May 16, 2017
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A sacrifice fly from third baseman Brandon Chinea in the 11th inning lifted Tennessee past Morehead State, 4-3, as the Vols held off the Eagles to claim the Tuesday-night win at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
With the victory, the Volunteers improve to 27-22 (7-18 SEC) on the season, including a 20-4 mark in non-conference play and a 6-1 record in extra-inning games. Morehead State now stands at 32-20 (16-10 OVC) in 2017.
Offensively, eight players tallied at least one hit in the outing for UT with catcher Pete Derkay going 2-for-3. Outfielder Justin Ammons, infielder Jordan Rodgers and Chinea each drove in a run during the outing.
Tennessee and Morehead State traded three up, three down innings until the fourth frame when a solo-shot over the right field wall by Ammons put the Vols ahead, 1-0.
The Eagles answered in the fifth, plating a run on two hits and a sacrifice fly to tie the ballgame at 1-1.
In the sixth inning, the Vols scored one run on a single to left by Rodgers. To start the frame, Brodie Leftridge singled through the left side. He then advanced to third on a fielder’s choice and came around to score on Rodger’s RBI single, giving UT a 2-1 lead.
Morehead State rallied in the eighth inning to take a 3-2 advantage, scratching two runs across on two hits and a fielding error by Tennessee.
The Vols started their own rally in the bottom of the frame to tie the game up, 3-3. Rodgers reached first on an error and made his way home following a sacrifice bunt, single and a throwing error by Morehead State’s shortstop. The score would hold through the ninth to send the game into extra innings.
To lead off the 11th inning, Benito Santiago drilled a ball off the left-center field wall for his fourth triple of the season. Matt Waldren then reached on a hit-by-pitch and stole second before Chinea hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Santiago and put the Vols ahead, 4-3.
On the mound, Will Neely (3-1) got the nod for UT, throwing 5.0 scoreless innings and striking out a career-high six batters in the no-decision.
The Volunteers then went to Daniel Vasquez (2.0 IP) and Andrew Schultz (0.1 IP) in middle relief before handing the ball over to senior Jon Lipinski. The Florida native fired five strikeouts through 3.2 scoreless innings to pick up his sixth win of the season.
Tennessee Quick Hits
- With the win, Tennessee moves to 34-3 in the all-time record against Morehead State, including a 34-3 mark in games played in Knoxville.
- Starter Will Neelyfired a career-high six strikeouts through 5.0 innings of work on Tuesday. He previously fanned five batters on April 26 vs. ETSU.
- Freshman Justin Ammonshit the second home run of his career, a solo shot over the right field wall, in the bottom of the fourth inning.
- The Vols’ pitching staff threw 17 strikeouts on Tuesday, marking a season-high count for UT. The Orange and White struck out 15 batters in 10.0 innings on April 14 vs. Auburn.
- On Deck for the Vols: UT welcomes the Missouri Tigers to Rocky Top for the final SEC series of the regular season. The three games are set for Thursday, May 18 – Saturday, May 20 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Tuesday’s attendance at Lindsey Nelson Stadium: 1,390