April 8, 2006
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee starting pitcher Craig Cobb put forth a sparkling complete-game effort Saturday afternoon as the 24th-ranked Tennessee baseball team shutout No. 21 LSU 9-0 in front of a season-high crowd of 3,107 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The Volunteers gave Cobb plenty of support offensively, pounding out 14 hits to the Tigers' four.
Tennessee improved to 19-12 (3-7 SEC) with the win. Cobb allowed just four hits on the day with seven strikeouts to only one walk. The junior from Knoxville, Tenn., now has eight complete games on his resume` and owns a 6-1 record with a team-best 2.66 ERA this season.
The game marked Tennessee's first shutout in 55 all-time meetings with LSU (22-11, 3-8 SEC). Vols shortstop Tony Delmonico recorded the first five-hit game of the year for UT, going 5-for-5 with one run and two RBIs. Sophomore centerfielder Julio Borbon added four hits to bring his current hit streak to 11 games.
After both teams logged one hit and stranded a pair of runners in the scoreless first inning, Tennessee came alive in the bottom of the second. Freshman left fielder Jarred Frazier laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved two men into scoring position, and second baseman Michael Rivera followed that up with an RBI groundout to open the day's scoring.
Then with two outs, the Vols proceeded to plate three more runs on RBI hits by Borbon and first baseman Chris Kemp. Two runners crossed on Kemp's fourth double and seventh extra-base hit in the last four games. Tennessee sent nine batters to the plate in the second while building an early four-run lead.
The Vols added two more runs with two outs in the bottom of the third. Borbon and Delmonico each provided RBI basehits to extend UT's lead to 6-0. Delmonico drove in another run with an RBI single in the fifth.
After a scoreless sixth inning, Frazier beat the throw to first on an infield hit in the bottom of the seventh. Rivera then added two more tallies to Tennessee's total with a two-run homer over the wall in left-centerfield. It was the senior's third homer of the season and the eighth of his career.
Tigers catcher Matt Liuzza got a bloop single to fall in right field in the top of the fifth, marking LSU's first hit since the first inning. Third baseman Will Harris then recorded a double to left-centerfield, giving the Tigers men on second and third with one out. Cobb remained cool under pressure, however, inducing a line-drive out and striking out LSU centerfielder Jarred Bogany to end the Tigers' last legitimate scoring threat.
Tigers starting pitcher Darryl Shaffer was chased from the game after facing 12 batters through 1 2/3 innings. He took the loss to fall to 2-1 after giving up four runs on five hits. Reliever Edgar Ramirez was the first man out of the LSU bullpen, and he was touched for five runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 frames. Ryan Byrd worked the final 1 2/3 innings for LSU.
Delmonico is leading the Vols with an impressive .487 batting average in SEC play.
The series concludes Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Tennessee is sending freshman right-hander Josh Lindblom (4-2, 4.07 ERA) to the mound, and LSU is expected to start right-handed junior Derik Olvey (5-1, 2.32 ERA). The game will be televised regionally on CSS.