March 8, 2003
Knoxville, Tenn. - Richard Giannotti's bases clearing triple highlighted a five-run eighth inning as the No. 14 Miami Hurricanes rallied for an 8-4 victory over the No. 17 Tennessee Volunteers at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The series finale is Sunday at 1 p.m.
Tennessee (10-4) took a 4-3 lead in the seventh when Alex Suarez, who led off the frame with a double, scored on Kyle Norrid's double giving the Vols a 4-3 lead chasing Hurricanes starter Vince Bongiovanni.
Then in the eighth Miami (11-3) sent nine men to the plate scoring five times to put the game out of reach. They loaded the bases on a walk followed by a one out single and a Vol error and an intentional walk before Giannotti's triple off Brandon Crowe down the right field line gave them a 6-4 lead. Giannotti would later score on a ground out while Tom Shannon would plate the final run on the second Vol error of the inning.
Shawn Valdes-Fauli (1-0) would pitch the final three innings for the victory as he gave up just two hits. Bongiovanni worked six innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits.
Tennessee struck first in the second on Michael Rivera's first career home run to give the Vols a 1-0 lead. Miami then tied the game in the third on Ryan Braun's RBI single before taking a 3-1 lead on Gaby Sanchez' two-run double later in the inning.
The Vols were able to parlay two walks, two wild pitches by Bongiovanni and a passed ball into two runs to tie game 3-3 in the fifth.
Ben Riley (1-2) took the hard-luck loss as he was saddled for six runs on six hits in 7 1/3 innings. Crowe finished out the final 1 2/3 innings.
Javi Herrera had two hits for Tennessee while Giannotti and Jim Burt each had two hits for Miami.