Feb. 27, 2005
WILMINGTON, N.C. -- Tennessee got back-to-back solo home runs from Eli Iorg and J.P. Arencibia in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday, and those two runs powered the Volunteers past George Mason by a score of 5-4 at the 2005 Hughes Brothers Baseball Challenge.
Tennessee went a perfect 3-0 in the three-day event at UNCW's Brooks Field and now owns a record of 7-3 on the year. George Mason fell to 3-3.
Vols freshman James Adkins (1-1), from Mt. Juliet, Tenn., made his third career start and exhibited a knack for sending the Patriots back to the dugout with their heads hanging. Adkins established a new career-high for strikeouts by fanning nine batters in just four innings Sunday afternoon. The rookie left-hander finished with 10 total strikeouts, marking the most by a Vol in a single game this season.
Adkins lasted 6 1/3 innings, gave up three runs (one earned) on five hits with three walks and left with a no-decision as the score was knotted at 3-3 upon his exit in the top of the seventh inning.
Senior reliever Joey Andrews (1-0) got the win for Tennessee after allowing no runs on no hits and striking out one batter in 1 2/3 innings on the hill.
The day's scoring began when George Mason placed two runs, both unearned, on the board in the top of the second inning with the help of two UT errors. GMU designated hitter Matt York doubled to drive in catcher Robby Jacobsen for the Patriots' first run, and a Jimmy Freund single allowed Brett Pomykala to cross home plate and make it 2-0.
In the bottom of the third inning, Tennessee veterans Josh Alley and Eric
King recorded consecutive extra-base hits, with Alley doubling to left-center
and King reaching third and driving in Alley on a ball hit to nearly the exact
same spot. King would also come in to score and tie the game at 2-2 after a
throwing error by second baseman Freund.
The Patriots reclaimed a one-run advantage when left fielder Adam Innerst singled to score third baseman Chris Fournier in the top of the fifth inning.
For Tennessee, King continued to be productive offensively as he logged an RBI single that enable Alley to score from second base and tie things up at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth. The run marked King's team-leading 14th RBI of the year. He also leads the team with a .447 batting average and has not struck out yet this season.
With the score still tied entering the bottom of the eighth, the Tennessee bats came alive as co-captain Iorg led off the inning with a solo home run to right-center -- his first of the season and the fifth of his career.
Freshman designated hitter Arencibia then stepped up to the plate and sent a solo shot out of the park in dead center to make it back-to-back homers for Tennessee and give the Vols a 5-3 lead. Arencibia leads the team with four home runs this season.
George Mason managed to make it a one-run game again in the bottom of the ninth, but the Matt Cooksey run was all that Vols closer Chris Howell would surrender as he picked up his first save of the season and the second of his career.
Gibbons took the loss after allowing five runs (four earned) on 10 hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Jared Petrovich threw 1/3 innings in relief for the Patriots.
Under 16th-year head coach Rod Delmonico, the Vols boast a 107-38 record in the month of February. And following an undefeated weekend against a trio of Colonial Athletic Association teams, Delmonico now owns a 12-2 record against current members of the CAA.
Tennessee returns home to Lindsey Nelson Stadium for a three-game series with Morehead State this weekend. The action begins Friday at 3 p.m.