The Volunteers completed a come-from-behind win against the George Washington Colonials on Saturday.
No. 19 Tennessee (11-0) was staring its first defeat of the season in the face as they trailed George Washington (6-4) 3-0 after three innings of game two of the weekend series.
Tennessee squandered opportunities to score early in the game. A double play with two runners on base in the second inning and a strikeout to end a bases-loaded threat in the fourth made it seem as if the offense would not break through.
In the fifth inning, the game script flipped completely. The Vols scored three runs in the fifth inning to take a 4-3 lead. They tacked on three more courtesy of Alerick Soularie’s second home run of the season, a wild pitch and a bases-loaded walk. Tennessee took control of a game that at first seemed out of reach and won 7-3.
The Colonials offense stalled largely thanks to Redmond Walsh, who pitched in relief of Chase Wallace. Wallace pitched four innings but gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits and three walks.
“I don’t know if he’s trying to be perfect…I can’t get inside of his head,” Head Coach Tony Vitello said on Wallace following the game.
Walsh, on the other hand, went to work. He threw five shutout innings and allowed just two hits on 31 fewer pitches than Wallace.
“I was commanding the zone really well with all three pitches,” Walsh said. “I was getting them to roll over and just letting my defense work.”
Tennessee took control of the game when Walsh came in to pitch.
“It kind of shows who we are. Throughout the year, any situation we’ve had, we always find a way to bounce back,” Walsh said. He explained that it is good for the team to have games where they have to come from behind because they can help later in the season.
Freshman Drew Gilbert hit his first home run of the season in the game as well. He was the 13th Volunteer to have a home run this season. He has provided an offensive spark with six hits through the first two games of the series.
Tennessee goes for the series sweep in game three on March 1. Sean Hunley, who has yet to allow a run in relief this season, will get the nod for his first start.
Edited by Ryan Sylvia and Christian Knox
Featured image courtesy of Tennessee Baseball Twitter (@Vol_Baseball)