Vols batter hapless Georgia, 25-5

UT ties school mark for hits in game, 28

ATHENS, Ga. - If Tennessee's baseball game against Georgia had been a boxing match, the Vols would have won early on a technical knockout.

Tennessee put the game away with a record-setting third inning as the Vols pummeled Georgia 25-5 on Saturday at Foley Field. Tennessee tied the school record with 28 hits and its 25 runs were the eighth-most in school history.

Tennessee picked up all the runs it would need and more in the third inning as it scored 13 times on a school-record 12 hits. P.J. Polk, Blake Forsythe and Cody Hawn each had home runs in the outburst.

"We all were seeing the ball pretty well and getting good barrels on it," Polk said. "It seemed like nobody could make an out. It was a big inning and we want to keep that momentum going into (today)."

Tennessee (26-21, 10-13 SEC) began Saturday tied with Alabama for the eighth and final spot in the SEC tournament. Alabama and Florida played late Saturday. Georgia (13-32, 3-18) has lost nine straight conference games since beating Ole Miss on April 11. The two teams close their weekend series at 2 p.m. today at Foley Field (TV: CSS).

"It started out kind of innocent with a couple of hits and a walk," Tennessee coach Todd Raleigh said. "I was thinking about bunting with runners on first and second. But he (Josh Liles) got a great hit. Then P.J. gets a hit and Hawn hits a home run and after that, it just kind of exploded."

Polk was 5-for-6 with five runs scored, six RBIs and two home runs. Forsythe was 4-for-5 with two runs scored, five RBIs and two home runs. Matt Ramsey was 2-for-5 with five RBIs. Matt Duffy was 5-for-7 with two runs, two RBIs and three doubles. Tennessee hit six home runs in the game, including two by Polk, two by Forsythe, one by Hawn and one by Ramsey.

Steven Gruver (4-3) allowed seven hits and two runs with five strikeouts and two walks in five innings to pick up the win. Georgia's Jeff Walters (1-6) allowed nine hits and eight runs (all earned) with three strikeouts and one walk in two innings to take the loss.

The game turned after Georgia took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Tennessee's first 10 batters in the third reached base safely, including a stretch of eight straight hits. Tennessee sent 19 batters to the plate in the third. No. 9 hitter Zach Osborne singled, walked and flew out in his three appearances in the inning.

"It was a bounce-back inning after giving up two just before that," Forsythe said. "We were looking to just put up two. So obviously 13's a big inning for us. But it all started with our leadoff guy, Zach (Osborne) getting on base, moving the ball around and then Hawn had the big 3-run home run and that's what started it off."

Tennessee either tied or broke a laundry list of 29 individual season highs and 25 individual career highs in the game. Some of the highlights:

n 12 hits in the third broke the single-inning record of 11 set against Oakland in 2005

n 55 total at-bats, which broke the school record of 54 set against Georgia State in 1999 and Maryville in 1973.

n 52 total bases, which broke the school record of 47 set against Georgia State in 1999 and Mississippi State in 1998.

Polk tied Tony Delmonico's single-game school record of five runs scored set against Tennessee Temple in 2007. The last time Tennessee had 28 hits was against Tennessee Temple in 2007 and South Carolina-Spartanburg in 1992.

Roger Clarkson is a freelance contributor.

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Comments » 16

bobbytodd writes:

dang

voloffaith writes:

Congrats to diamond Vols! I know everybody dislikes Coach, but team is showing spunk at the right time. Bama got blasted by gatos to help us have one game cushion. Get the brooms out we just might sweep a series. Hope Morgado bounces back from a series of poor outings.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

"Just like football!"

(clapclap....clapclapclap)

*repeat

RoadTrip writes:

Hooray for us - we are in 8th place out of 12 teams!

Snooze...

Futurecoach16 writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

Hooray for us - we are in 8th place out of 12 teams!

Snooze...

Surprise surprise, someone is unhappy. Lah dee dah for you. Great job boys! Get one more tomorrow, and add some padding into that lead over Bama. Go Vols!!!

us43137415#376444 writes:

These dudes are doing it the hard way, and I like what they're doing to me.

25 runs doesn't really impress me against a down-and-out team. Score that much the rest of the season, and I'll be impressed.

I'm cautiously optimistic... ain't packing my bags for Hoover just yet. This one may come down to the wire (again).

Intheknow30 writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

Hooray for us - we are in 8th place out of 12 teams!

Snooze...

Wake up, man. We just set records... against Georgia, who although they are having an abysmal year, are still in the SEC, and have quite the program historically.

And not to mention, I personally wouldnt be that surprised to see Alabama in Omaha as the ninth seed out of our conference. That says something about this conference we play in.

OrangeinCarolina2 writes:

Great job Vols! Keep those bats hot! Let's get to Hoover and anything can happen. GO VOLS!

voloffaith writes:

Told ya the spinners would come out with negativity. You just can win with some people. Give them a new $50 bill and they will complain cause it had a wrinkle in it. Oh well they are what they are. Two series to go after dawgs today, Auburn on the plains and bama at home to close out regular SEC. Go Vols!!!

armyvol22 writes:

Let's get the sweep today. Then we still have to play Auburn and Alabama. 2 out of 3 guys.
Go Vols!

givehim6 writes:

Well last month I would not have thought I'd be saying this but, very PROUD of you guys keep up the good work!

jclowers writes:

It will likely come down to the final series of the season when we play Bama in Knoxville. Hopefully Vol Fans will pack the park for that. But the question is even if we snag the 8th and final spot in the SEC tourney but then lose in the first round of that, is that enough progress?

Futurecoach16 writes:

in response to jclowers:

It will likely come down to the final series of the season when we play Bama in Knoxville. Hopefully Vol Fans will pack the park for that. But the question is even if we snag the 8th and final spot in the SEC tourney but then lose in the first round of that, is that enough progress?

Well, they are guaranteed 2 games in the SEC tournament, but I think if they win all 5 series of the 2nd half, it's enough to keep Raleigh here.

VOLinAthensGA writes:

I was there.....and it was beautiful. GBO!

RoadTrip writes:

in response to Intheknow30:

Wake up, man. We just set records... against Georgia, who although they are having an abysmal year, are still in the SEC, and have quite the program historically.

And not to mention, I personally wouldnt be that surprised to see Alabama in Omaha as the ninth seed out of our conference. That says something about this conference we play in.

Good luck with that IntheKnow. Guess we can sit back and watch all those SEC teams go to Omaha, or not.

If indeed the Vols have turned the year around, we will know after the AU and Bama series are concluded. The UGA team we set records against would have lost to Jefferson County yesterday. They are worse than embarrassing.

Futurecoach16 writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

Good luck with that IntheKnow. Guess we can sit back and watch all those SEC teams go to Omaha, or not.

If indeed the Vols have turned the year around, we will know after the AU and Bama series are concluded. The UGA team we set records against would have lost to Jefferson County yesterday. They are worse than embarrassing.

It's not just the records, it's the fact that this team has won 3 straight SEC series, and played its way into position to get to Hoover. Georgia was runner-up in the 2008 CWS and 3rd in 2004. Yes, it's a down year for them, but putting up 25 runs is amazing in itself.

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