KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Despite a standout performance from freshman Blade Tidwell on the mound, No. 4 Tennessee dropped the final game of the series against top-ranked Arkansas in a low-scoring affair Sunday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, 3-2.
Tidwell started the game for the Vols and pitched seven stellar innings, allowing just two hits and striking out a career-high eight batters. After allowing a double in the top of the first inning, Tidwell didn’t allow another hit until the seventh inning. The Loretto, Tennessee, native retired 14 consecutive batters before allowing a double with one out in top of the seventh.
Held without a hit until the fourth inning themselves, Tennessee (39-13, 18-9 SEC) got on the board first in the bottom of the fifth inning. After Pete Derkay and Pavolony hit back-to-back singles and then moved into scoring position following a wild pitch, Ferguson drove in Derkay with an RBI groundout to give the Vols a 1-0 lead.
Arkansas (39-10, 19-8 SEC) evened things up in the top of the seventh inning, as Robert Moore’s sacrifice fly to center field plated Brady Slavens.
Down two runs entering the bottom of the ninth, the Vols made things interesting with a late rally. Lipcius led off the inning with a double and then scored three batters later on an two-out RBI single by Pavolony to cut the deficit to one, but the Vols were unable to complete the comeback as Liam Spence flied out to right field to end the game.
Arkansas reliever Kevin Kopps pitched the final 3.2 innings and earned his second win of the weekend, surrendering just two hits. Lael Lockhart started and gave the Hogs 4.1 solid innings, allowing just one run on four hits while striking out seven.
Tennessee concludes its 2021 regular-season home slate on Tuesday with a midweek contest against Belmont at 6:30 p.m. before wrapping up the regular season with a road trip to Columbia to face South Carolina.
PACKED HOUSE: Sunday’s crowd of 3,575 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium was Tennessee’s largest home crowd since March 30, 2007 (3,987 vs. Arkansas). A total of 10,152 fans attended this weekend’s three-game series.