UT drops Houston College Classic opener

HOUSTON, Texas (UT Release) - Trailing by six runs entering the ninth inning, Tennessee rallied to score three times and brought the go-ahead run to the plate, but fell just short as the Volunteers (7-2) dropped their opening game at the Houston College Classic, 7-4, to Houston (5-4) at Minute Maid Park on Friday evening.

Junior Drew Steckenrider suffered the loss for the Big Orange, his first of the year, after allowing three runs on three hits in 3.1 innings of work. The Lawrenceville, Ga., native struck out a career-high five batters in the contest as well.

Freshman Conner Stevens posted a solid outing out of the UT bullpen, going 3.2 frames in which he yielded three runs, two earned, and recorded the first four strikeouts of his young career.

Houston starting pitcher Jared Ray held Tennessee to just one run on five hits and struck out 10 in seven strong innings to pick up the victory.

At the plate, junior centerfielder and Houston native Chris Fritts led the way, going 2-for-4 with a single and a double. Seniors Wes Walker and Davis Morgan, sophomore Ethan Bennett and freshman Jared Allen drove in UT's four runs.

After three scoreless innings to open the contest, the Cougars got the scoring started with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. UH had just one hit in the frame, taking advantage of two hit batters, two walks a passed ball and a wild pitch. They scored on an RBI groundout, sacrifice fly and a bases-loaded walk.

Tennessee got a run back in the next half-inning as Fritts led things off with a double to right-center, UT's first hit of the day, and Walker brought him home with a sharply-hit single straight back up the middle.

The Cougars got the tally right back, however, with John Cannon one-hopping the wall next to the Crawford Boxes in left for an RBI double. Houston then pushed two more across in the sixth and another in the seventh to break the game open, taking a 7-1 advantage.

The Vols rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth, scoring on an RBI groundout by Allen, a hot-shot single to third by Morgan and a bases-loaded hit by pitch with Ethan Bennett at the plate, but it was too little, too late as a hard-hit groundout to second ended the contest.

Tennessee 4 (7-2)
Player ab r h rbi bb so po a lob
Zach Luther 3b 5 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 6
Zach Osborne ss 4 0 1 0 0 1 1 2 0
Chris Pierce lf 4 1 1 0 0 2 2 0 0
Drew Steckenrider dh/p 4 1 1 0 0 2 0 1 0
Chris Fritts cf 4 1 2 0 0 1 1 0 0
Jared Allen rf 4 1 0 1 0 3 0 0 0
Davis Morgan 1b 4 0 2 1 0 0 9 0 0
Wes Walker c 4 0 2 1 0 1 10 1 0
Will Maddox 2b 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 5 0
Parker Wormsley ph/2b 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ethan Bennett ph 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Nick Powell pr 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Robbie Kidd p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Conner Stevens p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Totals 36 4 10 4 0 11 24 11 6

Houston 7 (5-4)
Player ab r h rbi bb so po a lob
Zack Gibson dh 4 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0
Jake Runte ss 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 0
Jacob Lueneburg rf 5 0 2 1 0 1 1 0 5
Chase Jensen 2b 4 3 2 1 0 1 4 2 1
Casey Grayson 1b 5 1 2 0 0 1 9 0 0
John Cannon c 5 0 3 3 0 1 9 4 0
Price Jacobs lf 3 1 2 0 2 1 0 0 1
Taylor White 3b 3 0 0 0 2 1 2 3 4
Landon Appling cf 2 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 2
Jared Ray p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Matt Hernandez p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Mo Wiley p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 33 7 13 7 6 9 27 10 13

Score by Innings R H E
-------------------------------------------
Tennessee........... 000 010 003 - 4 10 1
Houston............. 000 312 10X - 7 13 1
-------------------------------------------

E - PIERCE; White. LOB - UT 6; HOU 13. 2B - OSBORNE; FRITTS; Runte; Cannon. HBP - BENNETT; Gibson; Jensen. SH - Runte; Appling. SF - Appling. CS - STECKENRIDER; MORGAN; Lueneburg.

Tennessee ip h r er bb so wp bk hbp ibb ab bf fo go np
Drew Steckenrider L,1-1 3.1 3 3 3 3 5 0 0 1 0 11 16 1 3 84

Robbie Kidd 1.0 2 1 1 2 0 1 0 1 0 4 8 1 2 36

Conner Stevens 3.2 8 3 3 1 4 0 0 0 0 18 20 1 6 60

Houston ip h r er bb so wp bk hbp ibb ab bf fo go np
Jared Ray W,1-0 7.0 5 1 1 0 10 1 0 0 0 25 25 6 3 115

Matt Hernandez 1.2 5 3 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 10 10 0 4 41

Mo Wiley S,2 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 0 1 11

Win - Ray (1-0). Loss - STECKENRIDER (1-1). Save - Wiley (2). WP - KIDD; Ray. HBP - by STECKENRIDER (Jensen); by KIDD (Gibson); by Wiley (BENNETT). PB - WALKER 2. Pitches/strikes: STECKENRIDER 84/45; KIDD 36/16; STEVENS 60/43; Ray 115/78; Hernandez 41/26; Wiley 11/7.
Umpires - HP: David Wiley 1B: Jim Garman 3B: Chuck Busse
Start: 3:35 pm Time: 3:23 Attendance:
Weather: 74 inside
Wiley faced 1 batter in the 9th.


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