Clutch Hitting Eludes Tennessee As Vols Drop Series At Arkansas

Clutch Hitting Eludes Tennessee As Vols Drop Series At Arkansas

Photo by Ryan Schumpert/RTI

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Game two of Tennessee’s weekend series against Arkansas had a similar beginning to game one as Jared Dickey hit a leadoff homer into the Arkansas’ bullpen. It had a similar ending too as Arkansas took advantage of nearly every scoring opportunity to beat the Vols 6-3 at Baum-Walker Stadium.

Tennessee made more defensive mistakes and couldn’t muster any clutch hits as the Vols dropped their third straight series.

Here’s everything you need to know.

More From RTI: Play-By-Play Of Tennessee’s Game Two Loss At Arkansas
Arkansas Capitalizes On Tennessee Mistakes, Vols Don’t Return The Favor

The fifth inning was a fitting representation of Tennessee baseball’s struggles this season.

Tennessee looked like it would go down without any drama as Austen Jaslove and Jared Dickey each grounded out to second to start the inning. But Arkansas gifted Tennessee a runner in-scoring position when left fielder Jace Bohrofen unsuccessfully battled the wind and couldn’t haul in a routine fly ball.

All of a sudden Tennessee had a runner in-scoring position for the middle of its lineup. But the Vols couldn’t take advantage as Christian Moore fouled out to right field to end the inning.

Tennessee used its defensive mistake to open the fifth inning as Jared Dickey dropped a hard hit fly ball in left field which gave Ben McLaughlin a leadoff double. Arkansas immediately capitalized as Parker Rowland singled up the middle to drive in the run.

In a low scoring, tight game the two-run swing by Arkansas taking advantage of Tennessee’s mistake but the Vols not taking advantage of Arkansas’ was crucial. The defensive mistake also contributed to Chase Dollander not being able to get through the fifth inning.

The Razorbacks’ fifth inning defensive mistake wasn’t the only one Tennessee failed to take advantage of as the Vols couldn’t take advantage of a first inning Arkansas error.

Some Flashes Of Dominance But Not Enough Sustainability For Chase Dollander

Starting on Saturday for the first time this season, Chase Dollander’s first inning looked similar to many of his first innings this season. He was immediately behind the eight-ball from a pitch count standpoint as Tavian Josenberger worked an 11-pitch walk to open the bottom of the first inning.

Arkansas took advantage as Jace Bohrofen hit a two-run homer over the scoreboard in right field to give the Razorbacks a 2-1 lead.

From there, Dollander got in a groove and was dominant. The preseason First Team All-American retired the next 11 Arkansas batters and struck out six of them. The junior was absolutely dominant from the second to fourth inning and looked like the guy that could go in the top five of the MLB Draft.

Defensive mistakes helped lead to Dollander’s downfall in the fifth inning but he ended his own night by walking .182 nine-hitter John Bolton.

All in all, Dollander’s night was pretty good. He struck out eight batters and only gave up two earned runs but he couldn’t get deep into the game and Arkansas capitalized on nearly every scoring opportunity it had. Saturday Dollander looked a lot like Friday Dollander. Looked fantastic for a lot of his outing but the final numbers don’t reflect that.

Clutch Hitting Eludes Tennessee

Tennessee hit a pair of home runs in its game two loss against Arkansas as Jared Dickey led off the game with a long ball and Blake Burke hit a solo homer in the sixth inning.

The two home runs were nice. They would have been even nicer if they came with runners on base. It would have been nice for Tennessee to get any hit with runners on base.

The Vols started one-of-12 with runners on-base and zero-of-six with runners in-scoring position on their way to an one-of-15, zero-of-eight performance in those two categories.

Tennessee frequently had its top hitters up in those moments too. We already covered the Moore foul out in the fifth inning but he wasn’t the only top hitter who couldn’t capitalize on a scoring opportunity.

Blake Burke had poor look when he smoked a line drive right at the shortstop leading to an easy double play. Dreiling was seeing the ball extremely well but couldn’t tie the game with two-outs in the seventh inning. Arkansas opened up the game half an inning later to all but put Tennessee away.

The Vols had more consistent baserunners in game two than they did in game one but it mattered little as no one could provide a clutch hit.

Final Stats

Up Next

Tennessee concludes its weekend series at Arkansas Sunday afternoon. First pitch at Baum-Walker Stadium is at 3 p.m. ET.

Author: Ethan Moore