KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Walter Sevilla slugged a three-run home run as the Tennessee Volunteers played for the big inning and came away a 11-3 winner over the East Tennessee State Buccaneers at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
With the scored tied 1-1, the Vols (17-11) sent 12 men to the plate in the third as they plated seven runs on four hits in taking an 8-1 lead. Sevilla got the rally started with a three-run blast to left, his second in as many games. After getting two more runs on a balk and wild pitch, pinch hitter Nick Crowe capped the scoring with a two-run double.
A couple of unearned runs scored on a Jimbo Watson single and an error to extend the lead to 10-1 in the fourth.
Tennessee started with a run in the first on a fielders choice by Javi Herrera after loading the bases. The Bucs (9-16) then answered with one in the second on a ground out by Davis Burklin (Knoxville) that scored Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.) who doubled and took third on an error.
They added two more in the eighth on a ground out and an error to cut the lead to 10-3 before Tennessee's Josh Alley tripled home Todd Martin in the bottom of the frame.
Rob Fitzgerald (1-0) picked up the win after throwing a designated four innings. He gave up one unearned run and the only two ETSU hits with two strikeouts.
Fitzgerald, along with relievers Brandon Crowe and Patrick Green combined to retire 17 straight hitters at one point. Freshman Jack Branston made his debut as he pitched the ninth, striking out two.
Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.) took the loss as he was roughed up for seven runs (six earned) on five hits in 2 1/3 innings to drop to 2-3 on the year. Five Buc pitchers combined for eight walks and nine strikeouts.
The Bucs will be back in action this weekend in a SoCon series at Appalachian State beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday and wrapping up with a single game on Sunday.