JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -- With the help of a six-run third inning, the Tennessee Volunteers powered their way to an 11-2 win over East Tennessee State on Wednesday night at Thomas Stadium.
East Tennessee threatened in the first, moving their leadoff man to third, but senior catcher Tyler Schultz (1-for-3) threw out two baserunners in the frame to shut down the Bucs.
Tennessee's offense ignited in the third with a leadoff single to left field by Derek Lance's (2-for-3). Jeff Moberg (1-for-3) was hit by a pitch and Nick Senzel (2-for-4, RBI) reached via intentional walk to load the bases for Vincent Jackson (1-for-4, 3 RBI). On a 1-0 count, Jackson laced a two-RBI single into right field before Jordan Rodgers (###) contributed another RBI-single in the next at-bat, scoring Senzel from second to make it 3-0 in favor of UT.
A four-pitch free pass to Schultz loaded the bases again in the third before a botched double play brought two more runs across for the Vols. With designated hitter Leno Ramirez (2-for-4, 2 RBI) on second, shortstop Max Bartlett (1-for-5, RBI) knocked a single up the middle to score Ramirez and give Tennessee a six run advantage.
Knoxville native and ETSU second baseman Trey York trimmed Tennessee's lead to four runs, busting a two-run homer to left field in the bottom third.
The Vols came back to futher their lead in the sixth, when Moberg led off with a double down the left field line and scored on a wild pitch. Right fielder Chris Hall (1-for-4) worked his way to third and eventually came home on a passed ball by ETSU catcher Hagen Owenby. With two outs, Ramirez then hit an RBI-double through the right side to give UT a seven-run cushion at 9-2.
The Volunteers went on to plate two runs over the next three innings to secure a 11-2 win over ETSU.
Making his collegiate debut for the Orange and White, freshman lefty Alex Harper-Cook threw 2.0 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and one walk to his eight batters faced.
Lefty Aaron Soto went 3.0 innings in relief and allowed two runs on two hits while striking out two batters for the win. Tennessee then went to senior Steven Kane in the sixth, who worked 2.0 hitless frames before righthanders Jon Lipinski (1.0) and Quint Robinson (1.0) closed the game out for UT.
Up Next for the Vols:
Tennessee returns to Rocky Top this weekend to host the UC Irvine Anteaters for a three-game series at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Friday's (March 11) contest is slated to begin at 5 p.m. ET,