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Tennessee bats blanked by Niners

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The 15th ranked Tennessee Volunteers baseball team (11-3) entered its lone mid-week matchup against the UNC-Charlotte 49ers having only lost two games thus far on the season, resulting in an 11-2 record. The ‘Niners, on the other hand, came into the game with a respectable 7-3 record, including a sweep of Morehead State and William & Mary. As it would bear out, Charlotte would prove to be a roadblock for the Volunteers’ baseball team, with Tuesday night’s game resulting in a 9-0 ‘Niners win.

Will Heflin (2-1), who would ultimately take the loss, got the start for Tennessee. He pitched one inning, allowing two hits, and one run. The rest of the work was spread over five other pitchers, with Kirby Connell picking up the most work (three innings, two hits, one run, two strikeouts). Charlotte was able to tag every Tennessee pitcher for at least one run (although Connell’s was unearned).

Charlotte’s attack was steady and sustained throughout the game, plating a run in the first, third, and fifth innings, before scoring four in the seventh, and two more in the eighth. That’s where Charlotte’s run-scoring night would end; meanwhile, Tennessee’s never started.

Tennessee only got five hits in the game, two of which were attributed to Liam Spence. The other three were scattered among teammates.

In the end, Charlotte’s pitching plan worked well against the Volunteers. Charlotte starter Austin Marozas (1-0) pitched six scoreless innings, having only given up five hits. Three more relievers would make an appearance for the 49ers, none of whom would give up a hit.

Tennessee will look to get back on track for a home weekend series against the UNC-Greensboro Spartans. Those Friday through Sunday games will begin at 6:30, 6:00, and 1:00. At the conclusion of that series, the Volunteers will play in-state competitor ETSU March 16 before opening up SEC play in Athens against the Georgia Bulldogs next weekend.