March 21, 2007
KNOXVILLE -- The Tennessee baseball team enjoyed its most complete outing of the season Tuesday using a season-high 18 hits to defeat Wright State 16-4 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Six Volunteers collected multiple hits, and six drove in at least two runs as the Big Orange improved to 14-9 on the year.
First pitch was delayed 48 minutes due to rain, but the Volunteers clearly were eager to get underway. Tennessee starting pitcher Lance McClain came out firing in the top of the first, throwing in the low 90s and striking out a pair of Wright State hitters. McClain would work six quality innings on the night, allowing two runs on five hits while logging a career-high five strikeouts and running his record to 4-2.
In the bottom of the first, leadoff man Andy Simunic singled before easily stealing second and third base. All-America catcher J.P. Arencibia sent an RBI basehit down the left line two batters later, and first baseman Yan Gomes followed that with a double off the wall in left-centerfield. Second baseman Danny Lima later delivered a two-run basehit that put UT up 3-0.
Consecutive RBI doubles by Tony Delmonico and J.P. Arencibia in the second inning pushed Tennessee's lead to 5-0. Preseason All-America junior Julio Borbon added an RBI basehit later in the inning that plated Arencibia. That hit - Tennessee's eighth of the game - chased WSU starter John Lambert from the hill after just 1 1/3 innings. Lambert took the loss to fall to 0-1 on the year.
A bases-loaded single by Gomes in the third drove in a pair of runs, extending UT's lead to 8-0. But Raiders shortstop Jeremy Hamilton tripled to lead off the top of the fourth, and he scored one batter later on a single by Justin Parker that put Wright State on the board, 8-1.
The Vols used a Ryan Jones basehit and a pair of walks to load the bases on Raiders reliever Jordan Wolfe with no outs in the fourth. Wolfe managed one strikeout before issuing an RBI base on balls to Delmonico. Right-hander Dan Barker was then summoned to the mound for Wright State (8-6), taking the hill under less-than-ideal circumstances with three men on base, one out and Arencibia in the batter's box. Arencibia made it a nine-run affair with an RBI sacrifice fly that brought home Cody Brown.
Brown came through with a two-run single after UT loads the bases with no outs in the fifth, and Jarred Frazier followed suit with a run-scoring single of his own. That cued WSU's fourth pitching change of the night, which brought right-hander Chris Nighland to the mound.
Nighland allowed two runners to score on a pair of hits - with Delmonico logging an RBI infield single and Borbon recording an RBI double - before getting the Raiders out of the fifth. At that point, the Vols had already posted season-highs for hits and runs.
A solo home run by Hamilton in the sixth made the score 16-2 in favor of Tennessee. Wright State got RBIs from outfielder John Kopilchack and Sam Mote in the ninth to bring the final score to 16-4.
Borbon made his first start of the season Tuesday, batting fifth in the order as the Vols' designated hitter and going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run. He missed UT's first 18 games with an ankle injury before logging three pinch-hit at-bats last week.
Sophomore right-hander Aaron Everett threw the seventh for Tennessee, and freshman righty Bryan Powell worked the eighth. Powell struck out the side while making his second career appearance and his first at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Junior right-hander Zane Stone pitched a two-hit ninth for the Vols.
Tennessee sent nine men to the plate in the second and 11 in the fifth. Redshirt freshman Brian Bibee logged a line-drive single in his first career at-bat after entering the game in the bottom of the eighth. He remained in the game as UT's right fielder.
Tennessee hosts Southeastern Conference rival Georgia (9-11, 3-0 SEC) this weekend at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Game times are set for 7 p.m. Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. There will be a postgame fireworks show Friday night. All kids receive free admission Sunday, and fans will have an opportunity to come down to the field after that game and meet the Vols.