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Tennessee Downs Kentucky 10-9 in Extra Innings
Kelly Edmundson

Kelly Edmundson

April 10, 2005

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Tennessee freshman J.P. Arencibia scored the game-winning run on a clutch RBI single by junior Kelly Edmundson in the top of the 10th inning Sunday to give the No. 25-ranked Tennessee baseball team a 10-9 victory at UK's Cliff Hagan Stadium. Senior reliever Chris Howell threw a perfect final inning for the Volunteers and picked up his fourth save of the year.

Tennessee improved to 23-9 (7-4 SEC), and Kentucky dropped to 16-14 (1-10 SEC). At four hours and one minute in duration, the game was UT's longest of the season. It was also the first Tennessee contest of the season to go to extra innings. The Vols are now 18-1 this season when holding the lead at the end of the sixth inning.

Vols junior Eli Iorg went 4-for-6 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Arencibia and junior Michael Rivera also pitched in with a pair of RBIs each.

Tennessee started off the afternoon by tallying two runs in the top of the first inning. After singling to leadoff the inning, junior Josh Alley scored from second on a fielding error by Wildcats first baseman Michael Bertram. Arencibia later hit an RBI single that drove in Iorg to make it 2-0 Tennessee. The basehit marked Arencibia's 32nd RBI if the season.

In the top of the second, Iorg drilled a two-RBI single up the middle to score Suarez from third base and Alley from second. The basehit gave Iorg a team-high 36 RBIs and a team-leading 11 multi-RBI games this season.

Kentucky loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the third inning. The Vols managed to put out one UK baserunner at the plate before Grace sent a hard-hit, two-RBI single past the mound to cut Tennessee's lead to two runs.

Sophomore right-hander Sean Watson replaced Vols starter Craig Cobb midway through the third inning and induced a flyball-out against his first batter faced to make it two outs. But Wildcats designated hitter Kevin Caldwell drew a walk to re-load the bases, and John Shelby then capitalized on his opportunity to give Kentucky its first lead of the game. Shelby hit a bases-clearing double down the line in left field to make the score 5-4 Kentucky.

Rivera came through with a clutch two-RBI double in the top of the fifth inning. Rivera's shot to right-center drove in freshmen Arencibia and Julio Borbon to put the Vols back on top 6-5.

After two Tennessee freshmen scored in the fifth inning, a pair of RBI basehits by Kentucky rookies Ryan Wilkes and Antone DeJesus in the sixth restored the Wildcats' one-run advantage.

Tennessee junior Chase Headley came up with one out and runners on the corners in the sixth inning and sent a slow-rolling RBI single to right field to score senior Eric King from third base. Arencibia then stepped into the batter's box and hit an RBI sacrifice fly to centerfield, bringing in Iorg and giving the Vols their third lead of the game.

The Vols broke routine and continued to build on their lead in the sixth. Headley scored from third base as Rivera reached on a throwing error by UK third baseman J.B. Schmidt. Headley's run was his team-best 42nd of the year and made the score 9-7 Tennessee.

Shelby doubled in the bottom of the sixth, driving in Shaun Lehmann from second base and trimming the Big Orange lead back down to one run. Watson then got the next two Wildcats batters to fly out, and Shelby ended up stranded at second.

A wild pitch by Watson in with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning enabled Lehmann to plate the tying run from third base. The run marked the fifth tie of the game. Watson then got Bertram to ground out to first base and Tennessee came up in the top of the ninth with its final opportunity to add runs and avoid either a loss or extra innings.

Alley ended up stranded at third base in the top of the inning, and Kentucky came up short in its bid to post a walk-off win.

With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Kentucky outfielder Billy Grace came up to the plate with the bases loaded. Grace lined into an inning-ending unassisted double play, however, as Tennessee first baseman Alex Suarez caught Grace's shot on the fly and then doubled up J.B. Schmidt at first base. That set the stage for Edmundson's game-winning hit.

Cobb's sixth start of the year went down as the shortest of his career as he worked just 2 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Watson's 5 2/3 innings of action marked the longest relief outing of his career. He allowed five runs on nine hits with five walks and one strikeout.

After UT junior Trey Bridges faced one batter in the bottom of the ninth, allowing a double to Wildcats catcher J.P. Lowen, senior Joey Andrews entered the game for the Vols. The right-handed veteran walked two Cats batters in one inning on the hill. Andrews picked up the win to move to 2-2 on the year and ensure the Vols' series victory.

Kentucky's starter, right-handed junior Kalen Gibson, lasted just two innings after giving up four runs on five hits with four walks and no strikeouts. Alex Jordan replaced Gibson and threw 2 1/3 innings before giving way to Craig Snipp, who made his second appearance in as many days. Snipp, Brock Baber, Saturday's starter Aaron Tennyson and Adam Revelette combined to throw 3 2/3 innings of middle relief for the Cats, collectively allowing three runs on five hits.

After recording his first save of season Saturday night, right-hander Scott Green came on to work the ninth and tenth innings for Kentucky. The freshman took the loss and dropped to 1-2 after being touched for one run on one hit with two walks and one strikeout.

More than one-third of Suarez's hits this season have been doubles, as his two-bagger in the second inning was his 10th in 26 hits this season. Suarez was also hit by his SEC-leading 13th pitch of the year Sunday, taking a fastball in the back in the fourth inning.

Headley drew one walk in the game and leads the SEC with 37 on the year. Former Vol Todd Helton owns the UT single-season record with 61 walks in 1995.

Tennessee hosts ETSU Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET before traveling to Asheville, N.C., to face UNC Asheville Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET. The Vols then host Arkansas for a three-game weekend series at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.


 

 

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