Brian Van Kirk
March 15, 2006
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Siena scored six runs in the fifth inning Wednesday as it brought an end to the fifth-ranked Tennessee baseball team's 14-game home win streak by posting a 9-8 upset victory at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The Volunteers out-hit the feisty Saints 12-10, but committed three costly errors on the day.
Wednesday's game was eerily similar to Tuesday's contest, during which the Vols held a multi-run lead midway through the game before the Saints produced an impressive single-inning barrage. Siena posted seven runs in the seventh inning Tuesday, but Tennessee managed to claw its way back on top.
The Vols put two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth but hit consecutive fly-ball outs to fall to 14-3 on the year. Siena improved to 2-10 while earning the series split.
After trailing for four full innings, Siena used back-to-back homers by Phil Cahill and Matt Gidaly to jump out to a two-run lead in the fifth. Cahill's blast was the most damaging, as the bases were loaded when he sent a Ryne Simpson pitch over the wall in left field. Gidaly's was a solo shot that put the Saints up 7-5.
A solo homer by UT right fielder Brian Van Kirk - the first of his career - in the bottom of the fifth cut Siena's lead in half. But the Saints used a basehit and consecutive walks to load the bases with no outs in the top of the sixth. Chris Klepps then drew an RBI walk and Jake Willis crossed on a groundout to stretch Siena's lead to three, 9-6.
Van Kirk doubled off the wall in left in the bottom of the seventh, bringing in third baseman Cody Brown all the way from first base and bringing Tennessee within two runs, 9-7.
Vols centerfielder Julio Borbon then led off the bottom of the eighth with a base on balls and eventually scored on an RBI fielder's choice by Edmundson. That ended the day's scoring and gave Saints reliever J.J. Potrikus his first win of the season.
Simpson took the loss for Tennessee to fall to 0-1 this season. Sophomore right-hander Ty Pryor made his first career start as a Vol and was lifted in the fifth after allowing four runs on six hits with five walks and five strikeouts.
After pounding out four hits and driving in four runs during Tuesday's win, Borbon helped Tennessee get going early Wednesday. He singled to lead off the bottom of the first and later scored on an RBI double by first baseman Chris Kemp.
In the top of the second, the Saints used an RBI double by outfielder Matt Gidaly to tie the game at 1-1.
Borbon slapped an RBI double to left-centerfield in the second inning, driving in Van Kirk and restoring UT's one-run lead.
Tennessee catcher Kelly Edmundson then laced a solo home run to left field to lead off the third inning, giving the Vols at least one run in each of the first three frames. It was Edmundson's second homer of the season and the 13th of his career. A well-executed double steal later in the inning put third baseman Cody Brown at second base and allowed second baseman Michael Rivera to swipe home plate.
Following the double steal, Vols left fielder Jarred Frazier plated Brown with an RBI double - UT's third such two-bagger of the afternoon - to give the Big Orange a four-run cushion it would hold until the fifth.
Van Kirk finished 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs and a pair of runs. Edmundson recorded his team-leading fifth multi-RBI game of the year.
Siena starting pitcher Trevor Reid gave way to Potrikus after giving up five runs on six hits through four full innings. Potrikus tossed the final five frames and was touched for three runs on six hits with two walks and two Ks.
Tennessee departs Thursday for Starkville, Miss., where it faces sixth-ranked Mississippi State (12-0) for the opening weekend of Southeastern Conference play.