KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (UTSports.com)-- Tennessee put its pressure offense on full display Tuesday night, scoring its final three runs without the benefit of even a single hit en route to a 5-2 victory over Mississippi Valley State on a gorgeous evening at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Sophomore Carter Watson picked up his first win of the season, firing 2.2 scoreless innings of relief. Junior Nick Blount tallied his third career save, second of the season, as he got the final four outs of the contest.
Despite getting a no-decision, freshman Robbie Kidd was strong in his second career start, striking out two in four innings of two-hit, one-run ball. Sophomore Dalton Saberhagen also added an inning on the mound, yielding just one unearned run on one hit.
At the plate, senior Davis Morgan pounded the second three-hit game of his career, going 3-for-5 with an RBI, while freshman Parker Wormsley and Zach Osborne each had two base-knocks as the trio accounted for seven of Tennessee's eight hits in the contest. Osborne and Wormsley also drove in two runs each.
Mississippi Valley State jumped out to a quick lead, using a two-out home run by Allen Cheek to grab a 1-0 advantage in the third inning. Delta Devil starting pitcher held the Vols in check for the first four frames before finally getting touched up for a run in the fifth.
With two outs on the board, Osborne took off for second and just snuck in ahead of the tag. The stolen base turned out to be a huge play as Wormsley dropped a single into left that allowed Osborne to score and tie the game at 1-1.
Following another two-out single, this one by Steckenrider, Morgan picked up his third hit of the day to plate Wormsley from third and put Tennessee ahead for good.
The Big Orange added another run in the sixth, despite not getting a single hit. UT took advantage of a walk and two hit batters to load the bases with nobody out. Osborne drove in his sixth run of the season with a sacrifice fly to center to move the lead to two at 3-1. Although an error loaded the bases once again, the Vols couldn't cash in on the opportunity as MSVU escaped further damage with a 6-4-3 double play.
After a scoreless seventh, the Delta Devils inched back within a run thanks to an RBI single by Michael Lowe that just hit off the end of the glove of a leaping and fully outstretched Osborne before falling safely into left.
In a moment of déjà vu, the Vols had the exact same scenario as the sixth play out in the eighth with Carter drawing a leadoff walk, followed by two hit batters and a sac fly by Osborne. Maddox then reached base without a hit to load the bases once again. That is where the similarities came to an end though, as Wormsley drew a bases-loaded walk to move the score to its final tally at 5-2.
The Vols have now had eight innings in which it has scored at least one run without the benefit of even a single hit this season, totaling 13 runs in those frames.
Tennessee will go for the midweek series sweep over Mississippi Valley State at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Freshman southpaw Brandon Zajac will make his second career start in the Orange and White.
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