When Tennessee (14-14, 4-8 SEC) traveled to Oxford for a three-game series with the Ole Miss Rebels (16-16, 5-7 SEC), head coach Dave Serrano knew his team needed a series win or two to build confidence towards the end of the season. The Vols potentially nabbed one of those jump-starting series by taking two of three from Ole Miss in Oxford over the weekend.
Tennessee Volunteers 7, Ole Miss Rebels 10
Tennessee got the offensive start it needed but could not contain the Ole Miss bats as the Rebels scored nine runs over four innings and coasted to a win in the opening game of the series. The Vols got started in the first inning when Nick Senzel led off the game with a hit, and left fielder Christin Stewart mashed a two-run homer to give Tennessee a 2-0 lead. The Vols added a third run in the top of the second inning when Senzel singled in David Houser, but it was nearly all Ole Miss after that. The Rebels responded with an RBI double and a two-RBI to tie the game at three in the bottom of the frame and then got a two-run homer from Sikes Orvis to take their first lead at 5-3. They tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the fourth, another in the fifth, but they failed to plate another run until the eighth inning. Kyle Serrano took the loss for the Vols, giving up six runs on eight hits but only throwing 3+ innings before taking a line drive to the shin and coming off. Andrew Lee hit a two-run homer in the seventh, and the Vols rallied for two more in the ninth inning but fell short of completing the comeback.
Tennessee Volunteers 6, Ole Miss Rebels 3
Bret Marks and Andy Cox shut down the Ole Miss bats while the Vols’ bats were chiming, and Tennessee was consistent in all facets of the game in tying up the series. Marks threw 5.1 innings of five-hit ball, giving up just two runs and striking out seven. Cox, in relief of Marks, allowed just one run on two hits over the final 3.2 innings of the game. The Vols showed they could move runners when they needed to and pushed across just enough runs to keep Ole Miss at bay. In the first, A.J. Simcox and Christin Stewart singled to put runners on the corners for Andrew Lee, who drove in Simcox with a sacrifice fly to open the scoring. Stewart kept his high-level play going with an RBI-triple in the top of the second, and Nathaniel Maggio hit a solo shot to right field to give the Vols a 4-1 lead in the fifth inning. Tennessee right fielder Andrew Lee and Ole Miss first baseman Sikes Orvis collided on a wild throw in the sixth inning, allowing the Vols to score their final two runs.
Tennessee Volunteers 4, Ole Miss Rebels 2
The Vols got behind the arm of Drake Owenby to take the rubber match of the series. Owenby, who pitched eight innings, gave up two runs on just four hits while striking out six. Christin Stewart got the Vols on the board with an RBI-single in the first, and second baseman Nick Senzel knocked in two more runs with a single in the second. Stewart was back at it again in the sixth inning, this time drawing a leadoff walk before moving to third on a single by Nathaniel Maggio. Third baseman Jared Pruett then scored Stewart with an RBI-single to give Tennessee a 4-1 lead. Ole Miss threatened for the final time in the seventh inning. The Rebels scored a run and loaded the bases with one out, but Owenby recorded back-to-back strikeouts to end the scoring threat.
Edited by Maggie Jones
Nathan is a junior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. He spends most of his free time eating meaningless foods and watching sports. If you wish to contact Nathan, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter, @NathanOdom11.