KNOXVILLE, Tenn.--- Blake Forsythe's two-out two-strike two-run homer in the bottom of the 11th lifted Tennessee to a 4-2 win over Vanderbilt in the first game of the doubleheader.
The Vols evened the series with the win and snapped a three-year streak where one team swept the other.
Matt Duffy led off the inning with a single to left, but was eliminated on a double play on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Chris Fritts. Jason Esposito fielded the ball and fired to second for the first out and then on to first for the second out. Josh Liles was walked by Russell Brewer, before Forsythe ended the game with the two-run shot into the stands in left.
Matt Ramsey (2-1) pitched 3.2 innings of no-hit relief with three strikeouts to earn the win, while Brewer (1-1) allowed the two runs on two hits in 1.1 innings to take the loss.
UT lead 2-1 in the top of the seventh with the Commodores down to their last at-bat when Curt Casali tied things up with a solo homer to left-center. It was an impressive shot that cut through the 25 mph wind and got out from the deepest part of the park. It was his first homer since the Illinois State game on March 6. The run was the first earned run of the game.
Both teams then used stellar relief pitching to get to the 12th where the Vols walked off with the win.
The Dores got on the board in the first inning of game when Anthony Gomez reached on an error, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brian Harris and scored on Jason Esposito's RBI single up the middle.
The Vols scored an unearned run of their own in the bottom half when Khayyan Norfork singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and over to third on an infield single by Matt Duffy. Norfork scored when Jack Armstrong threw wide at first to get Duffy.
UT scored another unearned run in the third when Norfork reached on a fielding error by Harris at short, moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a grounder to second. He scored on another wild pitch by Armstrong to give the Vols a 2-1 lead.
The Vols threatened to add to the lead in the fifth with runners and first and second and two outs. Relief pitcher Richie Goodenow came on and faced pinch hitter Matt Ramsey who singled to right. The runner at second rounded second and tried to score, but Joe Loftus threw a strike to Andrew Giobbi at the plate who tagged him out to end the inning.
Armstrong gave up two runs, both unearned, on four hits in 4.2 innings with three walks and no strikeouts.
McCray allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits with four strikeouts and a walk in 7.1 innings of work in the no-decision.
Chase Reid was brilliant in relief throwing 4.1 innings of one-hit relief with four strikeouts. He gave up a leadoff single in the sixth and then retired 12 in a row before Zach Osborne reached on an fielding error in the 11th.
Vanderbilt 100 000 100 00-234 Tennessee 101 000 000 02-481Armstrong, Goodenow (5), Reid (6), Brewer (10) and Giobbi, McCray, Ramsey (8) and Forsythe. W- Ramsey 2-1, L- Brewer 1-1. Sv- None. HR: VU: Casali (4) UT: Forsythe (8)
TENNESSEE CLAIMS SERIES WITH 4-3 WIN (GAME 2)
Vols rally for two runs in seventh to complete doubleheader sweep.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.--- Pinch hitter Cody Grisham was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to bring in the game winning run as Tennessee rallied to defeat Vanderbilt 4-3 Sunday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
The Vols won 4-2 in the first game of the doubleheader and then took game two to claim the series. UT is now 21-20 overall and 6-12 in Southeastern Conference play, while VU fell to 32-11 and 9-9 in league play.
The Commodores took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh of the seven-inning contest, with starter Taylor Hill in control of the game. He recorded the first two outs of the frame before P.J. Polk laced a single to center on a 0-2 count.
Grayson Garvin came on in relief and walked Cody Hawn before pinch hitter Matt Hamaker hit a slow roller towards first. Aaron Westlake fielded the ball and rushed a throw wide of the bag allowing Polk to score and tie the game at 3-3. Reliever Drew Hayes came in and walked Blake Forsythe on four pitches to load the bases and pinch hitter Cody Grisham was hit on 2-2 pitch to score the game winning run.
Hill scattered nine hits over 6.2 innings, allowing three runs, two earned with five strikeouts and no walks. Garvin (1-1) took the loss allowing one unearned run, an infield hit and a walk.
UT reliever Steve Crnkovich handcuffed the Commodores with five innings of four-hit shutout relief. He struck out four and walked one to move to 4-1 on the year.
The Commodores jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first courtesy of two-out RBI hits by Aaron Westlake and Joe Loftus. Brian Harris was hit by UT starter Nick Blount to lead off the game. Riley Reynolds sacrificed him to second and after an out and a walk to Curt Casali, Westlake blooped a single to right to score Harris. Andrew Giobbi walked to load the bases, before Loftus singled up the middle to score two.
The Vols responded with a run in the bottom half when P.J. Polk singled and scored on a two-out double by Charley Thurber.
Thurber's solo homer in the third cut the lead to 3-2.
The Commodores thwarted a UT opportunity to tie the game in the sixth when the Vols had runners at first and third and Josh Liles tried a squeeze bunt. Aaron Westlake fielded the ball towards first and flipped to Drew Fann at home who tagged the runner to end the inning.
VU was without the services of starting centerfielder Connor Harrell and starting second baseman Anthony Gomez, both of who collided in the outfield in game one. They were held out for precautionary reasons.
The Commodores will close out their eight-game road trip against Austin Peay on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Vanderbilt 300 000 0-361 Tennessee 101 000 2-4(10)1Hill, Garvin (7), Hayes (7) and Fann, Blount, Crnkovich (4) and Forsythe. W- Crnkovich 4-1, L- Garvin 1-1. Sv- None. HR: VU: None UT: Thurber (6)