For a while, the small ball was just a little too small for Tennessee.
But the free passes from Mississippi Valley State helped make up for that.
The Vols scored three runs in the final three innings despite not recording a hit, pulling away from the Delta Devils on Tuesday night, 5-2 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
"That was the big part of this game was we were able to take advantage of some of their miscues," said UT coach Dave Serrano. "And that's what you have to do sometimes."
Twice Tennessee (14-10) took advantage of Mississippi Valley State (6-19) pitching woes, loading the bases on a walk and two hit batsmen each time. Both times Zach Osborne was able to drive in a run with a sacrifice fly.
Osborne's first RBI in the sixth gave UT a 3-1 lead. He noticed it was the same scenario again in the eighth.
"Just tried to do the same thing as the first time," the sophomore shortstop said. "Just get that runner in and try to get something rolling there."
The Delta Devils also had three errors to help UT along.
Carter Watson (1-0, 2.92 ERA) got the win in 2 2-3 innings of relief after starter Robbie Kidd pitched four innings. Each gave up two hits.
After four scoreless innings and just four hits, the bats came alive for Tennessee in the fifth, as the Vols used four hits, including an RBI from Parker Wormsley and Davis Morgan each, to take a 2-1 lead.
"It's one of those games where you've just got to battle through the first couple innings to get going," said Morgan, who got all three of his hits in his first three at-bats.
At eight hits on the night, the Vols didn't have any more hits after that. MSVU ended with seven.
"We're struggling at the plate right now," Serrano said. "We're in one of those funks offensively. We'll come out of it. We'll find a way to get out of it.
"We've just got to keep battling. We knew it was going to be hard, it wasn't going to be easy. And we've got to continue to accept those challenges."
A solo home run from Allen Cheek put the Delta Devils up 1-0 in the third inning. Cheek was the only MVSU starter with a homer heading into the game.
Osborne barely missed a line drive over his glove at shortstop as Michael Lowe drove in a run to cut UT's lead to 3-2 in the eighth.
Tennessee takes on the Delta Devils again today at 7 p.m. at Lindsey Nelson.
Godley Earns SEC Honor: Zack Godley was named SEC Pitcher of the Week for his 4-1, eight-inning win over previously unbeaten No. 2 Kentucky last Friday. Godley allowed three hits against one of the SEC's top hitting teams to become the first UT player to receive the award since Bryan Morgado in 2010.