The sixth ranked Tennessee Volunteers baseball team (30-8, 10-5) were in College Station to take on the Texas A&M Aggies (22-17, 4-11). After Friday’s game was rained out, the two teams met for a doubleheader Saturday afternoon and into the evening.
The Vols started game one with Chad Dallas on the mound. He would turn in seven strong innings in the Tennessee win, allowing one run on five hits, while striking out five and managing to not walk a batter. Dallas improved to 6-1 on the season with the victory.
Jake Rucker kicked off the scoring in the first inning with a solo home run, staking the Vols to an early 1-0 lead.
With a pair of runners on in the second inning, Connor Pavolony was able to reach on a fielder’s choice, ultimately advancing after an error; Evan Russell was able to score on the error, pushing the Tennessee advantage to 2-0.
Max Ferguson went on to single a pair of runs in before the conclusion of the inning, further extending the Volunteer lead, 4-0.
A double would plate Rucker in the third, making it 5-0 Tennessee.
A&M finally got on the board when Harrison singled in Coleman, but that’s all they’d get in the inning, attempting to cut into Tennessee’s lead, making it a 5-1 game.
In the top of the sixth inning, Pavolony homered on a 2-1 pitch for a solo shot that would gain the run right back, making it 6-1.
Sean Hunley came on in relief of Dallas in the eighth inning. He tossed a scoreless frame and contributed a strikeout en route to the ninth inning. He would return to the mound to try to finish off the game, pitching a quick 1-2-3 inning and adding another strikeout to his line.
Heading into game two after a win, Tennessee improved its record to 31-8 overall and 11-5 in-conference.
Game two saw Will Heflin begin the game on the mound. Heflin would contribute 3.2 innings, allowing two runs on five hits; he also struck out one without walking a batter.
As with the first game, Tennessee kicked off the scoring in the first inning when Drew Gilbert grounded out but brought in a run on the play. Evan Russell would also single in a run in the inning, netting a 2-0 Tennessee advantage early.
A Jordan Beck home run in the top of the second inning gave the Volunteers a 3-0 edge.
After a quiet third inning, the scoring recommenced in the fourth inning. A Gilbert single plated another Volunteer run, extending the lead to 4-0. Texas A&M, however, would get a couple back off a Frizzell two-run home run in the bottom half of the inning, cutting Tennessee’s lead in half, 4-2.
The seventh inning saw Luc Lipcius single in a late-inning run for Tennessee in an attempt to provide the Vols with a greater cushion, making it a 5-2 game.
The bottom of the seventh would prove to be fruitful for the Aggies, however. Harrison singled in a run before a Bost double plated two more runs to tie the game at 5-5. On a sacrifice fly, Bost would come in to score, giving Texas A&M a 6-5 lead.
All four runs in that inning would be attributed to Kirby Connell, who turned in 2.1 innings and was given the loss.
A quiet top of the ninth netted the Aggies the win. With the loss, Tennessee fell to 31-9 overall and 11-6 in-conference. Texas A&M moves to 23-18 overall and 5-12 in-conference.
Tennessee’s season continues Tuesday night in Knoxville against the Lipscomb Bisons with first pitch set for 6:30 pm. SEC play continues over the weekend when the Kentucky Wildcats (22-13, 7-9) come to town. Those games will begin at 7:30 pm, 6:30 pm, and 1:00 pm, respectively.