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TENNESSEE DROPS 3-1 CONTEST AT NO. 11 KENTUCKY; VOLS TAKE SERIES 2-1
Shawn Griffin

Shawn Griffin

April 8, 2007

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LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The Tennessee baseball team suffered a 3-1 setback to No. 11 Kentucky Sunday at Cliff Hagan Stadium. While the Volunteers came up two runs short in their attempt for a three-game sweep, they did escape the Bluegrass State with a valuable Southeastern Conference road-series win and now stand at 20-13 (6-6 SEC) on the year.

Despite Sunday's loss, Tennessee has now won nine of its last 13 games against Kentucky, including three of the last four series in Lexington. The Vols have also won their last six series against SEC Eastern Division teams.

Tennessee All-America catcher J.P. Arencibia had three hits Sunday and finished the series 8-for-14 at the plate. Sophomore left-hander Lance McClain pitched a very solid 6 2/3 innings for the Vols but absorbed the loss to fall to 5-4 on the year. Kentucky (25-6-1, 5-6-1 SEC) out-hit UT 10-8 on the day.

Vols shortstop Danny Lima scored on an RBI sacrifice fly by left fielder Shawn Griffin in the top of the second to open the day's scoring. Lima led off the inning with a double down the right line before advancing to third on fellow sophomore Cody Brown's second sacrifice bunt of the weekend.

Wildcats catcher Sean Coughlin was quick to even the score, however, belting a solo home run over the right-field wall to lead off the bottom of the second.

 

 

Kentucky took a 2-1 lead later in the frame when Matt McKinney came home on an RBI fielder's choice by outfielder Jason Kipnis.

McClain got UK to strand a pair of runners in the second, and it appeared as though the Wildcats would leave another man in scoring position in the third. But McKinney then reached on a two-out infield throwing error, thus enabling Mike Brown to score from second base and give Kentucky a two-run lead.

Kentucky recorded three consecutive two-out basehits to load the bases against McClain in the bottom of the fifth, but the left-hander got Cats shortstop Ryan Wilkes to fly out as Tennessee remained within striking distance, down 3-1.

With two outs in the top of the sixth inning, Kentucky starting pitcher Greg Dombrowski was lifted -- somewhat conspicuously -- in favor of redshirt freshman right-hander Duran Ferguson. Dombrowski had fared well against the Big Orange lineup, surrendering one run on seven hits with four strikeouts through 5 2/3 innings. But Ferguson started out just as effectively, retiring five the first six Vols he faced.

Tennessee right-hander Aaron Everett came on in relief of McClain with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. McClain's final line included three runs (two earned) on eight hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Everett scattered two hits while working 1 1/3 scoreless innings to close out the day for UT.

The Vols threatened to take the lead against Ferguson in the eighth, loading the bases with two outs while trailing by only a pair of runs. Kentucky head coach John Cohen then brought right-handed closer Aaron Lovett out of the bullpen, and the move paid off when Lovett induced an inning-ending ground ball that stranded all three Vols.

The Diamond Vols' next action comes Wednesday at 7 p.m. when they host UNC Asheville at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

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