Johnson City, Tenn. -- Tennessee second baseman Stevie Daniel went 3-4 with two RBI and two runs scored to lead the 11th-ranked Volunteers in a 7-5 win against East Tennessee State at Cardinal Park.
The Vols took a 5-0 lead after two innings and withstood a late Buccaneer rally to improve to 27-6 overall. ETSU (11-20) was led by designated hitter Chad Boruff who went 2-2 with two runs scored and one RBI. Senior Ryan McKinney also enjoyed a quality night, with a two-run homer and two runs scored.
For the visitors, Chris Burke and Jeff Christensen both stroked two hits. Vol starter Justin Parker improved to 3-0 on the season after hurling 6.0 innings of two-hit baseball. ETSU righthander Reid Casey fell to 2-6 after allowing six runs in 5.0 innings.
The Volunteers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first. Burke ledoff the game with a home run to right center. Daniel followed with a double and later scored on a Christensen double. Chris Bennett walked and scored the third run on an RBI groundout by Dennis Gomez.
Casey struck out the side in the second but also allowed two runs on a two-run shot from Daniel. The Vols had a 5-0 lead after their half of the second. Tennessee took a 6-0 lead in the fifth on a solo home run by Christensen. Tennessee scored its seventh run on a triple steal in the seventh. Burke stole home to give the Vols a 7-0 advantage.
ETSU got on the board in the bottom of the seventh when McKinney belted his third home run of the season. With Boruff on first, McKinney hit a laser shot over the leftcenter wall to cut the lead to 7-2. The Bucs added one in the eighth to trim the lead to 7-3. Boruff singled home Nathan Copeland who had doubled.
ETSU then loaded the bases with two outs for Scott Rose. The catcher delivered with a single up the middle that scored two runs and brought the home team to 7-5. Vol reliever Will Curtiss entered the game and struck out Keith Keithley to end the rally. Curtiss retired the final four Buccaneer batters to earn his second save.
The Bucs return to action this weekend with a three-game Southern Conference series against Davidson. The teamswill play a doubleheader at 2 p.m. on Saturday and complete the series at 1 p.m. on Sunday with a single game.