Diamond Vols Drop Series Finale, 3-1, to Bethune-Cookman

Feb. 19, 2005

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KNOXVILLE -- The Tennessee baseball team closed out its three-game series with Bethune-Cookman Saturday evening, dropping a 3-1 decision to the Wildcats in the second game of a doubleheader. Bethune-Cookman saved its pitching ace, Richard Rodriguez, for the series finale, and he held the Vols to one run in a complete-game effort.

Tennessee won the series 2-1 and moved to 3-3 on the year. The win marked Bethune-Cookman's (1-9) first victory of the year.

Tennessee leadoff batter Eli Iorg began the game with a base hit, and was later allowed to cross home on a balk by Wildcats' pitcher Richard Rodriguez to open the scoring.

Bethune-Cookman countered in the top of the second inning with a two-run home run to left center by designated hitter Ryan Ghianda.

The Wildcats extended their lead to 3-1 when Randall Vickroy hit an RBI single up the middle that allowed catcher Chad Mercado -- who had previously reached on a double -- to score.

Tennessee starter James Adkins (1-1) went eight innings in his home debut and gave up three runs on six hits with four walks and seven strikeouts. Senior Joey Andrews came on in relief in the ninth and struck out all three batters he faced.

Vols first baseman Alex Suarez will likely be wearing black and blue reminders of UT's home-opening series for days to come. Suarez was hit by three pitches Saturday (two in game one, one in game two) and now ranks tied for ninth place on Tennessee's career hit-by-pitch list with 22 for his career.

The Vols are back in Lindsey Nelson Stadium Tuesday, when Tennessee Tech visits for a 3 p.m. contest. The Big Orange leads the all-time series with the Eagles 59-27-1, dating to 1942.





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