The Tennessee baseball team held onto a seven-run lead over Wofford after six and a half innings Wednesday only to see the Terriers rally for 14 late runs and post a 16-9 comeback victory over the Volunteers at Russell C. King Field. Wofford scored nine runs in the seventh and added five more in the eighth as the Big Orange fell to 23-18 on the year.
Shawn Griffin drove in two runs on a pair of hits to lead the Vols’ offensive effort, and shortstop Danny Lima also logged two hits. Tennessee starting pitcher Lance McClain worked five shutout innings of one-hit ball but was saddled with a no-decision after five members of the UT bullpen combined to allow 16 runs on 13 hits.
Tennessee opened the game’s scoring with three runs in the first inning. Griffin drove in two with a double off the wall in left field, and a throwing error by Terriers starting pitcher Tom Dolinak enabled the third run to cross.
Dolinak unleashed a pair of costly wild pitches in the third and fourth innings, each of which brought in runs for Tennessee. He was lifted in favor of left-hander Chip Hunt with runners on the corners and one out in the top of the fourth. The Vols’ second two runs in the fourth later came on an infield error and an RBI fielder’s choice by All-America catcher J.P. Arencibia.
Wofford used back-to-back sacrifice flies by Shane Kirkley and John Brandt to scratch its first runs in the bottom of the sixth, but Tennessee quickly made up its lost ground in the top of the seventh. Griffin led off the frame with a double off the wall in left-center, and he scored one batter later when Lima singled through the right side of the Terriers’ infield. Lima was then driven in when Vols first baseman Ryan Jones recorded his sixth double of the year.
But the game’s momentum would quickly swing in Wofford’s favor.
The Terriers sent 13 batters to the plate in the seventh and plated nine runs on nine hits to take an 11-9 lead. Tennessee relievers Bryan Powell, Ryne Simpson, Zane Stone and Ryan Butner all saw time on the mound during the Wofford rally. Aaron Everett pitched the final inning for UT.
Terriers left fielder John Brandt put his team up 15-9 with an eighth-inning grand slam over the wall in center field, and Wofford took a seven-run lead with an RBI sacrifice fly later in the frame. That brought the final score to 16-9 as Tennessee fell to 4-10 away from Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Reliever Chip Hunt picked up the win for Wofford, while Charles Vartanian earned his second save of the year by tossing two perfect innings.
Stone took the loss for the Vols to fall to 1-1.
The Vols depart Thursday for Baton Rouge, La., where they will face LSU in a three-game weekend series at Alex Box Stadium. Game times are set for 7 p.m. CT today, 3 p.m. CT Saturday and 1 p.m. CT Sunday.