single to left. A balk and a single by Price quickly put him on third base with nobody out, setting up a perfectly-executed safety squeeze by Wormsley to tie the game. With Price at second, Bily ripped a 1-2 pitch to the gap in left-center to give the Orange and White its first walk-off win of the 2013 campaign and clinch the team's first SEC series win since it swept Alabama last season.
Tennessee will go for the series sweep in the second game of the doubleheader which is set to being at 4:30 p.m. Freshman Trevor Bettencourt (2-1, 1.65) will take the mound for the Big Orange.
University of Tennessee