March 5, 2006
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee baseball team completed a three-game sweep of Oakland (Mich.) Sunday, as the sixth-ranked Volunteers posted a 6-4 victory before a crowd of 1,226 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. With less than two weeks remaining until the start of Southeastern Conference play, UT boasts an 11-2 record is batting .318 as a team.
Vols centerfielder Julio Borbon collected two hits Sunday to stretch his impressive hit streak to 13 games, and freshman third baseman Cody Brown finished the series with five hits and a team-high six RBIs.
Oakland (0-7) mounted legitimate rallies in each of the final three innings. In the seventh, the Grizzlies plated two runs and brought the go-ahead run to the plate, but Vols junior Craig Cobb entered the game and struck out Chad Winkler to stifle that threat.
The Grizzlies stranded a runner on third base in the eighth before once again bringing the potential go-ahead run to the plate in the ninth, at which time Vols closer Sean Watson got Ryan Heath to look at strike three. Watson logged his fifth save of the season after tossing the final inning for UT.
Sophomore co-captain J.P. Arencibia put Tennessee on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third inning with a solo home run to left field. It was the Miami, Fla., native's third homer of
the season and his second of the series (he also hit a solo shot during Friday's 11-1 win).
Two batters later, Vols senior Kelly Edmundson reached on a basehit up the middle. He was then quickly driven in on an RBI triple down the right-field line by second baseman Michael Rivera, giving UT a two-run advantage.
But with one powerful swing in the top of the fourth inning, Oakland first baseman Kevin Carkeek tied things up with a two-run homer to left-centerfield.
Tennessee reclaimed its lead with a three-run fourth inning that was jumpstarted by an RBI single by Borbon. An Oakland throwing error on the play also allowed speedy freshman Jarred Frazier to score. The Vols' fifth run of the afternoon came when Borbon strolled home from third base on a balk by OU reliever Dan Stinchcombe.
Oakland threatened to retake the lead in the top of the fifth, loading the bases with two outs, but UT reliever Ty Pryor struck out Carkeek to end the inning.
The Vols tacked on an insurance run in the eighth inning when Borbon scampered home from third base on a wild pitch.
Junior Deunte Heath started on the mound for Tennessee and picked up the win to improve to 2-1 on the year. The Atlanta, Ga., native allowed a pair of runs on two hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Pryor threw 2 2/3 innings of relief for UT, and Cobb worked 1 1/3 innings before Watson entered.
Grizzlies starting pitcher Kevin Hale (0-1) was lifted in the fourth inning after giving up six runs (five earned) on six hits with two walks and two Ks. Stinchcombe and fellow OU relievers Brad Noel and Brian Bernatowicz combined to allow one run on two hits through the final 4 1/3 frames of action.
Oakland head coach Dylan Putnam was ejected in the bottom of the fourth while arguing Stinchcombe's called balk, and play was halted briefly in the top of the fifth after Putnam failed to leave the Grizzlies' dugout.
The Vols return to the diamond when they host a pair of games against Akron Friday (3 p.m.) and Saturday (2 p.m.) at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.