Vols beating ETSU in baseball 'was what the doctor ordered'

Vols snap eight-game losing skid

UT baseball team coach Dave Serrano in one of the batting cages inside Lindsey Nelson Stadium facility on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013.  (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Michael Patrick, copyright © 2012

UT baseball team coach Dave Serrano in one of the batting cages inside Lindsey Nelson Stadium facility on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

JOHNSON CITY — Tennessee ruined East Tennessee State University’s first sellout ever at Thomas Stadium, capitalizing on Buccaneer mistakes in a 4-3 win Tuesday night.

ETSU set a school record with 1,752 fans in attendance for the game between the in-state rivals.

For the Vols (14-17), the victory snaps an eight-game losing skid dating back to March 23. It’s UT’s third consecutive victory against ETSU (18-11) since renewing their in-state series last season. UT won 9-7 earlier in the season in Knoxville.

“For us, this was what the doctor ordered,” UT coach Dave Serrano said. “It doesn’t get the ship turned around, but just seeing our players’ jubilation after the game makes me feel good as their head coach.”

Tennessee was down early after starter Andy Cox (1-3) gave up a home run to ETSU left fielder Dylan Tritsch. Cox lasted two more innings, giving up another home run to catcher Mason Hershey in the third before Serrano went to the bullpen. The Vols used five pitchers in the game and surrendered just one run the rest of the way. Cox still took home the win, his first of the season, giving up three hits, two runs and no walks with one strikeout.

“We’ve really been struggling on the mound,” Serrano said. “We threw a lot of first-pitch strikes, we minimized our pitch counts and we minimized our walks. That’s the difference. We gave up the two big solo-shot home runs, but that’s not what beats you in college baseball most of the time. It’s when you give up the free passes and you make errors and it culminates in a big inning.”

The big mistakes belonged to ETSU. With Tennessee up 3-2 in the top of the fifth, Bucs reliever Will Chesney hit UT lead-off hitter A.J. Simcox. A single from Will Maddox sent Simcox to third. With two outs, ETSU coach Tony Skole called for and intentional walk of Scott Price, who hit a home run in the third inning. On ball four, Chesney was wild, sending the ball to the backstop and allowing Simcox to score what turned out to be the winning run.

“We couldn’t get out of our own way it seems like,” Skole said. “We had a lot of self-inflicted damage from a pitching standpoint. We hit the nine-hole guy. We threw a wild pitch to allow a run to score when we were trying to pitch around a young man. (That) was the difference in the ballgame.”

ETSU pulled within one in the sixth on an RBI from former Powell High School standout Andrew Green.

With right-hander Nick Williams moving back to a starting role for the Vols, it was up to 6-foot-1 freshman Trevor Bettencourt to close out the game in the ninth. Bettencourt picked up his second save of the season, retiring all three batters he faced.

Tennessee returns to action starting Friday for a weekend series against Kentucky on the road.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2013 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 6

VolzsFan writes:

Why is the KNS running a story on the greatest woman's coach ever winning his 8th in a record amount of seasons?

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

ETSU lost to UT in bb?? Well, I look for the Bucs to rebound in fb and return the favor once Fulmer assumes command..

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

Why is the KNS running a story on the greatest woman's coach ever winning his 8th in a record amount of seasons?

and if you think that is not news-worthy even on this board then why are you questioning it on this unrelated thread instead of the one you referenced???????????---------some people have to complain about everything-------KNS, Adams, etc. They give us this board at no cost---if something dont interest you then don't read it

bUTch_please writes:

Oh great, something else ETSU can blame on the Doctor.

pcorange writes:

I'm not sure a win over ETSU is any indication this team is turned around. It is nice to have the losing skid broken, but reality will set back in next game.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say youre welcome Dave. (bill payable upon receipt)
Bones never lie.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features