The latest Tennessee outing was a matter of simple math: 14 Ks equal one more disappointing L.
Cold and rainy conditions didn't do the Vols any favors as they wrapped up their non-conference schedule on Tuesday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
But the weather didn't seem to bother Belmont nearly as much as it did UT, which looked lost at the plate while striking out 14 times in a 6-3 loss that provided a relatively new offensive struggle in a season full of them.
"Is that what we had? It's not easy to do that," Vols coach Todd Raleigh said. "And we haven't really struck out a lot as a team this season. It did seem like we had a lot tonight, guys kind of over-swinging a little bit, some of them.
"And, I mean, you've got a pitcher (Drew Steckenrider) playing right (field), that doesn't help. You've got a shortstop (Zach Osborne) that can't hit, he's got to switch-hit and he's not a switch-hitter. Some of that, what are you going to do? It's tough, but still we had a few too many tonight and it hurt us."
The Vols (23-28) spread them out over the course of the evening against five Belmont (30-23) pitchers, striking out at least once in all nine innings and going down in order in the second inning to set an early tone.
UT scratched out five hits, pushed across all three runs with a productive frame in the fifth and for the most part had solid efforts from its bullpen. But with a season-high 14 batters going down swinging, looking or fouling off a two-strike bunt attempt, the Vols were never able to consistently generate any kind of assistance for the pitching staff.
"I think it's over-swinging," Raleigh said. "I told them after the game - when you try to do too much, anybody that has ever played knows that if you're trying to hit a home run, you don't. The only time you ever hit a home run is when you're not trying to.
"We don't necessarily always have to over-swing and get two strikes and let them throw a better pitch. Every pitch that's thrown in the world is not a home run or double. One might just be a single the other way, that kind of deal. We've got to be content with taking that all the time and not over-swinging, so that's a lot of it."
Everybody in the lineup gave Raleigh a teaching point heading into the season-ending series starting Thursday against Auburn, with all nine starters going down at least once and four of them ending the game with multiple strikeouts.
That problem kept the Vols from ever offering much help to guys like Zach Godley, who entered the game in relief in the sixth inning and offered three scoreless innings with five strikeouts to keep the score manageable late and keep his team in the game.
But UT never even put a runner on base when it was batting in support of Godley, going down in order three consecutive times with five batters going down on strikes.
"That's a lot higher than it's been, higher than I can ever remember," UT catcher Ethan Bennett said. "I don't know what it was, and I had two of them. I don't know.
"I mean, you can definitely pick up emotions off different people, whether it's negative or positive, it's definitely there. That's always there, (but) I know I was over-swinging. I was pulling off balls, and I wasn't making good swings."
Bennett had plenty of company, and it produced an increasingly familiar result for the Vols. The formula for creating it was just a little different.