March 2, 2007
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Illinois-Chicago scored five runs in the final two innings Friday as the Flames came from behind to defeat the Tennessee baseball team 6-5 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. UIC pounded out 14 hits while the Vols managed 12. The Big Orange fell to 6-6 on the year, and the Flames moved to 3-4.
An infield throwing error in the top of the ninth inning made it possible for UIC leadoff man Chad Schroeder to score the winning run from third base. Schroeder had initially walked before moving to third on consecutive basehits. Tennessee freshman Nick Hernandez (0-1) was tagged with the loss after entering a tie game at the start of the ninth in relief of starter Craig Cobb.
Cobb - coming off back-to-back complete-game wins - worked eight full innings and was touched for five runs (four earned) on 12 hits. The Knoxville, Tenn., native earned a no-decision and now sports a 3-1 record on the year with a 3.76 ERA.
Tennessee led 5-1 before the Flames rallied for four runs on four hits in the eighth to tie things up. Designated hitter Ben Trotter keyed the comeback with an RBI basehit. Later in the frame with the bases loaded, right fielder Mickey Pingree came through with a game-tying, three-run double to the gap in left-center. Cobb then retired the next two batters, putting a temporary stop to the damage.
The day's scoring began when the Vols used four hits in the bottom of the first inning to jump out to an early 3-0 lead. Third baseman Cody Brown got things started with an RBI single that plated shortstop Tony Delmonico, and first baseman Ryan Jones later delivered a two-run double that allowed Brown and designated hitter Jeff Lockwood to score.
Illinois-Chicago trimmed its deficit to two runs when Nick Rainwater scored from third base on an RBI basehit by Schroeder in the top of the third.
With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Delmonico sent the first pitch he saw over the wall in left field to restore Tennessee's three-run lead, 4-1. It was the sophomore's second homer of the year and the fifth of his career.
Flames starting pitcher Zach Peterson was lifted after allowing four runs on eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts in six innings. He gave way to fellow right-hander Adam Worthington, who didn't fare much better on the hill for UIC. The first batter he faced, Vols second baseman Danny Lima, doubled before taking third on a sacrifice bunt by Delmonico. Worthington then unleashed a wild pitch that eluded catcher Erik Whinery and enabled Lima to score.
Worthington was pulled after one full inning in favor of right-hander Andrew Davis, who pitched the eighth for UIC. Flames starting shortstop David Cales shifted to the mound for the ninth inning, and the versatile sophomore notched his second save of the year while allowing one hit and logging one strikeout.
Tennessee left eight runners on base and had a costly baserunning mistake with one out in the sixth when a man was picked off at third base.
Lima's seventh-inning double extended his team-best hit streak to nine games. He leads the Vols with a .385 batting average this season and has hit safely in every game in which he's played. Lima was one of five Vols with two hits on the day.
Cobb accomplished a pair of individual milestones Friday. The start marked his 73rd career pitching appearance, tying him with former Vols Sean Watson (2004-06) and R.A. Dickey (1994-96) for first place on UT's all-time list. Cobb also took solo hold of second place on Tennessee's career innings-pitched list. He has now worked 321 2/3 innings, which ranks second in school history behind Dickey's 434.
The series resumes Saturday at 2 p.m., with junior left-hander James Adkins (1-2, 1.50 ERA) taking the mound for Tennessee. Sunday's series-finale has been moved to a 1:30 p.m. start.