March 23, 2005
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -- In a tightly contested game that featured four lead changes, four home runs and 29 hits, the Tennessee baseball team emerged with a 15-12 victory over ETSU Wednesday night at Cardinal Park. Tennessee junior Kelly Edmundson paced the Volunteers with two home runs, six RBIs and three runs scored.
ETSU (11-6) had the potential game-tying run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning, but senior reliever Joey Andrews struck out Bucs shortstop Chuck Hargis to end the game and help the Vols improve to 17-5 (2-1 SEC) on the year.
The night's first run came when ETSU right fielder Shane Byrne drove in Nick Crowe on an RBI groundout in the bottom of the first inning.
The Buccaneers extended their lead with two more runs in the bottom of the second. Blake Church crossed home on a sacrifice bunt by Mike Giroud, and designated hitter Josiah Glafenhein scored on a double down the left line by Hargis.
The Bucs continued to pile it on in the third inning, as an RBI double by Stephen Douglas knocked in Byrne from third to make it 4-0 ETSU.
The Vols plated four runs on four hits to tie the score in the top of the fourth. Tennessee led off the inning with back-to-back singles by junior Michael Rivera and senior Rob Fitzgerald. Junior outfielder Josh Alley drew a walk two batters later to load the bases with one out. Senior shortstop Eric King then stepped up to the plate and laced an RBI single, scoring Rivera. Fitzgerald then scored on an RBI groundout by junior right fielder Eli Iorg.
Tennessee's third and fourth runs of the night came off of a two-RBI bloop single to center field by freshman catcher J.P. Arencibia.
ETSU reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, courtesy of consecutive RBI sacrifice flies by Douglas and Church.
Rain started to fall as the Vols were batting in the top of the sixth, and Edmundson appropriately crushed a three-run homer high into the stratosphere in right field. The home run was Edmundson's second of the year and the fifth of his career. It gave the Vols a 7-6 advantage heading into the bottom of the inning.
Vols reliever Chris Howell was summoned in the top of the seventh and quickly found himself in a bases-loaded jam. ETSU All-America catcher Caleb Moore capitalized on his opportunity at the plate, sending a two-RBI double to center field. On that same play, Hargis scored from third on a throwing error, and the Bucs suddenly owned a 9-7 lead.
Iorg put the Vols back on top with a three-run homer to right field in the seventh, and Edmundson belted his second homer of the game later in the inning to give Tennessee an 11-9 lead.
Alley scored from second on a double to right field by King in the eighth, making the score 12-9 Tennessee. Alley had previously reached on a basehit and advanced to second on a steal.
Byrne hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to pull the Bucs to within one run.
In the top of the ninth, Edmundson recorded his fifth and sixth RBIs of the game when he drove in Arencibia and Headley with a double. Edmundson later plated Tennessee's 15th run of the night on an RBI basehit to right field by freshman Julio Borbon.
Tennessee sophomore right-hander Craig Cobb made his third start of the season and allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits with no walks and one strikeout in three innings worked. Redshirt freshman Chase Hardin then tossed two innings, giving up two runs on one hit with two walks and one strikeout. Howell allowed three runs on one hit but picked up his first win of the season.
Andrews came on to throw the final three innings for the Vols. He was touched for three runs (two earned) on one hit with one walk and a season-high five strikeouts while recording his first save of the year.
Bucs starter Jeremy Hall went 5 2/3 innings and gave up seven runs on 12 hits with four walks and six strikeouts. Brian Lovett took the loss for ETSU and dropped to 2-2 on the year after surrendering three earned runs in just 1/3 inning. Jonathan Stoudt and Moore also saw action on the mound for ETSU.
Tennessee is now 13-1 this season in games in which a UT player homers. The Vols hit 34 home runs last season, and they already have 28 homers through 22 games this year.
The Vols play their first home SEC series of the season this weekend as they host No. 7-ranked Ole Miss (17-4, 2-1 SEC) for a three-game series at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Friday and Saturday's games both start at 7 p.m., and Sunday's contest begins at 2 p.m.