April 1, 2007
KNOXVILLE -- Arkansas completed a three-game sweep of the Tennessee baseball team Sunday, downing the Volunteers 11-7 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The seventh-ranked Razorbacks' five-run second inning gave them a lead they never let go of as UT fell to 17-12 (4-5 SEC) on the year.
Arkansas (22-8, 7-2 SEC) out-hit the Vols 19-15 on the day and 32-26 for the series. Four different Vols had multiple hits Sunday, and underclassmen Yan Gomes, Jeff Lockwood and Cody Brown each drove in two runs.
Tennessee had the potential winning run at the plate in the bottom of the eighth, at a point when Arkansas was deep into its bullpen. The Hogs brought their sixth pitcher of the game - Brian McLelland - to the mound to face Vols shortstop Danny Lima with two men on base, two outs and the Big Orange trailing 9-7. McLelland induced a flyball to centerfield, helping to secure his first save of the year.
The Vols will look to end their three-game skid Wednesday at 7 p.m. when they break from conference play to host ETSU. Tennessee then travels to Lexington, Ky., for a weekend series against the defending SEC champion Kentucky Wildcats.
Vols starter Lance McClain ran into trouble in the top of the second inning Sunday, as Arkansas used three hits and four walks to take an early 5-0 lead. After a pair of leadoff walks, Matt Willard got a two-run double to fall between charging Tennessee outfielders Julio Borbon and Ryan Jones.
The Razorbacks managed to load the bases with one out later in the frame, and they capitalized with three consecutive RBIs from Casey Coon, Logan Forsythe and Jeff Nutt. Three of the four Arkansas players who drew walks in the frame scored, and McClain was replaced by fellow left-hander Nick Hernandez after two innings.
Tennessee used a walk to its advantage in the bottom of the second, as Gomes reached on a free pass before scoring on an RBI basehit by Brown.
Just as it had in the second inning, Arkansas drew a pair of walks to lead off the fourth. And though the Vols managed to putout the lead runner on a fielder's choice, Hernandez hit Nutt with a pitch to load the bases with one out. That prompted UT head coach Rod Delmonico to bring right-hander Aaron Everett out of the bullpen and into a precarious situation. Everett got Hamblin to line out to third base but then balked to bring in the Hogs' sixth run of the day.
Forsythe homered to lead off the sixth inning, pushing UA's lead to six runs, 7-1.
Hogs starter Dallas Keuchel left after five innings with Arkansas holding a comfortable six-run lead, but reliever Travis Hill never settled in on the mound after taking Keuchel's place in the bottom of the sixth. Hill surrendered a leadoff double to UT first baseman J.P. Arencibia and later loaded the bases with consecutive hit batsmen. Brown then drew an RBI walk to make it a five-run game, prompting Arkansas skipper Dave Van Horn to decide he'd seen enough of Hill.
Razorbacks closer Jess Todd entered the game in relief of Hill to face Andy Simunic with the potential tying run in the on-deck circle, and he got Simunic to flyout and end the inning.
Coon then pushed the Arkansas lead back up to six runs with an RBI basehit off right-hander Danny Wiltz - UT's fourth pitcher of the day - in the top of the seventh.
Tennessee showed its first real sign of life in the bottom of the seventh, making it an 8-5 ballgame with three runs off five hits against Todd. Borbon led off with a triple and then scored on a single by second baseman Tony Delmonico. Arencibia followed that with a double that put a pair of runners in scoring position for Gomes, whose RBI groundout brought in UT's fourth run of the game. And Arencibia eventually scored on an RBI single to left field by Lockwood.
Arkansas tacked on its ninth run in the eighth inning, when Brian Walker delivered an RBI double, and Gomes answered for UT in the bottom of the frame by driving in Simunic with an RBI basehit. Lockwood also recorded his second RBI of the game with a single that scored Arencibia.
The ninth inning marked the sixth different frame in which Arkansas scored and the seventh in which it logged multiple hits. Jake Dugger came home on a double-play ball, and Nutt recorded an RBI two-bagger to bring the game's final score to 11-7.
The loss was credited to McClain after the Knoxville, Tenn., native allowed five runs on four hits with five walks and a strikeout in two full innings. He fell to 5-3 on the year. In addition to Hernandez, Everett and Wiltz, left-handers Bryan Powell and Lockwood also saw time on the mound for UT. All six Vols who pitched surrendered at least one earned run.
Keuchel was the winner for the Razorbacks. The freshman lefty was touched for one run on five hits with five Ks through five innings. Like UT, Arkansas also used five relievers Sunday.
Tennessee's weekend attendance was a season-high 8,378.