March 26, 2006
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - For the second straight day Sunday, the longball proved to be the Tennessee baseball team's downfall, as No. 26 Kentucky hit a pair of home runs while downing the 12th-ranked Volunteers 4-1 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The Wildcats took two of three games in the series, and Tennessee's record now stands at 17-7 (1-4 SEC) after two weekends of conference play.
The Vols posted two more hits than UK Sunday, but Wildcats Shaun Lehmann and John Shelby both hit homers for the second time in as many games. Tennessee's lone run came on an RBI basehit by first baseman Chris Kemp in the bottom of the first inning.
Lehmann's home run came after Wildcats designated hitter Billy Grace drew a walk in the top of the second.
Then in the third inning, Kentucky centerfielder Antone DeJesus scored on an RBI sacrifice fly after leading off the frame with his second triple of the series. His sixth run of the weekend gave the Cats a two-run advantage.
After leading off the bottom of the sixth with back-to-back basehits, J.P. Arencibia and Kelly Edmundson both advanced into scoring position on a well-executed sacrifice bunt by
Kemp. Shortstop Tony Delmonico then stepped into the batter's box and drew the first walk issued by Kentucky starter Greg Dombrowski all season (ending Dombrowski's streak of
58 2/3 consecutive innings without a walk, dating to last season). The Wildcats' hurler quickly redeemed himself, however, inducing an inning-ending double play that spoiled the Vols'
Tennessee used a walk and a pair of UK infield errors to load the bases with two outs in the seventh, but Dombrowski worked himself out of that jam with his fifth strikeout of the afternoon.
Shelby cranked a solo home run to left field in the ninth inning, stretching the Wildcats' lead to three runs, 4-1.
Junior closer Sean Watson entered the game for Tennessee in the top of the eighth in relief of starter Josh Lindblom, who had allowed three runs on five hits with two walks and three Ks through seven innings. Watson was touched for one run on two hits while tossing the final two frames, and Lindblom took the loss to fall to 4-2 on the year.
Dombrowski went the distance while earning the win to move to 5-0 on the year. The sophomore right-hander gave up just one run on nine hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
Tennessee now leads the all-time series with Kentucky 144-119, dating to 1915. The Wildcats last series win in Knoxville came during the 2000 season, when UK won each of the first two games in 10 innings.
Tennessee hosts ETSU Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The Vols faced the Bucs just once last season and posted a 15-12 win in Johnson City, Tenn. Former UT volunteer assistant coach Clay Greene (2003-05) is in his first season as a full-time assistant with ETSU.