March 20, 2005
AUBURN, Ala. -- James Adkins and Chase Headley helped propel the No. 25-ranked Tennessee baseball team past Auburn 7-2 in the series finale between the two clubs Sunday at Plainsman Park. Adkins went the distance in his first career SEC start, and Headley was the Vols' offensive sparkplug, belting a home run and two doubles.
Tennessee improved to 16-5 (2-1 SEC) with the victory, which gave the Vols their first series win over the Tigers since the 1996 season and their first at Auburn since 1988.
Seven Vols combined for 14 hits Sunday, while Auburn could manage only eight.
Headley delivered the first punch, sending a solo home run over the wall in left-center to lead off the second inning. The homer was Headley's fifth of the season and the first by a Vol in the series.
The Vols added two more runs in the third inning, starting when junior Josh Alley stole third base and advanced home on a throwing error by the catcher. Senior Eric King then scored on an RBI single to right field by junior right fielder Eli Iorg.
Auburn got its first run of the day when Philip Stringer was driven in on a basehit by Tyler Johnstone in the bottom of the third.
Tennessee junior Michael Rivera restored the Vols' lead to three runs with an RBI single that scored Iorg in the top of the sixth, making the score 4-1.
The Tigers countered in the bottom of the sixth when Clete Thomas scored from first base on a double to deep center field by Karl Amonite.
Vols senior Rob Fitzgerald sent a double to right field in the eighth inning.
Headley scored from third base on the play after previously reaching base on
his second double of the day. Headley's run made it 5-2 Tennessee.
Tennessee closed the deal with two insurance runs in the ninth. Alley and King led off the inning with back-to-back doubles, and both players would eventually come home. Alley scored on an RBI groundout by Iorg, and King scored from third on a double by freshman designated hitter J.P. Arencibia.
Adkins (4-1) threw his first career complete game and surrendered two runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and only one walk.
Auburn starter Josh Blake (2-2) took the loss and was chased from the game after giving up three runs on four hits with two walks and no strikeouts in three innings. Jared Shore, Mike Felix and Michael Nix all made appearances on the mound for the Tigers and combined to allow three runs on 10 hits.
The Vols improved to 12-1 this season in games in which a Tennessee player homers.
Tennessee's next action comes Wednesday at 7 p.m. as the Vols travel to Johnson City, Tenn., to face ETSU (11-4, 2-3 SoCon).