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KEMP'S TWO HOMERS NOT ENOUGH AS VOLS FALL AT ETSU 8-7 IN EXTRA INNINGS
Michael Rivera

Michael Rivera

April 5, 2006

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -- ETSU used an RBI basehit in the bottom of the 11th inning to down the Tennessee baseball team 8-7 Wednesday night at Cardinal Park. Buccaneers left fielder C.J. Lee provided the game-winning hit, as the 24th-ranked Volunteers fell to 18-11 (2-6 SEC) on the season. Chris Kemp homered twice for UT in the losing effort.

ETSU's Stephen Douglas drew a walk with one out in the bottom of the 11th, and he advanced to second on a groundout before stealing third base. Following a hit batsman, Lee hit a line drive through the left side of the infield, bringing home Douglas with the winning run.

After a scoreless first inning, Vols second baseman Michael Rivera hit a three-run homer to right field in the top of the second. Rivera's second longball of the season plated catcher Kelly Edmundson and Kemp, who reached on a leadoff double and a walk, respectively.

With no outs in the bottom of the second, Bucs shortstop Chuck Hargis laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved a pair of runners into scoring position. But Tennessee starting pitcher Ty Pryor then recorded consecutive strikeouts to end the inning.

ETSU (18-13) did manage to put itself on the scoreboard in the third courtesy of three doubles. Shane Byrne and Blake Church both posted RBI two-baggers to trim UT's lead to one run, 3-2.

 

 

Three Tennessee miscues in the bottom of the fifth allowed the Bucs to tie things up at 3-3. Matt Traylor singled and then advanced all the way to third on a throwing error. He later scored the tying run on a wild pitch, and an outfield error allowed Byrne to reach second on what would have been just a basehit.

Church was hit by a pitch following Byrne's at-bat, and Lee then delivered a go-ahead, two-RBI triple to right-centerfield that gave the Bucs a short-lived 5-3 lead.

With Edmundson on base after a hit-by-pitch in the sixth, Kemp crushed a two-run blast over the right-field wall. Kemp's sixth homer of the season tied the game at 5-5, but ETSU quickly reclaimed its lead in the bottom of the frame. Bucs third baseman Josiah Glafenhein put his club back on top with an RBI single, and another run then crossed on an infield throwing error, giving ETSU a two-run advantage.

Much to the delight of the Tennessee dugout, the top of the eighth inning nearly mirrored the top of the sixth. After the leadoff batter was retired, Edmundson was hit by a pitch (his 14th HBP of the year). That set the stage for another game-tying, two-run blast by Kemp. The senior's second homer in as many at-bats gave him his first career multi-home run game and four RBIs on the night.

The teams were tied at 7-7 heading into the ninth inning, during which both clubs went down 1-2-3.

Pryor left the game after 4 2/3 innings, during which he allowed five runs on eight with no walks and a career-high seven strikeouts. Junior right-hander Craig Cobb came on in relief in the fifth but lasted just 2/3 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits.

The Vols called on Sunday starter Josh Lindblom to extinguish the Bucs' sixth-inning rally, and the freshman responded by logging back-to-back strikeouts to end the frame. Fellow frosh Aaron Everett was the next arm out of the UT bullpen, and he gave his club 1 1/3 solid innings before the entrance of junior closer Sean Watson in the eighth. Watson threw 2 2/3 stifling innings, striking out five while allowing no hits.

Sophomore right-hander Chase Hardin came on in the 11th for Tennessee. The loss was his first of the year.

Bucs starting pitcher Joey McCown was lifted after giving up three runs on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts through two innings. ETSU then went through three relievers before closer Steven Calicutt took the mound in the eighth. Calicutt picked up the win to improve to 5-2 on the year after giving up one run on two hits with four strikeouts through 2 2/3 innings.

Kemp's two-homer outing was ironic in that Edmundson was on base for both longballs. When the Vols played ETSU in Cardinal Park last year, Edmundson homered twice.

The Bucs' win gave them their first season sweep of Tennessee since 1979.

The Vols now host No. 21 LSU (21-10, 2-7 SEC) this weekend for a three-game series at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Friday's game starts at 7 p.m., while Saturday's contest starts at 4 p.m. and Sunday's game begins at 12:30 p.m.

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