April 3, 2004
Knoxville, Tenn. - The No. 13 Tennessee Volunteers pulled into a first place tie with Florida in the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division following their 7-1 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The Vols go for the series sweep Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.
Tennessee improved to 24-5 and 5-3 in the league, while Kentucky dropped its seventh straight game to fall to 14-12 and 2-6 in conference action.
Sean Watson (4-1) overcame a poor outing last week against Auburn, in which he pitched just three innings, to earn the win after issuing a season-high five walks. After giving up one run on two hits in the first three innings he settled down by holding the Cats hitless over the final five innings, retiring 15 of the 18 batters he faced.
Chris Howell, making his first appearance since March 3 due to injury, pitched a perfect ninth.
Seth Stanley (5-1) suffered his first loss of the season as he surrendered six runs on nine hits in six innings.
Clinging to a slim 2-1 lead, the Vols got the big hits when they needed it as Eli Iorg, who went 3-for-4, had a two-run triple in the fourth and Eric King slugged his first home run of the season to left center, extending the lead to 5-1 in the fifth.
Iorg scored Tennessee's final two runs in the sixth and eighth as the lead extended to 7-1. He led off the sixth with a single, stole second and took third on a ground out before scoring on Josh Alley's bunt hit. Then he got his third hit and stole second in the eighth before plating on Brian Cleveland's double.
Chris Kemp went 3-for-3 with a double as Tennessee pounded out 11 hits.
Tennessee jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second. Alex Suarez doubled home Nick Crowe who reached on a fielders choice and then scored on David Lamar's base hit.
The Wildcats plated their only run in the third as Michael Bertram scored on Watson's wild pitch after singling and taking third on back-to-back one-out walks.