Tennessee Falls After Intense Battle With Boston College

Photo by University of Tennessee Athletics.

By Tucker Harlin

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — No. 3 Tennessee came up short against Boston College, falling 7-6 in a 10-inning midweek thriller in Lindsey Nelson Stadium on Tuesday.

Tennessee’s (11-3) 11-game win streak was snapped in the loss that featured costly base running errors from the Vols and Boston College (9-1) finding a way to penetrate Tennessee’s typically-dominant bullpen.

The start of the game suggested it would be a defensive battle as pitchers for both squads, Vols’ Zander Sechrist and Golden Eagles’ Henry Leake traded a pair of scoreless innings.

All was quiet in the third inning until senior Boston College outfielder Barry Walsh sent a laser beam over the wall in right center. From that point on, the game had the feel of a highly-contested Power-5 battle as both teams would fire shots at each other the rest of the way.

“A game like this with really good talent on the other side is going to help you in the long run,” said Tennessee’ sophomore second baseman Christian Moore. “Personally, I love games like these and I know our coaching staff loves them because it’s a Power Five school.”

Moore was an offensive catalyst for the Vols over the course of the game, driving in an RBI single in the third inning and a game-tying home run in the ninth inning.

“Guys like Jared Dickey, Christian Moore, and Blake Burke have all got composure, and they need to start sharing it with the rest of the team,” said Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello. “There are other guys that have it too, but sharing is caring.”

Moore had to exercise that composure after he dropped a shallow outfield pop-up in the top of the sixth inning.

“It was a tough sky, there was a lot of uncertainty, and we did not communicate it well before the pitch,” Moore said. “We’re all new guys here so we’re trying to learn about each other. It’s a learning opportunity for us.”

This was not the only critical mistake made by Tennessee tonight as base running late in the game proved to be a costly endeavor. The Vols had a chance to put it away in the ninth inning after Blake Burke hit a triple to put a runner on third with no outs, but pinch-runner Ethan Payne got off third base too early and was tagged out at home in what ended up being a game-saving double play for the Eagles.

“Somehow Jared Dickey hit it right at the guy, but let’s say he hits it five yards to the left and everybody’s celebrating,” Vitello said. “Those things that we talk about practice that are unacceptable are going to come up tomorrow. I don’t even know if we need to talk about it because if I was a member of the team I’d have trouble sleeping tonight.”

Tennessee will take the field again on Friday against Morehead State for the first leg of its three-game series at 6:30 p.m. ET.