This weekend the Vols are on the road in Columbia, South Carolina as they take on the Gamecocks. The Vols are coming off of a weekend series loss against Kentucky, where they dropped the final two games in the series after winning Friday's opener.
Tennessee finished its home stand Wednesday as Morehead State came to town. The Vols took the early lead in the second inning on a Benito Santiago two run double. Morehead State responded with one of their own in the fourth inning to tie the game back up. Vincent Jackson drove in two more runs in the fifth which, along with a Leno Ramirez RBI single, put the Vols back up 5-2. That lead would hold until the top of the eighth inning when a two out rally helped allow the Eagles to tie the game back up. The inning featured errors by both Jordan Rodgers (against the first batter) and Max Bartlett (who misplayed a ground ball that allowed two runners to score). Doubles by Bartlett and Santiago put the Vols back on top. Errors again almost doomed them in the top of the ninth as a two out error by Nick Senzel put a runner on first. A walk put two runners on and gave Morehead State the chance to take the lead for the first time all night. They hit a single to right field but Chris Hall gunned down the runner at the plate and ended the ball game 6-5.
The Vols trail the Gamecocks 36-55 in the all-time series. Last season saw Tennessee take the final two games of the series in Knoxville to win the series. Before last season Carolina had won 16 of the last 17 games. The Vols have not won a series in Columbia since 2006, and haven't won back to back series since 2005-2006.
South Carolina has two separate double digit win strikes this season. They started the season 10-0 before dropping two games against Clemson. They followed that up with a thirteen game win streak before running into trouble last week when they dropped games against the College of Charleston (in 13 innings) and two against Vanderbilt in Nashville. This week they defeated Coastal Carolina 4-2 in Columbia.
Next week the Vols return home Tuesday to host Appalachian State before hitting the road again to take on Auburn for a series starting Thursday.
Tennessee Volunteers (18-11) (3-6 SEC) at #6 South Carolina Gamecocks (25-5) (7-2 SEC)
Date: Friday-Sunday April 8-11, 2016
First Pitch: 7 p.m. ET Friday, 4 p.m. ET Saturday, 1:30 p.m. ET Sunday at Founders Park, Columbia, SC
Internet Video: Each Game on WatchESPN
Probable Starting Pitchers:
UT LHP Aaron Soto (3-0, 3.38 ERA) vs SC RHP Clarke Schmidt (6-1, 1.80 ERA)
UT LHP Zach Warren (4-2, 2.98 ERA) vs SC RHP Braden Webb (6-1, 1.70 ERA)
UT LHP Andy Cox (2-3, 7.07 ERA) vs SC RHP Adam Hill (5-0, 2.51 ERA)
Players to Keep an Eye on:
|UT||RHP||Jon Lipinski||4.67||1.62||14||.284||2-0 (3)|
|SC||LHP||Josh Reagan||0.35||0.50||24||.116||1-0 (8)|