Tennessee had a chance to extend their season tonight but fell short after offensive troubles. The Vols were quiet all night long, managing only five base runners on four hits and a hit batter. This is the second season in a row where UT has been eliminated in the single elimination stage of the SEC Tournament.
Arkansas' Trey Killian pitched an outstanding game. He gave up all four of the hits in 7.2 innings with five strikeouts. He had a perfect game going until the fifth inning, when Jordan Rodgers became the Vols' first base runner on a two out single. Tennessee's pitching responded with a relatively good game of their own, allowing a lot of Arkansas base runners but keeping the scoring in check. Cox, Serrano, Owenby, and Lee combined to strand Razorbacks on base every inning (fifteen total were left on base).
The Razorbacks got on the board first in the seventh inning. They had a lead off double and a single to put runners on the corners. Drake Owenby then came in to relieve Kyle Serrano and quickly got a shallow popout for the first out of the inning. He followed that up with a groundball to A.J. Simcox, but the throw to second was off just enough to prevent Nick Senzel from throwing to first to complete the double play, allowing the runner to score.
The Vols responded back in the eighth, which started with Jordan Rodgers being hit by a pitch. Chris Hall then reached on a fielder's choice before Benito Santiago drove him home on a two-out RBI double, which was his first RBI of the season. The Vols then had the top of the batting order up in the ninth with a chance to move ahead but Senzel flied out, Pruett struck out, and Christin Stewart fouled out to end the half inning.
Andrew Lee got two quick outs in the bottom of the frame to put the Vols one out from extra innings. A single to right and a double to left though ended the game, as the Razorbacks walked off with the 2-1 victory.
A 24-26 record and a loss in the first round of the SEC Tournament fall short of most fans' expectations going into the season. It was good though to see the team fighting these last few weeks and work their way into the SEC Tournament after it seemed they would be left out. Tennessee has the chance to return plenty of talent next season to go with their top ten ranked recruiting class. The Vols lose seniors Bret Marks, Parker Wormsley, Peter Lenstrohm, and Johnny Youngblood. They will also more than likely be losing Christin Stewart to the MLB Draft, with Andy Cox, Andrew Lee, and AJ Simcox all possibilities as well.
Hopefully the team will get some more experience in summer leagues and respond with better results next season. Go Vols!