No. 21 Vols Lose First Game but Win Series with Fresno State

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(Photo via Tennessee Athletics)

No. 21 Tennessee defeated Fresno State 13-9 in game two of the series to secure its third series win of the young season.

The game was completed on Sunday afternoon after it was suspended Saturday night due to weather. At the time in which the game was suspended, the Vols led 11-8 in the top of the eighth inning with one out.

Tennessee pelted Fresno State throughout most of the game. The Vols led 11-0 at the end of six innings and didn’t allow the Bulldogs to score until the top of the eighth inning.

In the second and third inning, Tennessee combined to score three runs as Ricky Martinez hit an RBI double and Al Soularie hit his third home run of the season – a two-run shot.

The home run derby continued for UT in the fourth inning. Following an RBI single from Jake Rucker, Andre Lipcius launched a grand slam to right field, extending Tennessee’s lead to 8-0. Two batters later, Soularie launched his second home run of the game and fourth of the season – a solo shot.

With Tennessee leading 9-0 at the end of four, the Vols would tack on a run in both the fifth, and six innings, respectively. Rucker hit his second RBI single of the game in the fifth, and Luc Lipcius hit an RBI double in the sixth.

Zach Linginfelter (4-0, 0.50 ERA) earned the start for UT, pitching six scoreless innings to pick up the win. He struck out four on the day and allowed just one hit.

Camden Sewell was first out of the bullpen. The freshman worked a clean inning, striking out two and not allowing a hit or a run. Though it appeared as if Tennessee was cruising, things began to crumble as heavy rain began to fall.

Fresno State struck for nine runs in the eighth. Sparked by seven walks, the Bulldogs were able to cut the Tennessee lead to 11-9. The Vols used four different pitchers in the inning, calling on Will Heflin, Tanner Kohlhepp, Elijah Pleasants, and Garrett Crochet. Heflin allowed three runs as he walked three, and Kohlhepp allowed five runs as he walked three batters as well.

Pleasants faced two hitters, allowing a walk and a base hit. The Vols’ bullpen was then saved by the rain, as the game was called with Fresno State in striking distance and runners on.

When the game resumed on Sunday at noon, Crochet was left with the responsibility of shutting down the Fresno State threat. After plunking a Bulldog to bring in a run, Crochet struck out the next two batters to end the inning.

Following the nine-run eighth inning, Fresno State was unable to tally any more runs. Crochet trotted back out for the ninth, and though he gave up a lead-off double, the sophomore struck out the next three batters to pick up his third save of the season.

Tennessee tacked on two more runs in the eighth inning.

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Ben McKee
Ben McKee is a graduate from the University of Tennessee and has a degree in Journalism and Electronic Media. He grew up an Army brat and lived in Alabama for a bit, but he bleeds orange. He covers Tennessee football, basketball, baseball, and the Lady Vols for RTI, and he's also a co-host on the RTI Live Show and RTI Podcast. You can also hear Ben on the morning sports radio show "The Swain Event." He's the producer and co-host along with former Vol wide receiver Jayson Swain.