March 4, 2007
KNOXVILLE -- Catcher Yan Gomes drove in four runs on three hits Sunday, propelling the Tennessee baseball team to a 4-2 win over Illinois-Chicago at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The freshman hit his first collegiate home run to help the Volunteers improve to 7-7 on the year, and sophomore Danny Wiltz chipped in with his first career save.
Tennessee out-hit the Flames (4-5) 8-7 Sunday and was perfect in the field following Saturday's six-error performance. Sunday's victory helped UT avoid being swept at home in a three-game series by a non-conference opponent for the first time since Miami (Fla.) pulled off the feat in 2003.
Sophomore left-hander Lance McClain picked up the win to move to 3-2 on the year after a quality, seven-inning outing that saw him allow just two runs on six hits with no walks and one strikeout. Wiltz worked the final two frames, surrendering one hit and recording a career-high-tying three strikeouts.
In the first two games of the series, it wasn't until after seven innings that Illinois-Chicago held a lead. Sunday, however, the Flames jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage in the top of the first. Leadoff man Chad Schroeder was hit by the first pitch of the game, and he later scored on an RBI double by designated hitter Brett Schaefer. UIC centerfielder Larry Gempp Jr. scored the second run on an RBI groundout by Mickey Pingree.
Tennessee tied the game at 2-2 in the fourth, with both runs coming home on an RBI single up the middle by Gomes. Both runs went down as unearned against UIC starting pitcher Steve Crnkovich, as an error by Flames second baseman David Cales allowed both of UT's baserunners - infielders Tony Delmonico and Cody Brown - to move into scoring position.
Gomes put Tennessee on top when he turned on the first pitch he saw with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and put it in the left-field bleachers for a solo home run. It was the seventh homer of the season for UT, and all have come off the bats of different players.
Crnkovich left after six innings, during which he gave up three runs (one earned) on seven hits with one walk and one strikeout. He took the loss to fall to 1-1 on the year.
Vols second baseman Danny Lima saw his team-best 10-game hit streak come to an end Sunday, but he remains the team leader with a .348 batting average.
Tennessee plays its first midweek game of the season Tuesday when it hosts Lipscomb (11-5) Tuesday at 3 p.m. at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. An intrastate rival from Nashville, the Bisons are coming off a series win at LSU.