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TENNESSEE DRAWS SEASON-HIGH 14 FREE PASSES WHILE WALKING PAST ETSU 13-6
J.P. Arencibia

J.P. Arencibia

April 4, 2007

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee baseball team drew a season-high 14 walks during a 13-6 triumph over ETSU in front of 1,697 Wednesday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The Volunteers' tandem of preseason All-Americas - juniors Julio Borbon and J.P. Arencibia - each had noteworthy outings as UT improved to 18-12 (4-5 SEC) on the year. Borbon went 4-for-6 with three runs and four RBIs, while Arencibia tied a school record with five walks.

Sophomore reliever Aaron Everett also was impressive Wednesday, logging a career-high five strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings of relief in which he allowed one run on three hits. Fellow sophomore Danny Wiltz notched the win, however, after working 2 1/3 innings as the first man out of the bullpen for the Vols. The victory was Wiltz's first career decision.

Tennessee tied a season-high by leaving 13 runners on base, but that was due largely to the fact that the Vols loaded the bases five different times on the night.

ETSU (20-12, 7-2 A-Sun) loaded the bases with its first three batters in the top of the first by way of an infield error, a walk and a basehit. Cleanup hitter Danny Petro then produced a two-run double that spotted the Bucs an early 2-0 lead. ETSU managed to reload the bases later in the inning before Vols starting pitcher Lance McClain induced back-to-back popups to end the half-inning and strand three runners.

 

 

The Vols answered by loading the bases with one out in the bottom of the first. Tennessee's Nos. 2-4 hitters each drew walks, but it proved fruitless as Bucs starting pitcher Drew Story retired the next two batters to keep UT off the scoreboard.

In the top of the second, Justin Aughey drove in ETSU's third run of the night, singling into left field and enabling Justin Tramble to score from second base.

Tennessee's Andy Simunic cut into the Bucs' 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second with an RBI basehit that just snuck under Tramble's glove at shortstop and plated left fielder Shawn Griffin. Simunic then stole second base - his first of two on the night and team-high 18th steal of the year - before easily scoring on an RBI triple by. Three batters later UT had the bases loaded once again, setting up a two-RBI single by freshman Jeff Lockwood that put Tennessee on top 4-3.

The Vols drew six walks off Story through just 1 2/3 innings before he was finally lifted in favor of fellow right-hander Darren Caldwell. McClain, meanwhile, gave way to Wiltz after 2 2/3 innings of work in which he was touched for three runs (two earned) on four hits with four walks.

A two-run homer by Bucs first baseman Anthony Russell in the fourth allowed ETSU to retake the lead by a score of 5-4. The momentum quickly swung back in the Vols' favor in the bottom of the inning, however, as two basehits and a walk allowed Tennessee to load the bases - for the third time in the game - with no outs. The Buccaneers averted major damage when Caldwell produced a double-play ball, but Borbon came home on the play to knot the score at 5-5. Left-hander Tony Lombardi was then summoned out of the ETSU bullpen. He was the third of six arms used by ETSU in the game.

Borbon laced a two-run double to right-center in the fifth to g1ve the Big Orange a two-run advantage, 7-5. And after advancing to third base when Bucs centerfielder C.J. Lee dropped a Tony Delmonico flyball, Borbon came home on a line drive up the middle by Arencibia. And for the fourth time in just five innings, UT loaded the bases - this time on a two-out walk by Lockwood later in the frame. All three runners were stranded, though, after ETSU's Jimmy Tidwell recorded an inning-ending strikeout to keep his team within three runs.

Borbon extended UT's cushion to four runs in the sixth with an RBI single up the middle that brought home Simunic. Pure hustle had previously allowed Simunic to stretch a blooper to shallow right field into a double, and he then stole third base prior to Borbon's fourth hit (and fourth RBI) of the night.

ETSU third baseman Tanner Moore plated Troy Mendez in the seventh, bringing an end to the Bucs' scoring.

Lockwood laid down a sacrifice bunt with no outs in the bottom of the seventh, moving both catcher Yan Gomes and Arencibia into scoring position after both drew walks from ETSU reliever Matt McGahey. McGahey then served up a three-run homer to Tennessee shortstop Danny Lima before giving way to the Bucs' sixth pitcher of the night, Jon Stoudt. Lima's longball was his second of the year and gave UT a comfortable 12-6 advantage.

In the bottom of the eighth, Arencibia's school-record-tying fifth walk of the night loaded the bases for UT for the fifth time in the game. Gomes then plated outfielder Ryan Jones with an RBI sacrifice fly that brought the score to 13-6 and closed out the night's scoring. Jones had previously singled in his lone at-bat of the night.

Arencibia joined former Vol All-America Chase Headley (2004-05) as the only UT players to draw five walks in a single game. Headley did so against Radford on March 1, 2005.

The Vols return to action this weekend with a three-game series against No. 11 Kentucky (24-4-1, 4-4-1 SEC) in Lexington, Ky. Game times are set for 6:30 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

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