KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (UT release) -- After Tennessee got a clutch two-out, two-RBI single from Parker Wormsley to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth, Arkansas responded with six unanswered runs over the next three innings to fend off the Volunteers, 8-2, in the 2012 season finale at Lindsey Nelson Stadium on Saturday.
“I don’t know if I have ever felt this empty honestly,” UT head coach Dave Serrano said. “That can sound spoiled, but I have been spoiled in my career. I’ve been spoiled to be around a lot of great coaches, a lot of great teams and this is the first time that the end of the schedule meant the end of the season. It’s something I definitely don’t want to get used to. There is a commitment in me that there are a lot of things that need to get fixed. There are things that we didn’t get fixed quite as good as we wanted to.
“We didn’t reach our goals. I have to look at myself in the mirror every day. I know we committed to this team and I feel that this team committed to us. Whenever there is change, sometimes there are things that go on and people don’t buy into it. I think these guys bought into it, but we were short in some areas and when I had to make some tough decisions in regards to personnel, it didn’t help our situation. But I wouldn’t change it. I don’t second guess myself because it’s about doing the things that are right for this baseball program and this university.”
Prior to the game, Tennessee said goodbye to six seniors as Josh Allman, Hunter Daniel, Davis Morgan, Chris Pierce, Zach Osborne and Wes Walker each played their final collegiate contest on Saturday.
For Osborne it was his 216th career game, placing him third on the all-time list behind Michael Rivera (219) and Ed Lewis (217). He finishes his career at Rocky Top with his name all over the Tennessee record book as he also ranks first with 564 defensive assists and 28 sacrifice bunts, second with 783 at-bats, fifth with 176 singles, eighth with 11 sacrifice flies and ninth with 225 hits.
After recording his squad-best 63rd hit of the season on Saturday, Will Maddox finished the year with a .297 batting average, becoming just the third freshman since 1980 to lead a Tennessee team. He joins an exclusive club with Chris Burke (1999) and Kentrail Davis (2008), both of whom went on to earn All-America status and become first-round picks.
With 2,121 fans on hand Saturday, Tennessee finishes with the second-highest home attendance total in school history at 63,084. That mark trails only the 1997 campaign when the Vols attracted 64,107 to the friendly confines of Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Although saddled with a no-decision on Saturday, junior Zack Godley held the Razorbacks mostly at bay in his first start since April 19, allowing just two runs on five hits and striking out four in five strong innings.
At the plate, Morgan was 2-for-3 with a pair of singles to close out his collegiate career on a 14-game hitting streak, while Wormsley drove in both of Tennessee’s runs in the third multi-RBI contest of his freshman campaign.
After going 3-for-3 on Friday night, Walker reached base on a pair of hit by pitches, marking the 27th time this season that the Vols have been hit at least twice in a game and pushing their season total to 92, breaking the previous school record of 90 set in 2000.
Arkansas got the scoring started on Saturday, plating a run in both the first and fourth innings to take an early 2-0 lead.
It took the Vols until the sixth to get on the board but they were able to tie the game when they did. After the first three batters of the inning reached on a single, a walk and a fielding error to load the bases without any outs, Arkansas was able to induce a 1-2-3 double play to get within one out of escaping unscathed. Fortunately for Vol fans, Wormsley stroked a pinch-hit single into left to bring in two runs and tie the game at 2-2.
Arkansas, however, responded in a big way, answering with a five-hit, three-run seventh inning before scoring once more in the eighth and twice in the ninth to account for the final score of 8-2.
Tennessee closes out the 2012 campaign with a 24-31 overall record and 8-22 mark in SEC play.
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