Tennessee Blows Past Bethune-Cookman in Home Opener, 13-5

Feb. 18, 2005

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KNOXVILLE -- The Tennessee baseball team received a dominant performance from ace Luke Hochevar, and the Volunteers' offense exploded for 13 runs on 14 hits as UT blew past Bethune-Cookman 13-5 Friday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

Hochevar, a preseason All-America selection, was nearly untouchable in seven innings of work. The junior from Fowler, Colo., allowed no runs, walked two and gave up only one hit in the Vols' home opener.

Vols freshman J.P. Arencibia performed well in his Big Orange debut. The catcher from Miami, Fla., posted base hits in each of his first four at-bats and finished the day 4-for-6 with two runs scored. Senior Eric King also turned in a solid performance, going 3-for-3 with three RBIs and walking twice.

Tennessee (2-2) got on the board early, as Josh Alley scored on a Chase Headley RBI ground-out in the bottom of the first. It marked Headley's third RBI of the season.

In the bottom of the second, second baseman Michael Rivera took first after being hit by a pitch. Rivera advanced to second on a walk and then crossed home on an RBI base hit by junior co-captain Eli Iorg.

Senior first baseman Alex Suarez picked up his first hit of the season in the bottom of the third inning, and he made it count. With the bases loaded, Suarez sent a fly ball to center that fell just out of the reach of Bethune-Cookman's Matt Fraysier, scoring Headley, Arencibia and Rob Fitzgerald to give the Vols a 5-0 lead.

Fitzgerald followed suit in the bottom of the fourth, tripling to left center and driving in Headley and Arencibia once again. Fitzgerald later crossed home when Wildcat pitcher Paul Griffin threw a wild pitch to the first batter he faced.

The Vols' fourth-inning offense was just getting started, though, as King recorded yet another three-run triple, scoring Kelly Edmundson, Suarez and Rivera to extend the lead to 12-0. King would later come home on a sacrifice fly by Iorg to close out Tennessee's seven-run fourth.

Tennessee's final run came when Alley scored on an Edmundson single in the sixth.

Bethune-Cookman (0-8) did not score until the eighth inning, when Bobby Gilbert scored on a single by Nabil Sagbini. The Wildcats went on to post three more runs that inning, with two coming courtesy of Rob Caruso's double.

Bethune-Cookman's fifth and final home run occurred when Chad Mercado homered to left field.

Redshirt freshman Chase Hardin (0-0) made his first appearance as a Vol, replacing Hochevar in the top of the eighth inning. Hardin allowed four runs on two hits and issued a walk in 2/3 inning. True freshman Jonathan Rapavi (0-0) then finished things off for the Vols, allowing one run, two hits and striking out one batter in his collegiate debut.

Bethune-Cookman junior Shane Kelley (0-2) took the loss after giving up seven hits, eight runs (all earned), six walks and striking out one in three innings of work. Paul Griffin (0-0) then made a brief relief appearance for the Wildcats, but was touched for four runs on two hits and also gave up two walks.

Israel Rivera (0-0) threw the final five innings for Bethune-Cookman, allowing one run on five hits with four strikeouts and one walk.

Due to inclement weather forecasts on Sunday, the final two games of the series will be played Saturday in a doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for noon, and the teams will play two nine-inning games with a 30-minute break between contests.





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