Tennessee dropped game two of the series to Arkansas in Fayetteville, 6-3 the final score. The loss clinches a third-straight series-loss for UT and for the third weekend in-a-row, the Vols will need to salvage game three to avoid the series-sweep.
Despite another leadoff home run by Jared Dickey that got the party started in the first and despite outhitting the Razorbacks (28-7, 10-4) 7-4 on the night, Tennessee (23-12, 5-9) committed two errors in the field that came back to hurt them and were hitless with runners in scoring position on the night.
Chase Dollander (4-4) is charged for the loss after surrendering three runs (two earned) in 4.1 innings of work while Will McEntire (5-1) picks up the win after going six innings strong of two-run baseball.
Game three of the series is Sunday afternoon at 3 pm eastern time, but first, what are the four biggest takeaways from this one? We discuss.
What a Turn of Events
Jared Dickey did it again, leading off the ballgame with nearly the same home run as Friday night. What a way to start for the Volunteers, but it could have been more. Tennessee went on to put Christian Moore at third base and Blake Burke at second base with just one out in the frame. After a little league-esque rundown that resulted in a 5-2-5-4-3 putout of Burke at second base, the Vols ended the inning with a Griffin Merritt groundout. Regardless of what could have happened on that rundown, the Vols had two chances to drive runs in with guys at second and third base, but two groundballs followed and Tennessee was left with just the one run.
Jace Brohrofen would follow with a two-run home run in the home half of the first and Arkansas was quickly back in front. It was a great opportunity for Tennessee to generate some runs in the first, but failing to do so cost them just a half inning later.
Missed Opportunities on Repeat
So, we discussed the big-time missed opportunities in the first inning after the leadoff home run from Jared Dickey. Runners at second and third with only one out. Fast forward to the third inning and the Vols had runners at first and second with nobody out and again failed to drive in runs.
Dylan Drieling led off the frame with a double into the gap in right-centerfield. Christian Moore walked to follow. Blake Burke absolutely smoked a ball right up the middle in line-drive fashion, but it was hit right at the shortstop who was playing over towards the second base bag with the lefty at the plate. Drieling was then doubled up at the bag. Hunter Ensley would follow with a groundball that got Arkansas out of the inning, unscathed. Tennessee was not great in run-producing opportunities on the night, going hitless (0/8) with runners in scoring position and just 1-for-15 with runners on base.
Chase Dollander Deserved Better
For the second night in-a-row, Tennessee’s starting pitcher deserved better than their outcome. Only on Saturday, it was Chase Dollander and not Andrew Lindsey. The MLB Draft prospect got off to a rough start, walking the leadoff man in the first and then surrendering a two-run home run to Jace Bohrofen. He then settled in to retire 11-straight before a Jared Dickey error in left allowed the leadoff man abroad in the fifth. Ben McLaughlin made the Vols pay for an error with an RBI single up the middle to follow. The righty was then lifted from the game two batters later at 93 pitches.
Credit Kirby Connell for coming on and picking up two big outs to end the frame and hold Dollander’s line to where it was. In the end, the starter lasted 4.1 innings while giving up three runs (two earned) on just two hits. Dollander struck out eight batters and walked two, facing 18 Hogs at the plate. Despite the inspiring start that should have ended better, this is now the third-straight start Dollander has failed to get out of the fifth inning.
‘Rollercoaster’ Camden Sewell
That’s how he was described on the broadcast tonight and there’s really not much to argue with. The veteran right-handed hurler plunked four of the 13 batters he faced – including the two leadoff men he faced – and walked two as well. Sewell worked himself into a massive jam in the sixth before logging back-to-back strikeouts with the bases loaded to escape the threat. In the seventh, he wouldn’t be as luck as Arkansas completely took control of the ballgame for good.
After hitting the first batter he faced, the reliever had a runner at third with only one gone. He then hit another to put runners at the corners. Sewell attempted a pickoff play by faking a throw to first and then going to third, but his throw was well past the bag and into left field. The righty continued to give up two more run-scoring singles before he was finally taken out of the ballgame at 51 pitches with just 26 strikes with Tennessee trailing 6-2.
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