Alex Suarez hit his second home run of the season and drove in three as the Vols swept EMU for the first time since 1994.
Feb. 29, 2004
Knoxville, Tenn. - Alex Suarez went 4-for-5 with a home run and three RBI as the Tennessee Volunteers held off the Eastern Michigan Eagles, 10-7, to pull off the series sweep at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Tennessee continues its 13-game home stand with a single game against Tennessee Tech Mar. 3 at 3 p.m. ET.
After building a 9-4 lead after seven innings, the Eagles mounted a three-run rally in the eighth, keyed by Derek Lehrman's pinch hit two-run home run with two out to cut the lead to 9-7.
Chris Howell, who picked up his first save, came on to stop the bleeding and worked out of a jam in the ninth as the Eagles got two runners aboard before Ryan Arnett grounded out to end the game.
The victory was the 557th of head coach Rod Delmonico's career, moving him into a sixth-place tie with Florida's Dave Fuller on the Southeastern Conference's all-time wins list.
Tennessee improved to 7-2, while EMU dropped its fourth straight game to fall to 3-7.
With the game tied at 2-2, Chris Kemp put the Vols ahead for good with a two run single in the second. Kemp, along with Eli Iorg, Brian Cleveland and Nick Crowe each collected a pair of hits as Tennessee out-hit the Eagles 14-12.
Leading 5-2 after the second, the Vols gradually padded the lead with a single run in the fourth on Suarez' home run, before plating two more in the sixth on a sacrifice fly and an RBI double by Cleveland to make it 8-3.
The teams traded single runs in the seventh as Brian Bixler, one of two Eagles with three hits on the day, singled home a run. The Vols added a run in the bottom of the inning when Michael Rivera scored on a ground out.
Following the three-run rally by the Eagles, the Vols got an insurance run in the eighth when pinch runner Todd Martin scored on an Eagle error.
Sean Watson (1-1) pitched a designated four innings in picking up the win. He allowed two runs on five hits with three strikeouts.
Ryan Vandenbussche (0-1) took the loss as he was charged with five runs (four earned) in 1 1/3 innings.