Tennessee swept its first SEC series this season by defeating Alabama at Lindsey Nelson Stadium on Sunday, 5-3. The teams played only seven innings after finishing a game suspended from Saturday night.
“It’s huge for our program. It’s something we can build off and keep the ball rolling,” shortstop Zach Osborne said.
The senior delivered the go-ahead blow to a reeling Alabama squad with a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth inning. He finished 2-for-3 in the abbreviated finale.
“I was looking fastball early, and once he got two strikes on me early, I was trying to battle and good things happened,” Osborne said.
The Vols never trailed after Drew Steckenrider turned the first pitch he saw into a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning. Alabama didn’t respond until the top of the fourth, tying the game at 3-3.
The Crimson Tide began its monster inning with a solo home run from shortstop Jared Reaves. It was the first run sophomore Volunteer Nick Williams allowed as a starter (13.2 innings). When Williams walked two consecutive batters later in the inning, Tennessee head coach Dave Serrano trotted to the mound to calm his young pitcher down before being ejected from the field.
“(Serrano) was talking to Nick, calming him down. Nick was obviously frustrated at the time. Coach didn’t get out of line or anything, but the umpire decided to toss him,” Osborne recounted.
Junior Nick Blount earned his third save of the series.
“I don’t really feel any pressure. I just like to go out there with our team up and throw strikes,” Blount said.
Serrano exited the locker room after the game to congratulate his players.
“We are in the hunt. We have a long way to go, but I couldn’t be prouder at how we’ve overcome adversity,” Serrano said.
Combined attendance for the series was 6,413 -- the highest for any series this season at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Tennessee (18-10, 5-4 SEC) will play Memphis in Knoxville at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Alabama (9-19, 1-8 SEC) will play at South Alabama at 6 p.m.
Tennessee 4, Alabama 2:
The Vols finished their second win of the series on Sunday after Saturday night’s game was suspended.
The score was frozen at 4-2, and no one scored in the final five innings on Sunday.
Chris Pierce and Davis Morgan fueled the Volunteer offensive attack. Morgan went 3-for-3 with an RBI, and Pierce was 1-for-3 with 2 RBIs.
Drew Steckenrider (2-2) earned the win, and Nick Blount earned his second save of the series (5).