Three wild pitches and Vols are winners, 3-2

The stage was set for the Tennessee baseball team in the 11th inning.

With one out, Chris Pierce had just walked after facing a full count, and one of UT's best hitters in Drew Steckenrider was up to bat.

Steckenrider didn't need to do anything to help the winning run to come in, though.

Three consecutive wild pitches from Seton Hall's Ryan Harvey were all the Vols needed to win 3-2 and clinch the series Saturday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

"I've definitely been in a game that ended on a wild pitch, but not three in a row," Pierce said. "It was crazy we could end it that way."

Harvey, the Pirates' (2-4) projected starter for today's series finale, entered the game in the ninth inning. He struck out three and didn't allow a hit, but his third walk — to Pierce — and the following chaos allowed UT (6-0) to walk away the winner.

That wasn't the only run Seton Hall (2-4) gifted Tennessee on a day when the Vols got five hits, matching their error count. Chris Fritts tied the game for the Vols at 2-2 in the seventh when he advanced to third base on a wild pitch, then made it home after a bad throw to third from the catcher.

"There were a lot of situations in that game that we were able to overcome," said UT coach Dave Serrano "The breaks went our way late in the game. We'll take it any way we can."

Zack Godley didn't get the win, but pitched six innings, recording a career-high seven strikeouts while giving up a walk, three hits and his first earned run of the season. Farragut High School graduate Nick Williams picked up the victory in 2 1-3 innings of relief.

In between the eighth and ninth innings, there was a scuffle between the coaching staffs, which had to be broken up by the umpires. Serrano said a Seton Hall player said something "disrespectful" to assistant coach Greg Bergeron as he walked across the field. When Bergeron stared the player down, a Seton Hall assistant reacted, and the jawing ensued.

"Me and (Seton Hall) Coach (Rob) Sheppard talked about it after the game. I apologized to him, he apologized to me," said Serrano. "It was just the heat of the moment, an emotional time."

It was the second extra-inning game this week for the Vols. They beat Western Kentucky 8-7 in 13 innings on Tuesday.

"It's great to get that experience early on, especially for the younger guys to get accustomed to battling in the clutch like that," Pierce said.

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Comments » 10

hcjournals#206623 writes:

Ok...When you sweep the teams you are supposed to sweep, that is a good sign. Even if the games are close. sloppy games don't show up at tournament time...6-0....Good start.....

easygoing writes:

Good game today vols baseball keep it up.

RashaadSalabeb writes:

Good teams find a way to win. Looks like Serrano has it going on. Good job guys!

Rock on you MIGHTY VOLS!

SummittsCourt writes:

6-0 feels real good after the last 4 years, even after a game like today.

arkyvol writes:

can we formally abolish the expression/excuse 'trap game'?

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

I know everyone (me included) is waiting to see what this team does in league play. However, winning these games are very important as well. Winning 2/3 of these games is a must going into league play. I'm wondering if this team isn't gonna which us in league play.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yes sir! Went out and watched, was a FABULOUS day for baseball. They straight up stomped Seton Hall. People keep talking about the future, but I think the team we have now is good. The real test will come this weekend when they go to Houston. Game 1 will be against Houston, game 2 against Texas, game 3 against Rice. Texas and Rice will show us where we really stand.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

I know everyone (me included) is waiting to see what this team does in league play. However, winning these games are very important as well. Winning 2/3 of these games is a must going into league play. I'm wondering if this team isn't gonna which us in league play.

Not which is... But Shock us, LOL.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah, I hear ya. However, it's really a good thing. We are playing in the Houston College Classic which is held at Minute Maid park. The Houston game will be Friday @ 4:30pm on ESPN3. The Texas game will be Sat. @ 4:30pm on the B.S. Longhorn Network. The Rice game will be @ 7pm Sunday on ESPN3. Both Rice and Texas are FABULOUS programs. This is a great chance for some national pub for our BaseVols! There's NO reason to even question if we would have been in an event like this under Raliegh, because we all know we would not have. Just having Serrano alone gives us enough credibility to be in these types of events. Expect to see home and homes against teams of this caliber each season in the years to come.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

On the other hand, I watched the baseball team for my 2nd time in person today. And I myself have questioned what they would do in SEC play. But I think this team is good. Yeah some of the teams they have played haven't been SEC powerhouses, but every other top SEC team has played comparable teams. Except Vandy...they have started out with Stanford, Oakland,and Oregon which is actually pretty brutal. Their only win being against Oakland. They are 1-6 and just got swept at home by Oregon. Georgia is 7-0 like us and has had close games with Presbyterian (5-4) and Winthrop (2-1). South Carolina is 6-0 with 2-1 and 3-2 victories over VMI, and a 3-2 win over Elon.

Point being, we've played as good as those teams against similar competition. I don't think we will win the conference, just saying I think we are gonna do better than folks think in SEC play, JMO. The catch dude made in CF for the Vols today was just SICK. You would have had to be there. These boys are bringing their lunch pales and hard hats to work every day. Look what Bruce Pearl did with Buzz's guys. Don't underestimate what Serrano can do with Raleigh's.

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