Tennessee finishes its six game home stand tonight as it hosts Morehead State. The Vols are looking to find a win after dropping the final two games of this past weekend's series against Kentucky.
The series loss was the third straight 1-2 series for he Vols to start conference play. Friday saw the Vols take the early lead, with a Nick Senzel RBI double and Jordan Rodgers RBI single giving them the 2-0 advantage in the first. Rodgers added an RBI double in the 3rd to push the lead to 3-0. Tennessee kept rolling in the fifth inning, scoring six runs (including a bases loaded triple for Jordan Rodgers) to push the lead to 9-0. Kentucky finally responded in the eighth, scoring five runs while Tennessee had to send out three different relievers before Jon Lipinski finally got them out of the inning. Jordan Rodgers completed his natural cycle in the bottom of the frame, hitting a three run homer as part of a five run Vol response to push the lead back to 14-5. Aaron Soto was great in his start, going 7.1 innings with 3 hits, 2 walks, 2 runs, and 3 strikeouts.
Saturday was a pitchers duel between Zach Warren and Dustin Beggs. Kentucky struck first in the fifth on an RBI single. Tennessee took the lead the next inning on a Nick Senzel two-RBI double. The Wildcats tied it up on an RBI ground out in the seventh though and took the lead in a three run eighth on an RBI double, RBI single, and bases loaded hit batter with two outs and an 0-2 count. The Vols rallied in the ninth with three doubles and a catchers interference closing the lead to 5-4 with runners on the corners. A ground out to the pitcher ended the rally just short.
Kentucky again took the early lead on Sunday with a two RBI double in the second. They tacked on another run in the fourth on a bases loaded walk. Jordan Rodgers responded in the bottom of that frame with a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 3-1. That would be as close as the Vols would get for the rest of the game though, as the Wildcats added four in the top of the eighth. Vincent Jackson added an RBI in the bottom of the eighth, but Kentucky added three more runs in the ninth for the 10-2 victory.
Jordan Rodgers was named the SEC Player of the Week after his performance this past week. He hit .400 with 11 RBIs over the five games and hit for the cycle against Kentucky in the series opener, the first Vol to do that since Matt Duffy.
The Vols are 32-3 all time against Morehead State, but are 5-2 over the last seven games, including dropping the meeting last season 8-11 in Knoxville last March.
Morehead State went 3-2 last week, defeating Miami (Ohio), Marshall, and Eastern Kentucky and losing two other games against EKU.
Next up for the Vols this week is a trip to top ten ranked South Carolina. After that they'll return home for a game against Appalachian State before heading down to Auburn.
Tennessee Volunteers (17-11) (3-6 SEC) vs Morehead State Eagles (17-11) (6-6 OVC)
Date: Wednesday April 6, 2016
First Pitch: 6 p.m. ET at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, Knoxville, TN
Probable Starting Pitchers: UT LHP Alex Harper-Cook (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs MSU RHP Luke Humphreys (4-2, 4.05 ERA)
Players to Keep an Eye on:
|UT||RHP||Jon Lipinski||5.06||1.50||12||.283||1-0 (3)|
|MSU||RHP||Tyler Keele||2.03||1.13||16||.136||1-1 (3)|