KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s first extra-innings baseball game of the season ended in defeat, with No. 7-ranked South Carolina pulling out a 6-4 victory in 10 frames.
Freshman Zach Linginfelter pitched four innings for the No. 24-ranked Vols (12-4, 0-2 SEC) and took the loss.
Senior Jon Lipinski came on in relief of Linginfelter in the 10th inning with the bases loaded and, with the count 3-2, walked in the go-ahead run with an outside pitch.
Tennessee baseball coach Dave Serrano, in his sixth year at the helm and perhaps feeling some pressure with a new athletic director set to take over on April 1, made it clear he was unhappy with the call.
Two of the three runs Linginfelter was charged with were earned. He walked five batters while allowing one hit to South Carolina (13-5, 2-0).
The Vols jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning, only to see the Gamecocks rally with three runs in the top of the fourth inning off starter Zach Warren.
Tennessee (12-4, 0-2 SEC) got a run back in the bottom of the fourth, and the teams traded runs in the eighth inning to set up extra innings.
Vols’ pinch-hitter Matt Waldren blasted his first home run of the season to make it 4-4.
Tennessee catcher Pete Derkay was 3-for-5 at the plate, leading a UT attack that accounted for 10 hits but stranded 12 runners.
Junior designated hitter Benito Santiago went 0-for-5 at the plate in the clean-up spot, the only starter to fail to reach base.
The Vols are fighting to maintain an in-season ranking, which is something they haven’t had in at least 10 years, according to the program’s public relations staff.
Tennessee plays the Gamecocks at 2 p.m. today at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in a game that will be televised by ESPNU.