After the opening weekend of SEC play, Tennessee returned home to Lindsey Nelson Stadium to take on the ETSU Buccaneers (11-6). The Volunteers (13-9) lost their second matchup with the Bucs by a score of 9-6 on Tuesday night. The orange-and-white lost the first contest against ETSU March 3 by a score of 10-9.
After a strong start by freshman Sean Hunley on the mound, Tennessee got its bats going early, driving in four runs in the bottom of the first inning. Sophomore shortstop Andre Lipcius drove in second baseman Jay Charleston for the first score of the game. Freshman left fielder Brandon Trammell rounded out the first inning with a three-run homerun to give the Vols a comfortable 4-0 lead.
Despite a strong first inning, the Volunteers struggled for the rest of the game. Charleston drove in the two final runs for Tennessee in the fourth and sixth innings, scoring senior Brodie Leftridge. Charleston finished the game with two RBI’s on 4-of-5 hitting from the plate.
Volunteers head coach Tony Vitello hesitates to use the word “revenge” when competing against a team for a second time following a loss.
“We don’t use that word at all,” Vitello said. “We needed to come here and play better and get Sunday’s loss out of our mind.”
Hunley pitched four innings and struck out five batters. He allowed seven hits and three runs on the night. His streak of more than 22 scoreless innings pitched snapped in the third inning with a three-run homerun from the Bucs.
Sophomore Will Heflin replaced Hunley for the Vols in the fourth inning. Heflin gave up five runs in just two innings of work. He ultimately picked up the loss in Tuesday’s game.
Vitello raved about Trammell after he logged three RBI’s in two hits.
“He was great, and I think he was great in pregame,” Vitello said. “I thought he had a little extra bounce in his step and was walking with his chest out instead of being hesitant.”
Tennessee gave up four runs in the seventh inning after multiple errors. ETSU scored three unearned runs without tallying a hit in the inning.
Jay Charleston attributed the errors to fatigue.
“I think we might have come out a little tired from the weekend,” Charleston said about the defensive miscues and lack of focus.
Tennessee opens its SEC home schedule with Alabama this weekend. The three-game series is set to start at 6:30 p.m. ET on Friday night.
Written by Cole McCormick
Edited by Seth Raborn/Lexie Little
Featured image courtesy of Tennessee Athletics