March 11, 2006
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- For the second time in as many days, a Tennessee senior provided the go-ahead RBI as the fifth-ranked Volunteers defeated Akron 7-3 to complete a two-game sweep of the Zips. The Vols own a 13-2 record this season and have now won 13 consecutive games at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, dating to last season's NCAA Regional.
Michael Rivera singled up the middle in the seventh inning to plate fellow senior Chris Kemp and give UT a lead it would not relinquish. The Vols scored three runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to put the game out of reach.
Just as in Friday's series-opener, Akron (5-5) dealt the first blow Saturday. Charlie Lenhard connected on a solo homer in the third inning to give the Zips a 1-0 advantage.
The Tennessee batters, meanwhile, struggled to settle into a rhythm early on against Akron starting pitcher Tom Farmer, who faced just one hitter over the minimum through five innings.
The Zips put a pair of runners in scoring position with one out in the top of the sixth and threatened to extend their one-run lead. But Vols starter Josh Lindblom logged a strikeout and induced a fly-ball out to douse the Akron rally.
Tennessee freshman third baseman Cody Brown then led off the bottom of the sixth with a timely solo home run that fell just inside the left foul pole to tie the game at 1-1. It was just the Vols' second hit of the day and Brown's first career longball.
In the bottom of the seventh, Vols first baseman Chris Kemp led off with a single and outfielder Ryan Jones followed with a base on balls. That gave UT two runners with no outs, setting the stage for Rivera's go-ahead single.
Akron scratched its second run of the day in the top of the eighth, as Ryne Romick scored from third on an RBI groundout by Ryan Frazee.
Vols freshman Ryan Jones then delivered an RBI basehit to score Kelly Edmundson in the eighth inning and stretch the UT lead back up to three runs, and back-to-back RBI singles by Frazier and Julio Borbon made the score 7-2 in favor of Tennessee.
An RBI sacrifice fly by Lenhard in the top of the ninth brought the final score to 7-3.
Lindblom picked up the win to improve to 4-0 this year. The freshman right-hander allowed one run on six hits and tallied six Ks in seven full innings of work. Junior reliever Craig Cobb logged his first save of the season after working the final two frames.
Farmer (1-2) was lifted after giving up four runs on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts through six innings. Zips reliever Patrick Gliha was then touched for three runs on four hits in the final two innings.
Borbon's RBI basehit in the eighth extended his hit streak to 15 games, and Edmundson recorded his eighth multi-hit outing of the season. Tennessee is 9-0 this year in games in which a UT player hits a home run.
The Vols now take two days off before hosting a pair of midweek games against Siena Tuesday and Wednesday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Both games start at 3 p.m.