KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (UT Release) – The Tennessee baseball had 10 consecutive batters reach base with two outs, including nine hits, in a nine-run third inning as it defeated Western Carolina, 10-5, on Wednesday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
“I don't think there was anything more needed for this team than that [inning],” UT head coach Dave Serrano said. “I commend the offense for picking up [Aaron] Quillen. He had a rough start, gave up five [runs], and it looked like it was going to be one of those ugly midweek games. Then we bounced back with nine, all with two outs. We hit through the lineup with two outs, which is unbelievable. I said to the team after the game that sometimes wins like that can do wonders for a team and we're looking for something like that and we needed that big time.”
The Catamounts (12-9) actually raced out to a 5-0 lead in the contest with all five runs coming in the top of the second before the Vols (11-9) responded with their monster two-out rally an inning later.
Juniors Scott Price and Pierce Bily led a 14-hit UT offensive attack with three hits each. Bily scored two runs and drove in one while Pierce knocked in two and scored another. For Bily, it was his third three-hit effort of the year, tying Will Maddox for the team lead.
Freshman Trevor Charpie came out of the bullpen to fire six shutout innings of relief to improve to 2-0 on the year. His performance marks the longest relief outing by a Vol this season. He struck out two and scattered five hits during his time on the mound.
The Big Orange offense absolutely exploded in the third inning, scoring nine runs, all with two outs, on nine hits and two HBPs. Sophomore Parker Wormsley led off the frame by getting hit by a pitch before moving into scoring position after a sac bunt and a line out.
Over the next 32 pitches, 10 consecutive Vols reached base with seven different players driving in at least one run. That streak of consecutive baserunners marks the longest for the Vols since it had 11 straight players reach in a 13-run inning at Georgia on May 8, 2010.
The stanza was a microcosm of the team’s season up to this point as the Orange and White has been coming through with two outs on the scoreboard all year. Of Tennessee’s 103 RBIs this season, 58 have been with two outs, accounting for 56.3 percent of the yearly total.
Wormsley added an insurance run for the Vols in the bottom of the seventh inning, laying down a successful suicide squeeze to account for the game's final run.
Tennessee will return to SEC play this weekend when it hosts a three-game set against Missouri, March 22-24. The Vols will shuffle the rotation against the Tigers with senior Zack Godley getting the start at 6 p.m. on Friday, junior Nick Williams going at 4 p.m. on Saturday and freshman Trevor Bettencourt getting the ball at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
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