Tennessee baseball dropped a 10-2 decision to East Tennessee State in Johnson City on Tuesday night.
The Vols (17-13) entered the game coming off a series win at No. 7 Florida, but the Bucs were more than ready, jumping on starter Kyle Serrano (0-2) for three runs in the first inning.
“That wasn’t a very good baseball game for the Vols,” Coach Dave Serrano said. “We were not very good in all areas. Our pride is to pitch and play defense, and I think we fell way short of our expectations.
“Offensively I thought our approach was really bad.”
East Tennessee State (15-15) was fired up for the meeting, promoting the Vols as their “in-state rival.”
Tennessee’s coaches, however, entered the game with a plan to ration out pitchers — the Vols more focused on their key upcoming SEC home series against Auburn.
Tennessee is 3-9 in SEC games, while the Tigers will bring an 8-4 conference mark to Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
East Tennessee’s Hagen Owenby, a junior from Knoxville’s Powell High School, reached base safely three times, with a walk and two hits. Owenby scored two runs and also drove in a run.
The Vols were led by shortstop Jordan Rodgers, who was 3-for-5 hitting at the plate in the No 2 spot int he lineup. Rodgers has reached base safely in all 29 games he has started this season.
Tennessee couldn’t get the timely hits, however, stranding 10 runners with the batters in the 5-6 spots going hitless and stranding five.