Ben Downs came on the in eighth and retired five straight Vol hitters before Chad LeGate lined a single to right center for his second hit of the game to give the Vols life in the ninth. But as was the case all night, Tennessee couldn't get the clutch hit as Downs struck out Jordan Czarniecki to preserve the lead and notch his first save.
Collins Hughes (2-3), the fourth Tech pitcher of the night, picked up the win in two innings of work, yielding the only Vol run in the sixth.
Starter Greg Canada got Tech off to a good start by striking out four in three innings of work, allowing just a lead off single to Czarniecki in the first. Doug Vincent and Ben Pincus each hurled one inning apiece, battling out of jams in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively.
The Vols (24-17) let their best chance to break the game open off Vincent slip away in the fourth after loading the bases with no out on a walk, a single and a hit batter. Vincent buckled down and stuck out Nick Crowe before inducing two pop-ups to end the threat.
Tech responded by plating its first run in the bottom of the inning as Cole Helms, who led off with a double to left, scored on Casey Benjamin's seeing-eye single up the middle that got by three Vols. Helms doubled twice for Tech, which managed just six hits.
The Vols tied the game in the sixth as Javi Herrera tripled to center with one out and scored on a sacrifice bunt by Crowe.
Steve Wesley turned in a solid performance in his first start for Tennessee as he logged six innings, allowing one run on five hits with five strikeouts and one walk.
Tennessee travels to Baton Rouge to face the No. 8 LSU Tigers in a three-game series on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Game times are 6:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. CT.