Florida grabs early lead, rolls to 8-1 win over UT

Tennessee freshman Nick Powell makes a diving catch of a line drive against Florida on Sunday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The Gators took the weekend series against the Vols two games to one thanks to the 8-1 win.

Photo by Patrick Murphy-racey/UTADphoto

Tennessee freshman Nick Powell makes a diving catch of a line drive against Florida on Sunday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The Gators took the weekend series against the Vols two games to one thanks to the 8-1 win.

There's not much you can do as a baseball team when you spot one of the top teams in the country a 4-0 lead in the first inning.

Tennessee found that out the hard way, falling in the rubber match against No. 4 Florida, 8-1 on Sunday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

"I walk away with a different feeling today," Vols coach Dave Serrano said after UT dropped two of three for the fifth time in its last six three-game series. "We just got beat. We couldn't get it stopped early.

"That's a very good team over there. You can't give them a four-run lead."

UT starter and Farragut High School graduate Nick Williams (2-4, 3.16 ERA) only lasted 1 1-3 inning, giving up four hits (including a home run), a walk and a hit batter. The Vols trailed 5-0 in the second when Carter Watson came in from the bullpen.

"Our starting pitching wasn't what I expected it to be with Nick Williams," Serrano said. "He didn't come out sharp. He didn't come out, in my opinion, ready to go from the first pitch, which was evidenced by the first pitch."

The Vols (21-15, 7-8 SEC) were looking to get to over the .500 mark in conference play and take their first series over the Gators (28-8, 9-6) since 2008 in Knoxville.

Tennessee held Florida scoreless after the fourth inning, thanks in part to three scoreless innings of relief from sophomore left-hander Dalton Saberhagen. The infield turned

in three double plays, but the Vols' offense still staggered, leaving 10 runners stranded.

"We definitely wanted to be out there today," Saberhagen said. "We wanted the game real bad, and everyone was there, but we just kind of started off a little rocky and then just couldn't get back in it.

"They're a good offensive team, and you've got to tip your cap to them."

Will Maddox's RBI single to right field in the ninth inning helped UT avoid being shut out for the first time since a 6-0 loss to Kentucky on Feb. 25.

"We fought for the last run, to get a run in the ninth inning," Serrano said. "We made some spectacular plays. There was no quit. I can walk away, not happy that we lost, but proud that we continued to compete through nine innings."

A Sunday attendance of 3,322 fans brought the weekend total to 9,561, the second-highest in school history for a three-game series.

In 1994, 11,280 fans attended the Florida series.

Tennessee lost 3-1 in Friday's game, then squeezed out a 5-4 upset Saturday to break a five-game losing streak to the Gators.

The Vols host East Tennessee State on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Buccaneers beat Tennessee 4-3 in Johnson City last Wednesday.

Clay Seal is a freelance contributor.

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Comments » 7

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to MrDonCorleone:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ah come on DC even you are smarter than that (I think). Serrano doesn't have near the talent Florida does. I'll give you guys credit, you have a really good thing going. But give it time and Serrano will be competing with the best of them.

AlexAndersonAAradio writes:

We have last place talent and are in the middle of the SEC in the standings. Fire that coach and hire Cuonzo to coach baseball.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

We need hitters plain and simple. We left guys on base against Florida and SC. We need power in the line up. Not only for HRs (which are nice), but power to hit to the gaps in the outfield. We also need pitching depth in the pen. It's coming. Before long we will be spanking some folks and the the trolls are gonna be sick. GREAT crowd by the way. Great job by the Vol faithful by getting out and supporting this team and staff! Let's keep it coming. We've played UF, SC, Ga, and KY in the first half which were all top ten at a point and time. Thats BRUTAL! Here's to hoping we can win an extra series or two down the stretch. It won't be easy as the entire conference is good. However, it won't quite be the murderer's row we've had to face up to this point. At the beginning of the season I predicted 33-22 as a regular season record. It's gonna take some darn good ball to do it, but I'm sticking to it.

givehim6 writes:

in response to MrDonCorleone:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Think you and GerryO were talking about baseball, but with you bringing football up not sure UF is considered relevant in football like it was in day gone by. Good luck with your win streaks this year, UGA has broke one which will fall in 2012?

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

How many times are you gonna say this? Come up with something else.

givehim6 writes:

in response to givehim6:

Think you and GerryO were talking about baseball, but with you bringing football up not sure UF is considered relevant in football like it was in day gone by. Good luck with your win streaks this year, UGA has broke one which will fall in 2012?

Sorry not GerryO , it was Rich.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to MrDonCorleone:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What are you going to say when Dooley beats Muskrat this year?? What excuses await these sites??

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