The Tennessee baseball team used a three-run eighth inning to post a 6-4 come-from-behind win over Tennessee Tech Tuesday night at Averitt Express Baseball Complex. Infielders Tony Delmonico and Chris Kemp each drove in a pair of runs for the Volunteers, and freshman Aaron Everett logged his first career win after pitching 1 1/3 perfect innings.
Junior closer Sean Watson struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth while logging his seventh save of the season. Watson was one of four Vols pitchers to see action on the day.
Tennessee (22-15) trailed by a score of 4-3 heading into the eighth, but rallied to score three runs on a pair of hits in the top of the frame to overtake a two-run lead. Freshman left fielder Jarred Frazier keyed the UT rally with a game-tying RBI single to right field that scored second baseman Michael Rivera. Delmonico then delivered a clutch, two-RBI double with two outs that put Tennessee on top for good.
The Vols wasted little time putting themselves on the scoreboard, as catcher J.P. Arencibia drove in Delmonico with an RBI single in the top of the first. Delmonico and Kemp had each previously reached on basehits of their own, with Kemp’s single extending his career-best hit streak to 15 games.
The Eagles (13-25) used a two-run homer by shortstop Stuart Meinhart in the bottom of the fourth to take a 2-1 lead. But Kemp put the Vols back on top in the top of the fifth inning with a towering two-run homer to right field. The homer was his team-leading eighth of the year and the 10th of his career.
Tennessee Tech manufactured a run in the bottom of the fifth to work itself back into a 2-2 tie. Outfielder Scott Dunham drew a leadoff walk and then stole second base before taking third on a sacrifice bunt. Tech second baseman Matt Mihoci then laid down an RBI sac bunt to plate Dunham with the tying run.
The Golden Eagles’ final run of the night came in the bottom of the seventh.
Junior right-hander Deunte Heath started for the Vols and recorded a career-high five strikeouts through five innings. The Atlanta, Ga., native allowed three runs on four hits and issued three walks before giving way to freshman right-hander Ryne Simpson, who was touched for one run in 1 2/3 innings of work.
Tech reliever Justin Fields took the loss to fall to 2-4 this season. He was among five Eagles arms to take the mound.
The game marked UT’s 13th comeback win of the year.
Tennessee now travels to face SEC Eastern Division rival Georgia for a three-game series this weekend in Athens, Ga. Game times are set for 7 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at UGA’s Foley Field.