Baseball Vols sweep Carolina

After losing seven of eight games, Tennessee's Baseball Vols are back on track.

Javi Herrera's eighth-inning grand slam snappped a 6-6 tie and propelled the Vols to a 10-6 defeat of 10th-ranked South Carolina Sunday that completed a three-game sweep. It was Herrera's only hit of the series.

UT, now 14-8 overall and 4-2 in SEC play, won Game 1 of the series in bizarre fashion. After being no-hit for seven innings by Carolina's Seven Bondurant, the Vols broke through in the eighth inning when Kyle Norrid ripped a one-out single. After a two-out walk to Justin Branson, Bondurant was lifted for relief ace Aaron Rawl, who promtly surrendered a three-run homer to Jordan Czarniecki tht produced a 3-0 Vol win.

Game 2 saw UT's Derek Tharpe scatter 11 hits over 8 1/3 innings as the Vols prevailed 4-2.

The Vols host Tennessee Tech Wednesday night at 7, then travel to Gainesville for games against Florida on Friday (6:30 p.m.), Saturday (3 p.m.) and Sunday (noon). Saturday's game will be on the Fox Sports Network, while Sunday's will be shown by the Sunshine Network.

Incredibly, the Vols were out-hit 28-20 in the Carolina series but outscored the Gamecocks 17-8. UT's starting pitchers posted a sizzling 1.21 ERA in the three-game set.

Freshman Luke Hochevar earned two saves vs. Carolina. He has not yielded a run in 14.0 innings of relief covering seven appearances. He has 19 strikeouts and one walk with eight hits given up. For the year, he owns a 4-1 mark with a 1.77 ERA in 35.2 innings with 40 strikeouts and six walks.

The Vols have a 2.39 ERA through six SEC games, having given up three or fewer earned runs five times.

UT is led by freshman right fielder Michael Rivera who went 4-for-5 in Sunday's series finale to raise his average to .385. He is profiled in the new issue or Rocky Top News, which will be available this week.

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