Feb. 17, 2014
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee capitalized on five consecutive walks to score seven times in the second inning and the extended rally carried the Volunteers to an 8-2 victory versus Purdue baseball in the finale of the season-opening series Monday afternoon.
Connor Podkul made his first start on the mound for the Boilermakers since the 2012 regular-season finale. In his first appearance since having Tommy John surgery, the right-hander worked a 1-2-3 first inning but was unable to record an out in the top of the second. He was lifted with the bases loaded and Purdue (0-3) leading 1-0 after passing the cautionary pitch count total of 30.
Sunday in game two of the doubleheader, Tennessee (3-0) scored seven times in the third inning to blow the game open. Another seven spot Monday did likewise. After three walks and a balk gave the Vols a 3-1 lead, Scott Price delivered a three-run double to left field for the big hit of the inning, making it 6-1.
The Boilermakers ended up out hitting UT 8-7 on the day, but all five of the Vols' batters that walked in the second inning ended up scoring. Patrick Kenney was unable to record an out after replacing Podkul on the mound.
Gavin Downs pitched well in an extended relief outing, working five innings of one-run ball. He retired six of the final seven batters he faced and also started 1-6-3 double play to erase a leadoff single in the bottom of the fourth. It was the longest outing of the weekend by a Purdue pitcher.
Kyle Wood reached base safely three times, scoring the Boilers' first tally on a Kyle Johnson single after drawing a leadoff walk in the second and driving in the other run with a two-out double in the eighth inning. Freshmen Ted Snidanko and Jordan Lewis each recorded their first collegiate hits Monday. Snidanko singled in his first at-bat and Lewis recorded a pinch hit double in the ninth inning.
Purdue had at least one base runner in six of the nine innings and once again put the ball in play often, striking out six times total against the three UT pitchers that took the mound.
Tim McElroy and Mike Lutz each kept the Volunteers off the scoreboard in their second appearances of the series. McElroy picked off a runner at first base and recorded a strikeout while facing six batters. Lutz fanned the first batter he faced and left the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth.
Sean McHugh threw out a third would-be base stealer for the series, but he was also cut down at the plate while he was running the bases for the second time on the weekend. Other than a throwing error on an infield single in the bottom of the eighth, the Purdue infield played a clean series defensively.
The Boilermakers return to action Friday when they open a three-game series at No. 15 Rice.