March 30, 2007
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Arkansas scored five late runs Friday as the seventh-ranked Razorbacks defeated the Tennessee baseball team 6-2 in front of 3,987 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The eighth-largest crowd in stadium history saw UT's home win streak halted at 10 games as the Volunteers fell to 17-10 (4-3 SEC) on the year. Nick Schmidt threw a complete-game victory for the Hogs.
Arkansas (20-8, 5-2 SEC) took a 4-2 lead with three runs on one hit in the seventh inning and never looked back. The rally started with an RBI groundout by Danny Hamblin, and two more runs crossed on a sacrifice fly to deep center by Ben Tschepikow. The inning included the first of Tennessee's three infield errors on the night. Those defensive miscues led to four Razorbacks runs.
Friday's much-anticipated pitcher's duel matched Tennessee left-hander James Adkins against Arkansas lefty Nick Schmidt. The projected first-round draft picks were impressive early on, allowing no baserunners on either side until Tennessee right fielder Ryan Jones drew a walk from Schmidt in the bottom of the third.
Schmidt would go on to scatter four hits with a pair of walks and nine strikeouts while improving to 6-0 on the year.
The Razorbacks got their first baserunner in the top of the fourth when centerfielder Jake Dugger scored on an RBI groundout by Casey Coon. Dugger was initially hit by a pitch before moving to second base on a sacrifice bunt and stealing third. Following Coon's RBI grounder, Hogs third baseman Logan Forsythe singled to centerfield, marking the first hit of the night for either team.
Tennessee's first hit off Schmidt was a big one, as reigning SEC Freshman of the Week Jeff Lockwood crushed a solo home run into the packed left-field bleachers in the bottom of the fifth inning. Lockwood's third homer of the season tied the game at 1-1.
Arkansas got a two-out single by right fielder Sean Jones in the top of the sixth. But the Razorbacks' second hit of the night didn't amount to much, as Jones was thrown out by UT centerfielder Julio Borbon while trying to advance to second on the play.
A sixth-inning RBI basehit to left field by UT first baseman Yan Gomes plated Borbon to give the Vols a 2-1 lead. Borbon reached on a bunt single earlier in the inning and then stole his first two bases of the year before scoring on Gomes's two-out single.
The Hogs used a walk and an infield error to put their first two batters on base to lead off the bottom of the seventh. An infield single by Jeff Nutt then loaded the bases with no outs, setting the stage for the go-ahead rally. Arkansas tacked on a pair of unearned runs in the eighth to bring the final score to 6-2.
Adkins fell to 3-4 on the year after allowing six runs (only two earned) on five hits with two walks and seven Ks. Sophomore right-hander Aaron Everett was perfect for the final 1 2/3 innings for UT.
Arkansas' five hits were one more than its season low.
In addition to being the eighth-largest crowd in stadium history, Friday's attendance was also the facility's fourth-largest regular-season crowd and the largest attendance since the Vols' NCAA Regional win over Winthrop June 4, 2005.
The series resumes Saturday at 4 p.m. ET, with senior right-hander Craig Cobb (5-2, 4.50 ERA) taking the mound for Tennessee opposite Arkansas right-hander Duke Welker (4-1, 3.19 ERA).