Tennessee baseball gets pounded again; Dave Serrano apologizes

Matthew DeMaria/Tennessee Athletics
Tennessee’s Jeff Moberg slides into second base against South Carolina on Sunday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

Photo by Matthew DeMaria/Tennessee Athlet, University of Tennessee Athletics

Matthew DeMaria/Tennessee Athletics Tennessee’s Jeff Moberg slides into second base against South Carolina on Sunday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

Trailing by a hopeless 15-2 in the top of the ninth, Tennessee was at least one out away from getting a hot shower to wash away another lost day at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

But to further illustrate Tennessee’s current baseball plight Sunday, 11th-ranked South Carolina just wouldn’t let it go.

Six more Gamecocks took their swings — four hits, two walks — before somebody had the good manners to fly out.

So the carnage ended at 19-2, Tennessee’s worst margin of defeat since an 18-0 loss at Auburn in 2010.

After the game, UT coach Dave Serrano issued a wide-ranging apology:

“For anyone who has ever worn this uniform and represented this university, I apologize and I’m embarrassed for them, for where we’re at right now and where we should be.’’

Where Tennessee is in the second year of Serrano’s rebuild is riding an eight-game losing streak for the first time since 2011, Todd Raleigh’s final campaign as coach.

“It’s not a good feeling at all,’’ said junior catcher Ethan Bennett, who briefly interrupted the misery with a solo home run in the fifth inning. “But we’ve still got to keep our chest out and heads up high.

“Once you put your head down you’re only gonna keep getting

pushed down in the dirt even more.’’

South Carolina (26-7, 8-4) did some downward pushing Sunday.

After cracking a season-high 17 hits Saturday, the Gamecocks topped themselves with 21. That’s three short of the UT school-record 24 allowed against LSU in 2002.

The pitching-poor Vols (13-17, 3-9 SEC) have allowed 12 or more runs in half their SEC games, including all four series finales.

Serrano flipped his rotation, saving usual Friday-night man Zack Godley in hopes of avoiding another bloody Sunday.

It didn’t work. Godley, a South Carolinian who very much wanted to beat the Gamecocks, didn’t have his mojo working.

“I was leaving balls up and they were taking advantage of it,’’ he said.

Godley (2-4) was touched for 12 hits and eight runs in six innings. But he fully supported Serrano’s ploy to optimize UT’s chances of ending the weekend on a positive note.

“I trust what coach is doing,’’ Godley said. “I like what he’s got planned. I like the idea behind it. I just hope we can execute it.’’

The Vols didn’t execute much of anything Sunday before a crowd of 2,637 sprinkled liberally with Gamecock fans. Not with their bats, gloves, feet or arms.

“I’m a big believer in the baseball gods,’’ said Serrano, “and I think the baseball gods are testing us to see how much we can endure until we step up and become tougher and start finding a way to get things done.

“Being lucky is hogwash. You make your own breaks and we’re not playing aggressive enough in any aspect to be making our own breaks right now.’’

The road to recovery doesn’t get easier. Next up is a trip to East Tennessee State on Tuesday, then a series at Kentucky (22-9, 6-6).

Serrano said it’s time to re-evaluate what the staff is both doing and saying.

“Because something is not translating,’’ he said, “for our guys to understand what direction we need to be.’’

The direction he has in mind was the team across the field. South Carolina won the College World Series in 2010 and 2011 and lost in the finals last year.

“I made the comment Friday (on the radio) before we took on this national foe,’’ Serrano said, “that this is the weekend (a breakthrough moment) was going to happen.

“Well, I’m not afraid to come out and say that. It’s like putting my foot in my mouth now. We went oh-and-three and weren’t really that close.’’

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Comments » 29

SilatGamecock writes:

Having attended many games at Lindsey Nelson while in grad school, I truly say, UT has the worse fans in the SEC. Glad they got beat as bad as they did today. Hate USC missed the record of 24 hits against UT in a game.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say Serrano the right man. Just going to take time to recover.
Bones never lie.

cyclonevol87 writes:

in response to SilatGamecock:

Having attended many games at Lindsey Nelson while in grad school, I truly say, UT has the worse fans in the SEC. Glad they got beat as bad as they did today. Hate USC missed the record of 24 hits against UT in a game.

Take the Game off of Gamecock and thats what you can suck.

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

in response to SilatGamecock:

Having attended many games at Lindsey Nelson while in grad school, I truly say, UT has the worse fans in the SEC. Glad they got beat as bad as they did today. Hate USC missed the record of 24 hits against UT in a game.

Thanks for your opinion, please do not come back to Lindsey Nelson or this board.

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

in response to SilatGamecock:

Having attended many games at Lindsey Nelson while in grad school, I truly say, UT has the worse fans in the SEC. Glad they got beat as bad as they did today. Hate USC missed the record of 24 hits against UT in a game.

Talk about terrible fans, have you watched a Gamecock basketball game lately? The attendance is almost as big of a joke as your team.

VolFanHoping writes:

I know, I know, we just have to wait a few more years until this is turned around, just like the football team has done...well, like the basketball team has...well, like the track and field...well, it's odd how the boys at UTAD never had to wait nearly as long to get their millions paid to them.

1vavolfan writes:

in response to SilatGamecock:

Having attended many games at Lindsey Nelson while in grad school, I truly say, UT has the worse fans in the SEC. Glad they got beat as bad as they did today. Hate USC missed the record of 24 hits against UT in a game.

Trolling another teams college baseball board, makes the UK hoops fans that come on here look classy. Congratulations.

eduardo writes:

Some things never change around here! Still trying to figure out why we hired Gonzo instead of Gregg Marshall!

ReeseHallRelic writes:

in response to eduardo:

Some things never change around here! Still trying to figure out why we hired Gonzo instead of Gregg Marshall!

Still trying to figure out why you're talking about our basketball coach on a baseball story.

Still wondering why you're ridiculously down on a 20-win basketball season and a coach who did pretty well with the hand he was dealt.

As for Serrano, he was/is a great hire. There wasn't a better choice for UT. With the more-than-necessary turnover that occurred in the offseason, it's going to take awhile.

If you're looking for quick fixes and instantaneous championships, try your X Box... again.

VolzsFan writes:

If Hamilton's job was to ruin the UT Athletic Department he did a masterful job. He inherited Rod Delmonico who was not only the most successful coach in school history but the 4th winningest in SEC history. He inherited a Hall of Fame football coach that was the most successful in school history. He inherited from Ernie Grunfeld and Haslem the most successful basketball coach in school history. He also had one of the best track coaches. When he left they where all gone replaced by amateurs. He did a great job. Hope all of you are enjoying the change.

MikeTheManHamiltan writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Giverny writes:

I'm not that familiar with Serrano or his 'core' abilities of coaching baseball so my opinion is based solely on what I've heard him say and what I've read about him so obviously it could be seriously flawed.....OK I've not been impressed.

He strikes me as more of a caricature of a baseball coach than an actual one....much like Dooley was....he looks and acts the part and parrots what one would expect one to say....its all one cliché and one dimensional...

Ichabod writes:

These guys don't even try hard. SC gave ten times the effort, and consequently scored ten times as many runs. This guys record and lack of improvement speaks for its self.

THEKIDWISCONSIN writes:

Yes, Hamilton ruined UT athletics but after years of bashing (which he did & does deserve) I just don't have the energy anymore.

The baseball team is similar to the rest of the programs...who was going to take the job? And while I see a saddening similarity between the football & baseball teams in year two record and progress-wise we need to remember this, Coach Serrano has a winning track record...Dooley had none.

So in year two after rolling over the "roster" left by Raleigh, this is w/o a doubt very ugly, but he's got to be given more time.

With that many new faces not to mention true freshman, I didn't expect to win every series...but they've got to at least start being competitive don't they?

And Coach Serrano, unlike Dooley, just doesn't throw his kids under the bus.

Gotta stick with them.

Go BaseVOLS.

SignalMtnVol writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

If Hamilton's job was to ruin the UT Athletic Department he did a masterful job. He inherited Rod Delmonico who was not only the most successful coach in school history but the 4th winningest in SEC history. He inherited a Hall of Fame football coach that was the most successful in school history. He inherited from Ernie Grunfeld and Haslem the most successful basketball coach in school history. He also had one of the best track coaches. When he left they where all gone replaced by amateurs. He did a great job. Hope all of you are enjoying the change.

He inherited a Hall of Fame football coach that was the most successful in school history

Neyland worked for Hamilton?
I think you mean 2nd most successful, which is a true statement of Fulmer. No shame in being 2nd to the man the stadium is named for.

arkyvol writes:

in response to MikeTheManHamiltan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think the real credit goes to dubya.

Banner writes:

Can't fault Godley. You can't ask a young man to pitch in 3 games in a week. A reliever can do that but not a starter. CDS is going to ruin this kid's arm. Put Godley back on Friday night and move Williams to closer. Williams is much better in this role. He has two good pitches and that is all a closer needs. He doesnt have 3 pitches that a starter needs. His mentality is perfect for a closer. This gives our team the best chance to win.

rtrchatt writes:

Its the orange thingy but at least UT is not as bad as the Barners. The barn is 4-37 against SEC competition in football(12), their last bb win against UA in Feb, and baseball this spring. Classic bottom feeders and good job Jay Jacobs, keep up the good work.

MetroplexMojo writes:

in response to SilatGamecock:

Having attended many games at Lindsey Nelson while in grad school, I truly say, UT has the worse fans in the SEC. Glad they got beat as bad as they did today. Hate USC missed the record of 24 hits against UT in a game.

With your use of the word "worse", the University of Phoenix is calling. They want their grad degree back.

maciste54 writes:

in response to arkyvol:

I think the real credit goes to dubya.

Complete and total liberal idiotic irresponsible BS. The one we have now has thrown gas on the fire.

Give Serrano time. He doesn't take the field his players do. Better players will come in time.

pcorange writes:

No use getting in a political discussion on a sports site. Hopefully Serrano can right the ship. At least he fully realizes what a mess he has, unlike our former football coach.

Pompey writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say Serrano the right man. Just going to take time to recover.
Bones never lie.

....I second that motion....!

8inarow writes:

Just like football.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to SignalMtnVol:

He inherited a Hall of Fame football coach that was the most successful in school history

Neyland worked for Hamilton?
I think you mean 2nd most successful, which is a true statement of Fulmer. No shame in being 2nd to the man the stadium is named for.

No. He meant most seccessful. Compare the teams each coached against and the length of time at Tennessee and Newland would not hold a light to PHILLIP FULMER.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to Banner:

Can't fault Godley. You can't ask a young man to pitch in 3 games in a week. A reliever can do that but not a starter. CDS is going to ruin this kid's arm. Put Godley back on Friday night and move Williams to closer. Williams is much better in this role. He has two good pitches and that is all a closer needs. He doesnt have 3 pitches that a starter needs. His mentality is perfect for a closer. This gives our team the best chance to win.

Do you evaluate prospects? If not,you should considering your vast knowledge of players you don't even know.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to abnerPeabody:

No. He meant most seccessful. Compare the teams each coached against and the length of time at Tennessee and Newland would not hold a light to PHILLIP FULMER.

Newland? Really?

flatrock writes:

Uncle Dave needs to apologize for those black-laden uniforms...Vols are wearing more black than Vandy, Georgia and South Carolina COMBINED- and black is an official color for those 3 schools! Note to Dave: the brand is ORANGE & WHITE...leave the orange and black to Oregon State, Oklahoma State, the Orioles, the SF Giants and Ensworth Prep.

ACWLY writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

Trolling another teams college baseball board, makes the UK hoops fans that come on here look classy. Congratulations.

You nailed that one!

THEKIDWISCONSIN writes:

How sad is it when the only way to get "fans" to comment on the baseball team in such numbers is a losing streak & getting pounded by SC (insert head shake here)

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