TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (UTSports.com / WVLT) -- The Tennessee baseball team swept a doubleheader with Alabama Saturday to win the weekend series and snap an eight-game SEC losing streak.
Junior southpaw Steven Gruver tossed a seven-inning complete game gem, allowing just one unearned run on four hits, to lead the Tennessee baseball team to a series-evening, 2-1, victory over No. 24 Alabama in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
The Vols won the second game 1-0 thanks to a strong five-inning effort by pitcher Nick Blount.
Gruver's win evened his record on the season at 4-4 and dropped his ERA to 2.60. The Canfield, Ohio, native scattered four hits, all singles, and threw 105 pitches.
Offensively, junior Zach Osborne and seniors Tyler Horne and Josh Liles each had a pair of hits for the Big Orange. Osborne and Liles recorded the team's two RBIs with run-scoring singles in the third and fourth innings, respectively. Freshman Ethan Bennett also had a double and scored a run, while senior Matt Duffy accounted for UT's other tally after picking up a single.
Gruver's effort was aided by a pair of double plays, including a 4-6-3 turn off the bat of Alabama star Taylor Dugas in the bottom of the seventh inning to end the game. The Tide's only run of the day came in the bottom of the fifth after a two-out walk, a passed ball and a throwing error on an infield single.
The Big Orange got the scoring started in the top of the third. Bennett opened the frame with a leadoff double down the left-field line before coming home to score two batters later when Osborne laced a single to right center.
UT's second and eventual game-winning run came just one stanza later. Duffy got the ball rolling in the Orange and White's favor by lining a one-out single to left. After a pop-up put two outs on the scoreboard, sophomore Charley Thurber was hit by a pitch before Liles punched an RBI single to right to give the Big Orange a 2-0 lead.
Tennessee improved to 20-15 overall and 3-11 in SEC play as it snapped a nine-game skid...UT is now 30-68 all-time against Alabama, including a 10-29 record in Tuscaloosa...The two-hit efforts by Zach Osborne, Tyler Horne and Josh Liles were their 14th, seventh and eighth multi-hit contests of the year, respectively...Steven Gruver's complete game was his second of the season and his career (9.0 innings versus Manhattan 3/11)...Official game time was one hour, 44 minutes for the seven-inning affair.