April 11, 2003
Knoxville, Tenn. - Justin Branson's pinch hit grand slam highlighted a five-run eighth inning, snapping a 7-7 tie, as the Tennessee Volunteers scored 10 runs in their last two at-bats to rally from a 7-2 deficit and post a 12-9 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs.
Tennessee (19-13, 6-7 SEC) sent nine men to the plate in both the seventh and eighth innings in plating their 10 runs. Trailing 7-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh, Nick Crowe, who went 3-for-4, slugged a three-run home run to bring the Vols to within 7-5. Kyle Norrid later delivered with a two-run single to tie the game 7-7.
Luke Hochever (5-3), who picked up the win in relief, sent the Bulldogs in order in the eighth for his lone inning of work.
The Vols then took care of business in the bottom of the frame scoring the go-ahead run on a Bulldog error before an intentional walk to Jordan Czarniecki loaded the bases setting the table for Branson's first home run of the year, giving Tennessee the lead for good.
Will Startup (2-3), who came on took the loss for Georgia (16-17, 2-11 SEC).
Justin McClain led the Bulldogs with four hits as they pounded out 15 in the game.
Georgia tacked on three in both the sixth and seventh innings in taking a 7-2 lead, and plated two more in the ninth on an RBI single by Clint Sammons who drove in three and a Vol error.
Game two of the series is set for Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.