Coming off an impressive series win in Gainesville against the No. 7 Florida Gators, Tuesday’s road loss to the East Tennessee State Buccaneers (15-15, 2-7 SoCon) was a letdown for Tennessee (17-13, 3-9 SEC). Simply put, the Vols put together a lackluster showing in pretty much all facets against the Bucs.
Head coach Dave Serrano wasn’t at all pleased with his team’s effort after the game. “We just weren’t very good in all areas,” he said. “We pride ourselves on pitching and defense, and we fell way short of our expectations there.”
The hits came early and often for ETSU. The Bucs got it started in the bottom half of the first when they put three runs on the board right off the bat. They followed that the next inning by putting another three spot on the board to push their lead to 6-0.
Tennessee had a chance in the fourth after a pair of singles from Dom Thornton and Brandon Chinea. However, both of the runners were left stranded on base.
ETSU then made matters worse in the fourth and fifth by adding four more runs to their score to make Tennessee’s deficit 10-0. The Bucs were able to score all of their 10 runs on the night off just 10 hits.
The Vols finally put something on the board in the sixth after a Peter Derkay walk was followed by a Thornton double. Derkay scored on a passed ball in the inning while Thornton was driven by a sacrifice fly by Chinea.
Kyle Serrano got the start for Tennessee, and the coach’s son did not last very long. Serrano only went an inning and allowed three runs, though only one was earned. The Vols went on to use five more pitchers in the contest, including the first appearance from Richard Jackson on the season.
The Vols will now try and regroup as they welcome the Auburn Tigers for a three-game series starting Thursday night.
Edited by Quinn Pilkey
Featured image by Craig Bisacre, courtesy of Tennessee Athletics