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TENNESSEE DROPS SERIES-FINALE TO FLORIDA 15-4
Chris Kemp

Chris Kemp

April 16, 2006

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee baseball team allowed season-highs in both hits and runs Sunday as 27th-ranked Florida handed the Volunteers a 15-4 loss at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The game marked UT's largest margin of defeat this season as the Vols fell to 21-15 (5-9 SEC) on the year.

Despite the loss, Tennessee posted its first Southeastern Conference series win of the season, having recorded victories on both Friday and Saturday.

Florida scored in every inning but the second, eighth and ninth and pounded out a season-high 20 hits while improving to 22-18 (5-10 SEC). The Gators committed four errors to Tennessee's two.

The Gators got on the scoreboard early Sunday, as leadoff man Adam Davis doubled before being driven in on an RBI single by Matt LaPorta in the first inning. Florida's No. 4-6 hitters provided four more runs in the third inning, two of which came on a two-run homer to right field by outfielder Gavin Dickey. The first homer of the series for either team gave UF a 5-0 lead before the Vols had even recorded the first of their six hits on the day.

Tennessee managed to score two unearned runs in the bottom of the third thanks to a pair of Florida errors. Vols freshman Cody Brown reached on a throwing error by UF third baseman David Cash and was later plated by an RBI basehit by first baseman Chris Kemp. The Vols' second run of the day came when shortstop Tony Delmonico scored on an outfield throwing error. Delmonico had previously drawn a walk before advancing to third base on Kemp's single.

 

 

The Vols returned the favor in the top of the fourth however, as a throwing miscue allowed Davis to score from third and put the Gators back on top by four runs, 6-2. Tennessee starting pitcher Josh Lindblom was lifted prior to the start of the fourth after allowing five runs on eight hits through three frames. Lindblom took the loss to fall to 4-3 on the year and was replaced by Orlando, Fla., native Ty Pryor.

An RBI single by Davis in the fifth gave the Gators a five-run cushion as Cash barely beat the tag at the plate. Pryor gave way to sophomore reliever Chase Hardin with the bases loaded later in the fifth, and Hardin induced an inning-ending flyball to prevent any further damage.

Dickey drove in his third run of the day with an RBI sacrifice fly in the sixth that brought in left fielder Chris Petrie. Vols catcher J.P. Arencibia trimmed the Gators' lead back down to five runs with a solo homer to left field in the bottom of the sixth. It was his seventh home run of the season and the 21st of his career.

Tennessee right fielder Ryan Jones came home on a double-play ball later in the sixth, making the score 8-4 Florida. Jones had reached on single before advancing to third on UF's third error of the afternoon.

Florida poured on seven runs in the seventh - three of which came on a three-run homer by Petrie - to take a 15-4 lead and put the game out of reach.

Gators starting pitcher Chas Spottswood left the game after giving up two runs on two hits in three innings of work. Right-hander Josh Edmondson was the first man out of the UF bullpen, and he combined with fellow reliever David Hurst to hold the Vols to

In addition to Pryor and Hardin, Sean Watson, Aaron Everett and Deunte Heath also made relief appearances for the Vols. The Tennessee bullpen was collectively touched for 10 runs on 12 hits, but Everett and Heath were perfect in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively.

For UT, Kemp extended his career-best hit streak to 14 games. Delmonico is batting .471 in SEC play.

Tennessee now trails the all-time series with Florida 128-73, dating to 1916. UT has won each of the last three regular-season series against the Gators.

The Vols return to action Tuesday when they travel to Cookeville, Tenn., to face Tennessee Tech at 6 p.m. CT. Tennessee defeated the Golden Eagles 21-1 earlier this season in Knoxville.

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