Feb. 16, 2007

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Junior All-America performer J.P. Arencibia delivered what proved to be a game-winning RBI double in the fifth inning Friday to lift the 19th-ranked Tennessee baseball team past Bethune-Cookman by a score of 4-3 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Senior pitcher Craig Cobb's ninth career complete-game victory lifted UT's record to 3-4 on the year.

Cobb (2-1) allowed just two earned runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and no walks while notching the 21st win of his career, tying him for fifth on Tennessee's all-time victories list. It was the Knoxville native's 11th career complete game.

Vols freshman Jeff Lockwood went 2-for-4 on the day with a pair of RBIs, and junior outfielder Shawn Griffin added two hits and a run scored. Tennessee finished with 10 hits to B-CC's eight, marking the first time this season that UT out-hit its opponent.

The day's scoring began as both teams traded lone runs in the second inning. The Wildcats (4-4) used an RBI groundout by first baseman Alejandro Jimenez to take a 1-0 lead, and the Vols countered when Arencibia scored from third on an outfield error.

Bethune-Cookman right fielder Angel Mercado gave his team a 3-1 lead by smacking a two-run homer over the wall in left-centerfield in the top of the fourth inning. It was Mercado's first homer of the season, and he finished the day 3-for-4 at the plate.

Tennessee wasted little time knotting the score at 3-3, as Lockwood sent an RBI basehit through the right side of the infield to plate outfielders Jarred Frazier and Griffin. Griffin had previously reached on a walk, while Frazier reached on a single.

With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Arencibia came through with an RBI double to the gap in left-center, allowing shortstop Tony Delmonico to score the eventual winning run from second base.

To make things interesting, Bethune-Cookman led off the top of the ninth with consecutive basehits. But Cobb got Jimenez to ground into a double play, and he then struck out pinch-hitter Orlando Bacon to seal the win.

The series resumes Saturday at 2 p.m., with junior left-hander James Adkins (0-2, 2.45 ERA) taking the mound for UT opposite Wildcats right-hander Dustin Blackwell (2-0, 0.60 ERA). Blackwell attended Etowah High School and was formerly a pitcher at Cleveland State Community College.





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