Pleasants Shines As #17 Vols Overcome Slow Start In Baseball Win At Austin Peay

Thursday, March 4, 2021
Elijah Pleasants
Elijah Pleasants
- photo by UT Athletics

#17 Tennessee was able to overcome an early deficit to earn a 5-3 win over in-state foe Austin Peay at Raymond C. Hand Park at Clarksville, Tn., on Wednesday night.

The Governors (1-6) scored three times in the bottom of the third inning to jump out to an early advantage, but the Vols battled back and used a five-run fifth inning to take a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

Junior right hander Elijah Pleasants was the story of the night for UT (8-2).

The Clarksville native who starred at nearby Rossview High School was dominant out of the bullpen en route to picking up his first win of the season. Pleasants set new career highs in innings pitched (six) and strikeouts (six) while allowing just three hits on the night.

Jake Rucker led Tennessee at the plate with two hits and two runs batted in. Jordan Beck had a pair of base knocks, as well, while Liam SpenceDrew Gilbert and Jackson Greer also drove in runs for the Big Orange.

Camden Sewell made his first start of the year for UT and tossed two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and one walk.

After escaping a jam in the second inning, the Vols were unable to do the same in the third as the Govs opened the scoring with three runs in the inning. Following back-to-back singles to start the frame, Garrett Spain singled up the middle to bring in the game's first run. An RBI groundout by John McDonald increased the lead to two before a passed ball allowed Spain to score and make it 3-0.

Tennessee got the bats going in the top of the fifth en route to scoring five runs in the inning. Greer led off the frame with a double after right fielder Jeremy Wagner lost a fly ball in the lights. The Vols took advantage of the break as Spence drove in UT's first run three batters later with a single to score Greer from third.

A Rucker two-run single, a sac fly from Gilbert and a hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded for Greer rounded out the scoring in the inning as the Vols took a 5-3 lead.

Pleasants took it from there, retiring nine of the last 11 batters he faced to quell any hope of a comeback for Austin Peay.

The Vols earlier had been scheduled to play Dayton on Wednesday, but that got canceled.

Tennessee returns to Rocky Top for another tough weekend series against Georgia State this weekend. All four of the Panthers wins this season have come against top-15 teams. First pitch for Friday's series opener is slated for 6:30 p.m. and can be seen live on SEC Network + and the ESPN App.

MIDWEEK SUCCESS CONTINUES: Wednesday's victory marked the 14th consecutive midweek win for the Vols. Tennessee is now 31-5 in midweek games since Tony Vitello took over as head coach in 2018.

PLEASANTS IMPRESSES IN HOMECOMING: Elijah Pleasants had his best outing of the season on Wednesday night in his hometown of Clarksville. After struggling in his start on Sunday against Indiana State, the junior right hander had a major bounce back performance to earn the win against Austin Peay. Pleasants threw six shutout innings and set a new career high with six strikeouts while allowing just three hits.

Moc Golfers Fifth At Mountaineer Invitational

Covenant Tennis Wins 7-2 At Transylvania

Randy Smith: The Nightmare At Lake Point


The Chattanooga Mocs finished fifth Tuesday at the Mountaineer Invitational. The Mocs shot 299 over the final 18 to complete the two-day, 54-hole event with a total of 900. Gabe Hunter shot ... (click for more)

The Covenant men's tennis team defeated Transylvania on the road 7-2 Tuesday afternoon. The win marks the Scots' fourth consecutive victory. Covenant recorded its first victory in the No. ... (click for more)

Just off I-75 near the town of Emerson, Georgia lies a state of the art sports facility, complete with dozens of baseball/softball fields, soccer fields and even a beach volleyball venue. There ... (click for more)



Sports

Moc Golfers Fifth At Mountaineer Invitational

The Chattanooga Mocs finished fifth Tuesday at the Mountaineer Invitational. The Mocs shot 299 over the final 18 to complete the two-day, 54-hole event with a total of 900. Gabe Hunter shot 71 to lead the way. They got 75s from A.J. Lintunen and Matt Smith with the addition of 78 by Paul Conroy and Connor Nolan. Alex Cobb ended with 84. Hunter tied for third overall finishing ... (click for more)

Covenant Tennis Wins 7-2 At Transylvania

The Covenant men's tennis team defeated Transylvania on the road 7-2 Tuesday afternoon. The win marks the Scots' fourth consecutive victory. Covenant recorded its first victory in the No. 3 slot, as Ethan Gibson and Gill Dunn defeated Jon-Michael Schulte and Jared Wells, 8-4. The Pioneers won the next two doubles matches very closely, both going into tie breaks. Ben Luke ... (click for more)

Breaking News

County School Officials Told No Migrant Students At Temple Dorm To Enroll In County Schools; Aim Is To Reunite Children With Families, Baptiste Group Says

County School officials said in a meeting on Tuesday, a leader of the Baptiste Group said there are no plans for migrant children at a former Tennessee Temple dorm to attend county schools. School officials said they were told that the program is a short-term placement for children and is focused on reunification of children and families. The Baptiste Group plans to ... (click for more)

Tim Kelly Is New Chattanooga Mayor; Jenny Hill, Isiah Hester Win City Council Races

Tim Kelly was far ahead in the Chattanooga mayor's runoff election after early vote totals and the first 20 precincts were released. He quickly declared himself the winner, and he finished ahead by over 5,000 votes. He won 15,966 to 10,661. Among early voters, it was Kelly 8,623 to 4,988 for Kim White, former president of the River City Company who was vying to be the city's ... (click for more)

Opinion

A Mayoral Race To Be Proud Of

It was very refreshing for both candidates to only speak to their strengths for the entire campaign while not dragging each other through the mud and acting like third graders as it too often the case with political campaigns. It was even more refreshing to see such a humble victory and a gracious defeat as both candidates appeared to be extremely supportive of one another ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Kelly Gallops To Mayor

Tim Kelly, betting heavily on himself by spending over $1 million of his own money and divesting of a widely respected auto dealership in order to be fully focused, was hailed as a winner Tuesday night. The personable Kelly was greeted with open arms as Chattanooga’s newest Mayor when he outlasted another quite capable candidate, Kim White. In what was expected to be a nose-to-nose ... (click for more)