JONESBORO, Ark. -- Following a one hour and 48 minute delayed start due to heavy rain, the Tennessee Volunteers battled back from an early deficit to beat the Arkansas State Red Wolves, 7-4, on Wednesday night at Tomlinson Stadium.
With the win, the Volunteers improve to 12-13 on the season and 3-2 in the all-time series against Arkansas State.
Tennessee's offense collected 12 hits on the Red Wolves and got on the boards early, as leadoff man Nick Senzel knocked a double to left field and scored on an RBI-single from shorstop A.J. Simcox in the first. Senzel went on to go 4-for-5 on the night against the Red Wolves, while Simcox (2-for-5, RBI) recorded his team-leading sixth multi-hit game of the season.
Arkansas State plated three runs in the bottom of the second to take a two-run lead.
Junior left fielder Christin Stewart put the Vols back on top in the fifth, sailing a three run home run over the right field fence to make it a 4-3 advantage for Tennessee. The homer marked Stewart's seventh of the season while he also improved his team-leading RBI count to 23 on the year.
Again, the Red Wolves came back to even the score at 4-4 in the seventh but Tennessee rallied. In the top of the eighth, Stewart reached on a leadoff walk and came around to third following first baseman Andrew Lee being hit by a pitch and center fielder Brodie Leftridge executing a bunt single. With one out, third baseman Jared Pruett layed down a perfect squeeze bunt, as Stewart charged home on the pitch. With the successful squeeze, Pruett recorded his first RBI of the year and gave the Vols a 5-4 lead.
In the eighth, Stewart put another big swing on one and sent his second home run of the night over the right-center field wall, giving Tennessee a 7-4 advantage. With the home run, Stewart became the first Vol to hit two home runs in the game since Ethan Bennett did so against Alabama A&M on March 15, 2011.
Tennessee starting pitcher Hunter Martin (1-1) went 4.0 innings in his Wednesday start, allowing three runs on five hits to receive no decision. Righthander Peter Lenstrohm entered the game in the fifth and tossed 2.1 innings before righty Bret Marks made his first appearance of the season in relief.
After starting the game at first base, Andrew Lee finished the game for the Vols on the mound, striking out two of his three batters faced in the ninth.