April 1, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee got a two-out, two run single by Zach Osborne in the bottom of the sixth inning to post a 5-3 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the series finale from Lindsey Nelson Stadium on Sunday. With the win, the Volunteers completed the Southeastern Conference series sweep of the Tide.
In the decisive sixth inning, Tennessee (18-10, 5-4 SEC) got the leadoff runner aboard when Davis Morgan singled to left. Pinch runner Nick Powell stole second, and after a strikeout, UA starting pitcher Jon Keller walked Chris Fritts, ending the day for Keller. Trey Pilkington entered and loaded the bases when he hit Chris Pierce with a pitch. After Ethan Bennett popped out to first, Ozborne delivered a game-winning two RBI single to left field, on an 0-2 offering from Pilkington.
Alabama finished the game 1-for-7 at the plate with runners in scoring position, while leaving nine runners on base. UA left two on in the fifth and sixth and one on in the seventh.
Alabama (9-19, 1-8 SEC) collected five hits in the scheduled seven-inning game. Jared Reaves was 1-for-4 with a home run and Hunter Gregory was 1-for-2 with two RBI. Taylor Dugas was 0-for-2, but had a walk and was hit by a pitch to extend his streak of reaching base to 40 games.
Keller took the loss for the Tide, as his record dropped to 0-1 for the season. Keller allowed five runs on five hits with three walks and a strike out.
UT reliever Carter Watson got the win to improve to 3-0, after throwing 2.1 innings. Watson did not allow a hit, but he walked three and had one strikeout. Nick Blount record his sixth save of the season, and third of the series, after throwing a scoreless final inning.
The Tennessee sweep was just the second for the Vols over the Tide in the history of the series, and first since the 1994 season.
Tennessee got on the board first, when designated hitter Drew Steckenrider hit an opposite field, two-run home run off the scoreboard to stake the Vols to an early 2-0 lead. Tennessee extended its lead to 3-0 when a ground out by Jared Allen allowed Zach Luther to score from third.
Reaves continued his hot hitting in the series when he led off the fourth inning with his second home run of the season to left field. Alabama loaded the bases on a Jon Kelton single, and walks to Andrew Miller and James Tullidge. Gregory followed and delivered a two-out, two-run single to center field to tie the game at 3-3. Dugas was hit by a pitch to reload the bases, but a Booth fly out to left field ended the inning.
With the HBP of Dugas ended the game for UT starting pitcher Nick Williams, who finished the day with 3.2 innings pitched, allowing three runs on four hits with four walks and a hit batter.
Alabama returns to non-conference action with a road game at South Alabama on Tuesday. First pitch for the game against the Jaguars is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT from Stanky Field in Mobile, Ala. Starting pitchers for the mid-week game have not been announced.
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