Tennessee continued to struggle on Tuesday night as the Vols (15-11, 1-8 SEC) fell to Middle Tennessee State (14-15, 3-6 C-USA), 7-4.
The Blue Raiders broke the game open in the second inning, scoring six of their seven runs. With the bases loaded, center fielder Brad Jarreau hit a triple to give Middle Tennessee State a 4-1 lead. Right fielder Austin Dennis followed up with an RBI single to score Jarreau before Ryan Kemp doubled to score Drew Huff and extend the lead to 6-1.
Jarreau finished 2-for-5 with three RBIs. Relief pitcher Will Small got the win for the Blue Raiders, improving to 2-0 on the season after throwing 3.1 scoreless innings.
Tennessee’s offense was clicking early, scoring three of its first four runs in the first two innings. Afterwards, the Vols wouldn’t score again until the eighth inning.
Senior second baseman Jeff Moberg gave Tennessee a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, scoring Jay Charleston on an RBI groundout.
The Vols cut Middle Tennessee’s lead to 6-3 in the bottom of the second inning following a fielder’s choice that allowed Andre Lipcius to score and an RBI single from Max Bartlett.
Middle Tennessee extended its lead to 7-3 in the top of the eighth inning on an RBI groundout from Riley Delgado. Tennessee responded with a run of its own in the bottom half of the inning as Justin Ammons walked with the bases loaded, scoring Pete Derkay and making it a 7-4 ball game.
Zach Warren received the start on the mound for Tennessee. It was a rough outing for the senior, who allowed five hits, four earned runs and two walks in only 1.1 innings. Warren did not record a strikeout as he dropped to 2-3 on the season.
Will Neely, Eric Freeman, Daniel Vasquez, Andrew Schultz and Jon Lipinski all made appearances in relief for Tennessee.
Tennessee travels to Gainesville this weekend for a three-game series with No. 7 Florida. First pitch on Friday is set for 5 p.m. ET.
Edited by Quinn Pilkey
Featured image by Austin Perryman, courtesy of Tennessee Athletics