Feb. 13, 2005
HOUSTON -- A four-run fourth inning gave the Tennessee baseball team a lead it would never relinquish Sunday as the Vols downed No. 23-ranked Oklahoma State 6-5 at Minute Maid Park.
The Cowboys made things interesting when Steve Ptak hit a pinch-hit three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, but UT senior reliever Chris Howell held on to log his first save of the year.
Tennessee returns to Rocky Top with a 1-2 record after having faced three ranked Big-12 Conference opponents in the 2005 Minute Maid College Classic. Oklahoma State now stands at 4-2 on the year after going 1-2 in the three-day event.
The Vols' high-powered fourth inning got revved up when junior third baseman Chase Headley scored from third on a Kelly Edmundson sacrifice fly. Three batters later, with Alex Suarez at third and Rob Fitzgerald at first, senior shortstop Eric King cleared the bases with his first home run of the season (and third of his career).
The day's scoring began shortly after Cowboys leadoff man Justin Colbert doubled down the right-field line in the bottom of the first. Colbert later scored when OSU's Ty Wright hit into a double play.
The Vols first run of the day came on a well-executed double steal, with Edmundson taking second, and Headley beating the OSU first baseman's throw home.
Oklahoma State narrowed the Vols' lead to four when Keanon Simon drove in Corey Brown in the bottom of the eighth.
Freshman left-hander James Adkins (1-0) got the starting nod Sunday and -- despite the pressure of performing in a major-league ballpark -- logged a win in his collegiate debut. The Mt. Juliet, Tenn., native was impressive throughout 7 innings of work, giving up four hits, one run, walking three and striking out eight.
UT newcomer Jabe Beard threw 1 1/3 inning of relief before giving way to Howell for the final two outs.
Cowboys junior Adam Daniels (1-1) took the loss after giving up six hits and five runs while striking out six in 5 2/3 innings.
Tennessee plays host to Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference stalwart Bethune-Cookman Feb. 18-20. Picked to win the 2005 MEAC title by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball, Bethune-Cookman finished last season with a 27-28 record and claimed its sixth consecutive league crown. The Vols have never previously faced the Wildcats.