March 9, 2007
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee baseball team received another outstanding offensive effort from freshman catcher Yan Gomes Friday as the Volunteers downed Siena 8-5 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Gomes was 4-for-4 on the night with two RBIs and a pair of runs scored, as UT improved to 9-7 with its third straight win.
Gomes's big day at the plate put him atop the team's season stats with a .357 batting average. He has driven in 10 runs over the last five games, with two homers, 11 hits and five runs.
Tennessee starting pitcher Craig Cobb made history with his first pitch Friday, breaking the school record for pitching appearances by taking the mound for the 74th time in his career. The Knoxville, Tenn., native picked up the win to move to 4-1 on the year after working seven full innings.
Siena (0-10) wasted little time jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, using a two-out, two-run homer by cleanup hitter Rick Seltzer to grab the early lead.
The Vols managed four hits through five innings against Saints starter Craig Chaput but came up empty on runs. Chaput gave way to right-hander Will Hassett in the sixth, and Hassett took the loss after surrendering seven run (one earned) on seven hits through 1 1/3 innings.
Tennessee loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the sixth, and Vols freshman Jeff Lockwood keyed a five-run rally with an RBI fielder's choice that plated Gomes. J.P. Arencibia then delivered an RBI basehit, followed by an RBI single by Jarred Frazier that put the Big Orange on top, 3-2.
Vols right fielder Andy Simunic extended the rally with a two-out, bases-clearing triple that brought home Arencibia and Frazier. All said, Tennessee sent nine batters to the plate in the sixth, resulting in a season-high-tying, five-run inning that put the Vols ahead 5-2.
That lead was short-lived, however. A groundout by Siena right fielder Anthony Giansanti put a pair of runners in scoring position with two outs in the seventh, and Nick Messinger brought both men home with a game-tying, three-run homer to left field.
Tennessee shortstop Tony Delmonico then led off the bottom of the seventh by reaching on an infield error, setting up Gomes's second homer of the season. The blast to left field marked the Miami, Fla., native's fourth hit in as many at-bats and brought his team-high RBIs total to 14 on the year.
UT left fielder Shawn Griffin tacked on an RBI basehit in the eighth, stretching the Vols' lead back up to three runs.
Sophomore Danny Wiltz pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning with a pair of strikeouts for Tennessee, and Lockwood entered in the ninth to notch his first career save with a one-hit final frame.
After missing the previous seven games with a strained back muscle, Arencibia entered Friday's game as a defensive sub at first base in the sixth inning. The preseason All-America's sixth-inning RBI single came in his first plate appearance since Feb. 18.
The series resumes Saturday at 2 p.m., with junior left-hander James Adkins (1-2, 2.03 ERA) taking the mound for Tennessee opposite Saints lefty Matt Moberg (0-2, 9.00 ERA). Sunday's finale is set for a 12:30 p.m. first pitch.