March 24, 2007
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Seven different Tennessee players drove in runs Saturday as the Volunteers posted a series-clinching, 10-2 win over Georgia at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Sophomore third baseman Cody Brown had a career-high three hits to help UT improve to 16-9 (3-2 SEC), and senior pitcher Craig Cobb earned his fifth victory of the season.
The Vols look to sweep the series Sunday, with first pitch set for 2 p.m. Through the first two games this weekend there is a six-way tie for first place in the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division (and a nine-way tie overall).
Cobb was touched for one run on 11 hits with one walk and four strikeouts through 7 1/3 innings. He improved to 5-2 on the year by winning his third SEC home game in his last four tries. His 24 career victories leave him one triumph shy of tying former Vol Luke Hochevar (2003-05) for second place on UT's all-time list.
For the first time in SEC play this season, Tennessee scored first Saturday. Leadoff hitter Andy Simunic came home on a wild pitch by Bulldogs starter Trevor Holder in the bottom of the first. Simunic led off the inning with a base hit before stealing second base - his 15th steal of the season - and taking third on a flyball by J.P. Arencibia. An RBI bloop single by Vols right fielder Jeff Lockwood later in the first made it 2-0 Tennessee.
Tennessee sent nine batters to the plate in the second while scoring four runs on five hits to build a 6-0 lead. Shortstop Tony Delmonico's RBI sacrifice fly to plate Brown started the four-run flurry, with Jarred Frazier, Arencibia and Yan Gomes all driving in runs.
Georgia first baseman Luke Stewart hit a solo homer in the fourth to put the Bulldogs (9-13, 3-2 SEC) on the scoreboard. But Arencibia erased that run with a solo blast of his own to lead off the bottom of the inning. The two-time All-America selection's second home run of the season was also the 27th of his career.
Gomes reached on a fielding error by UGA third baseman Ryan Peisel following Arencibia's homer, and an RBI double to left-center by Lockwood enabled Gomes to score all the way from first to give UT an 8-1 edge and still no outs in the bottom of the fifth.
Lockwood's two-bagger prompted Georgia's second pitching change of the game, as right-hander Nick Montgomery replaced reliever Jason Leaver. Brown capped UT's three-run fifth with an RBI double that plated Lockwood. That gave Brown a career-high three hits on the day, as he was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate at that point.
Tennessee's 10th run of the night came in the sixth inning when Lockwood scored from second base on an RBI single by designated hitter Julio Borbon.
Georgia loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, marking the end of Cobb's strong outing. Vols relievers Bryan Powell and Aaron Everett then retired the next two Bulldogs, respectively, to strand three UGA baserunners. Everett worked the final 1 1/3 innings for UT.
Bulldogs outfielder Matt Olson delivered an RBI double in the top of the ninth to bring the final tally to 10-2.
The Bulldogs had multiple baserunners in seven different innings Saturday and stranded 13 runners in the game.
With Saturday's solo home run, Arencibia has now homered against Georgia in three straight seasons. He joined Lockwood as the only two Vols with a pair of RBIs Saturday. Simunic added three hits to boost his team-high batting average to .364 on the year.
Tennessee's Nick Hernandez (2-2, 7.17 ERA) and Georgia's Justin Earls (2-1, 1.61 ERA) will face off in a duel of freshman left-handers in the series-finale.
All kids receive free admission Sunday, and postgame "Fan Appreciation Day" festivities include an opportunity for fans to visit with the Vols on the field. Kids are also welcome to run the bases following the game.