Raleigh looking for intensity from Vols after loss to Eastern Kentucky

The power was there, but Tennessee couldn't string together enough hits.

The bullpen was almost perfect, but it needed one more scoreless inning.

The Vols rallied with their backs against the wall but didn't push across the run they really had to have.

UT did a few things well in virtually every area on Wednesday night against Eastern Kentucky at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. It just didn't do enough to turn in a complete performance, coming up short in an 8-7, 10-inning nonconference loss that led to a lengthy on-field meeting when it was over.

"Obviously that's a tough one," UT coach Todd Raleigh said. "We didn't play a good game, the first game this year I didn't feel like we played well.

"I'm not happy about it - every game counts. I thought our bullpen did a good job. I thought we tried to come back late, showed some good things there. But we've got to come out from the beginning and do that. You know, we haven't done that all year, we just came out flat today and that was the message."

UT didn't get it until it was too late.

Matt Hamaker clubbed two home runs and Charley Thurber added another, but the rest of the lineup combined for just five other hits through nine innings. The Vols added a couple more spectacular plays to their resume in the field, but they also were charged with three errors and had a few other chances for outs slip away from them.

And though Nick Blount, Will Locante and Matt Ramsey were electric out of the bullpen, their six sharp innings were overshadowed by a seventh when the Colonels finally got to Ramsey and touched him for a tiebreaking grand slam.

UT finally showed some life as it tried to answer at the plate in the 10th, but it ultimately left the bases loaded before it headed out to right field to meet with Raleigh.

"All we have to do is bounce back, have a good practice (today) and come out this weekend with some fire," Hamaker said. "Just have more intensity from the get-go.

"You know, in the 10th inning, if we'd had that intensity the whole game then none of this would have happened. We wouldn't have had to fought back in the 10th. We just sat back on our heels really, and that was it."

The Vols certainly still had chances to find their footing earlier, including another bases-loaded situation in the seventh that didn't produce any runs.

They had to do a few things right to even be in that position or the similar one in the last inning. There was just one last piece missing against the Colonels.

"I think our intensity wasn't where it needs to be," Raleigh said. "I think offensively it's just not clicking. I know we had some hits today or whatever, but that's not enough.

"We're a better team than that, and we need some guys, especially in the middle of the order (1-for-13, four walks), to start doing something for us to be successful. That's what middle-of-the-order guys do, and we're not getting a lift. We're doing some good things, but sometimes you need somebody to carry you. Matt Hamaker had a heck of a game, but we need more than that."

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Comments » 26

tapeworm writes:

Eastern frickin' Kentucky? Here we go.

chucka writes:

This is why we don't have fans pouring into the stadium. On nights where we should be putting the bat on balls and circling the bases like we were on a merry-go-round, we end up losing to an opponent walters state would beat 9 out of 10. Get it together! In the words of the great Johnny Majors, "Attack Attack Attack!" Go Big Orange!

voloffaith writes:

in response to tapeworm:

Eastern frickin' Kentucky? Here we go.

Is the sky falling? Is the season over? Young team learning and blending. Lets let them play more than 7(?) games b4 we cash it all in and say it's over when it's not....

USNVOL writes:

KNS in case you havn't heard....the Tennessee Vols mens basketball team won tonight!

tapeworm writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Is the sky falling? Is the season over? Young team learning and blending. Lets let them play more than 7(?) games b4 we cash it all in and say it's over when it's not....

Perhaps you didn't understand my post. "Eastern frickin' Kentucky," here we go.

keepitreal4vols writes:

Raleigh needs to be looking for a new job as well as the intensity. You don't give up 8 runs and lose to EKU, PERIOD!

RoadTrip writes:

in response to volsrock54:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So did the SEC coaches in the pre-season poll when they voted the Vols to finish 6th in the division. Then KNS and Raleigh get all hyped about beating Xavier. I am talkin about Xavier, man. Not a good team, not a good team, not a good team. Xavier, man.

This team may be a little better by the end of the season, but, no way do they get to Omaha without buying tickets and sitting with the fans.

tapeworm writes:

in response to volsrock54:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So I guess you're content with the last two seasons, and then opening up this season with a loss to "Eastern frickin' Kentucky." So, a team that used to be a player in the SEC, now, as you say "sucks." Now that's a formula for success.

rclarkfork#639958 writes:

As usual our fans over react to every loss...what a bunch of losers and I'm not talking about the baseball team. Probably the same ones who have been complaining about both basketball teams all season. Sad to have to listen to this phooey in every sport.

arlvol writes:

Bataan Death March around the corner for Raleigh

BradleyJKinkaid writes:

You can talk to NCAA talk but can you walk the NCAA walk!!!

Come on baseball Vols, GET HUNGRY NOW BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!!

beachvol1 writes:

Ok, it's baseball, but guys, either we ditch the program completely or get competitive...sorry but Mr. Hamilton, you may have hired the wrong guy...don't tell me with the facilities that UT has that they can't attract quality baseball players or is it, we're not coaching them up...apparently...really ticks me off that we are not more in the race...even Kentucky has a better program...embarrasing..if you know what I mean.....

us43137415#376444 writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Is the sky falling? Is the season over? Young team learning and blending. Lets let them play more than 7(?) games b4 we cash it all in and say it's over when it's not....

You're absolutely correct. Don't judge the season by the first few games. Let 'em find a rhythm and a groove, then exploit it.
There's too much talent in there, and I'm not ready to cash 'em in yet..
And that's unusual for me.

Futurecoach16 writes:

in response to beachvol1:

Ok, it's baseball, but guys, either we ditch the program completely or get competitive...sorry but Mr. Hamilton, you may have hired the wrong guy...don't tell me with the facilities that UT has that they can't attract quality baseball players or is it, we're not coaching them up...apparently...really ticks me off that we are not more in the race...even Kentucky has a better program...embarrasing..if you know what I mean.....

Just so you know, Kentucky is #23 in the country this season. So, before you start acting like being behind Kentucky is an insult, know what you're talking about. Middle of the week games are tough to judge due to not always having players in their natural positions, and using pitchers that do not pitch often. I still believe this team will do some damage this season. Go Vols!!!

OrangePride writes:

Definitely a bad loss! Horrible in fact. BUT, the season has a long way to go. The team did better than expected against OSU (albeit just 1-2), but this one takes the luster off all that work bigtime. Bottom line? CRS better get these young men on track. Another 19-20 win year and EVERYONE will be calling for this coach's hide! GO VOLS.....GET FOCUSED!

richvol writes:

It's hard to recover from a tiebreaking grand slam but this sure looks familiar to the past two seasons...I sure hope not.

SuckTheseVols98 writes:

See you later CTR! enjoy your time on Rocky Top redneck, cause ya dont have long! GO VOLS!

utvols842008 (Inactive) writes:

Were any of you commenters at the game last night? Not every loss is a bad game. The way the guys worked back in the bottom of the 10th showed tremendous hope for the season. Try watching a game instead of reading the box score and KNS's version of the game before you throw the entire season away.

live2fish writes:

***ALERT*** ALERT*** ALERT***
Todd Raleigh, you have eliminated ALL of your scapegoats.You can't lean on the excuse that you don't have your own players because Delmonico's guys are gone now. Everyone is also tired of you whining about not having enough scholarships. This year's recruiting class is ranked 15th in the nation, so enough with that excuse. You needed someone to blame last year, and that's why you fired Corral. To save yourself. Well......I think YOU are the problem. Mr. Hamilton, what's the definition of insanity? Insanity- doing the same skit and expecting different results. Get rid of Todd if you want things to change!!!!

Intheknow30 writes:

in response to The_Four_Horsemen:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This is baseball. You know, America's favorite pastime. college baseball specifically has seen unbelievable growth over the past 10 years. LSU had 10,000 at opening day. Hell, we even had 2,500. Not to mention the fact that college baseball was on espn on Tuesday, thanks to Chris Fritts. Thats probably a couple months earlier than in past years for anything college baseball related to pop up on espn. College baseball is not going anywhere.

Intheknow30 writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

So did the SEC coaches in the pre-season poll when they voted the Vols to finish 6th in the division. Then KNS and Raleigh get all hyped about beating Xavier. I am talkin about Xavier, man. Not a good team, not a good team, not a good team. Xavier, man.

This team may be a little better by the end of the season, but, no way do they get to Omaha without buying tickets and sitting with the fans.

xavier beat #4 georgia tech on sunday. They won 39 games last year. They are no oregon state but they are a good baseball team.

Also there are 9 sec teams in the top 30, and 5 from the east. Ill let you guess which team in the east isnt there. The point is that 6th in the east is no insult. We have not proven we deserve to be anywhere but there.

madmax22 writes:

I will support the team, but it doesn't look good. For those who say "let the team learn and get a rhythm." That is great as long as all of our opponents stay where they are and don't improve.

OrangePride writes:

in response to madmax22:

I will support the team, but it doesn't look good. For those who say "let the team learn and get a rhythm." That is great as long as all of our opponents stay where they are and don't improve.

Very true......all of the good teams "come together and get thier rhythm" as the season goes on. And it seems to me, have we not been hearing this very same message for three years now? "Be patient, we are getting better?" Let's hope this year is the one where we really do get better and some good winning baseball actually materializes on the field. I know baseball is not the primary sport for some fans, BUT Tennessee MUST field a competitive, fun to watch team now; not later! GO VOLS!

RoadTrip writes:

in response to Intheknow30:

xavier beat #4 georgia tech on sunday. They won 39 games last year. They are no oregon state but they are a good baseball team.

Also there are 9 sec teams in the top 30, and 5 from the east. Ill let you guess which team in the east isnt there. The point is that 6th in the east is no insult. We have not proven we deserve to be anywhere but there.

I am not trying to disparage Xavier. They are what they are - mid America, A-10 conference program that generally does not get a good sniff at post season play in baseball. You left out they are 1-5 this season, they had a losing record of 27-31 in 2008, and that most of their wins are with A-10 and lower seeded programs. They were a warm-up practice team for an SEC school that should be fielding a national program winner by now if we are to believe all of the hype.

We are 3 seasons into the big major make-over that was going to return us to the CWS that Raleigh promised. The same guy that disparaged "small ball" when he was hired. Time for it to happen. Hope it does.

bballvol1234 writes:

Wow!!!! Some of you people are unbelievable. I wonder if you people have ever watched baseball before. We are 7 games in. 7! We dropped a game to Eastern Kentucky. Which by the way (for those of you not in attendance) threw their ace. If ramsey's pitch is a half an inch further in the kid rolls over for the out. We win the game and you have nothing to talk about. The fact of the matter is they came out flat. They know that. If you read the article you would know that as well. So don't sit on your fat a**es not having seen a game this year and talk just to be talking. There is no spring training in college baseball so getting the kinks worked out takes a couple of games. Here's an interesting thought. LSU through 7 games is 7-0. They've played Centenary (4-4 with 4 wins over Grambling Sate) McNeese St. (4-3 with 3 wins over Valpo and 1 over La. Tech)and William & Mary (3-3 with wins over UMES). Comparatively, Tennessee is 4-3 against Xavier (Defending A-10 Champs with a win over current #7 GT) # 18 Oregon St. (5-2)and Eastern Kentucky (2-2. I could understand the complaints if we were 15-20 games in and dropped one to Eastern Kentucky but we have only played 7 games

live2fish writes:

bballvol1234, don't EVER compare Paul Mainieri's PROGRAM with Todd Raleigh's teams he puts together. Raleigh doesn't have a clue how to manage a team!!! The guy is a cancer on the body that is Tennessee Baseball. Cut him off and I'm sure things will improve!!!

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