Hunter Martin deals 6.1 innings and strikes out seven, but South Carolina scored six runs in the final three frames
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee senior Hunter Martin struck out seven over 6.1 strong innings, but No. 7 South Carolina scored three runs in the seventh on its way to a 7-1 win over the No. 24 Vols on Friday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
With the loss, the Volunteers (12-3, 0-1 SEC) now own a 31-43 all-time record in their SEC Openers and move to a 36-59 all-time mark against South Carolina (12-5, 1-0 SEC).
Martin (3-2) dealt an efficient 6.1 innings, allowing two runs on six hits and retiring 11 straight batters between the third and seventh innings. In the outing, the senior threw just 69 total pitches, including 49 for strikes.
Leading the Vols’ offensive effort, freshmen Jay Charleston (2-for-4) and Justin Ammons (2-for-4) recorded multi-hit games. Ammons now has six multi-hit games on the year and Charleston has three.
Gamecocks starter Adam Hill (1-2) earned the win after allowing one run over six frames. Reed Scott earned his second save on the season with 3.0 scoreless relief innings.
South Carolina plated one run to open the scoring in the third. TJ Hopkins hit an RBI single to the middle infield, scoring Jacob Olson. With bases loaded and one out, the Vols turned a sharp double-play up the middle – their second of the night – to minimize the threat and hold the one-run deficit.
Tennessee had opportunities in the first and third innings, each time putting baserunners in scoring position via back-to-back base hits.
The Gamecocks’ one-run lead held until Jordan Rodgers knocked a double in the sixth and scored on an RBI single off the bat of Andre Lipcius, tying the game at 1-1.
Olson launched a one-out, three-run homer in the seventh to lift South Carolina to a 4-1 advantage. A solo homer by catcher Chris Cullen extended the Gamecocks’ lead to 5-1 in the next inning.
Back-to-back doubles and an RBI-single by LT Tolbert put the Gamecocks ahead, 7-1 in the eighth.
Pitching in relief, UT freshman Garrett Stallings gave up three runs and struck out two in 1.0 inning of work. Sophomore Daniel Vasquez threw 1.2 relief frames with two strikeouts and two runs allowed.
TENNESSEE QUICK HITS
- With the loss, Tennessee moves to a 36-59 all-time record against the Gamecocks.
- The Volunteers now own a 31-43 all-time record in its SEC Openers.
- Jeff Moberg extended his current hit streak to eight games with a single in the seventh inning.
- With his 1-for-3 effort on Friday night, Andre Lipcius has now reached base safely in 15 straight games to begin his collegiate career. Jordan Rodgers, who also went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run, holds the next-longest streak for the Vols, having now reached base in 14 straight games.
- Tennessee is now 3-2 in its five night games in 2017 and 8-2 in games facing right-handed starters.
- On Deck for the Vols: Game Two of the Vols’ SEC Weekend Opener vs. the Gamecocks begins Saturday, March 18, at 2 p.m. ET with an SEC Network+ broadcast stream. Lefty Zach Warren (2-1, 3.44) is slated to start against South Carolina’s righthander Wil Crowe (3-0, 2.25).
- Friday’s attendance at Lindsey Nelson Stadium: 1,457