April 18, 2007
KNOXVILLE -- Tennessee and Lincoln Memorial matched one another hit for hit - and error for error - Wednesday night, but the Volunteers baseball team managed to post a 5-4 victory over the Railsplitters at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Both teams collected nine hits and committed three errors. Tennessee has now triumphed in seven of its 10 one-run games this season and stands at 22-14 on the year.
Vols reliever Zane Stone picked up his first win as a Vol after scattering two hits through 2 1/3 shutout innings with a career-high three strikeouts. Freshman Jeff Lockwood also struck out three and retired all four batters he faced while notching his team-high fourth save of the year.
Tennessee scored both the tying and go-ahead runs on separate LMU throwing errors in the fifth and sixth innings.
Lincoln Memorial (31-20) took advantage of a pair of Tennessee throwing errors in the top of the first inning and added three hits while jumping out to an early 3-0 lead. The second infield throwing error came during a successful double-steal attempt on which leadoff man TeWayne Willis swiped home plate. The Railsplitters' next two runs came on an RBI sacrifice fly by Sergio Baez and a solo home run by Mike Richardson.
The Vols answered with two runs in the bottom of the first, using a balk by LMU pitcher Zach Gray to plate their initial run. UT catcher Yan Gomes later enabled second baseman Tony Delmonico to score on an RBI sacrifice fly, cutting UT's deficit to a single run.
But another infield throwing error in the top of the fourth allowed LMU outfielder Bryon Izzo to score all the way from second base and push the Railsplitters' lead to 4-2. LMU mounted a two-out rally later in the frame, prompting Vols starting pitcher Lance McClain to be lifted in favor of Stone, who retired the first batter he faced to keep the Vols within two runs. McClain's final line included four runs - all unearned - on six hits with a pair of strikeouts.
Tennessee first baseman J.P. Arencibia delivered an RBI double in the fifth that plated Delmonico from first base. That marked the end of Gray's night, as right-hander Reed Neff entered the game with one out and a man in scoring position. Two batters later, the Railsplitters' first error of the night - a throwing miscue by Richardson - made it possible for Arencibia to score and tie the game at 4-4.
Arencibia dug in with two outs and runners on the corners in the bottom of the sixth and hit a grounder to LMU third baseman Tommy Casto. But Casto's throw was in the dirt and eluded first baseman Mickey Apple, thus enabling Ryan Jones to score the go-ahead run. Jones had previously reached on a single.
Neff was saddled with the loss to fall to 4-4 on the year. Splitters relievers Joe Workman and Kyle Wakefield combined to work the final two innings for LMU.
Freshman Nick Hernandez and sophomore Danny Wiltz also saw time on the hill for UT. The pair combined to throw 1 2/3 shutout innings. Tennessee pitchers totaled 10 strikeouts to just one walk on the night.
Tennessee now leads the all-time series with Lincoln Memorial 37-10, dating to 1920. The Vols have won 17 straight against the Railsplitters.
The Big Orange return to action this weekend when they travel to Nashville, Tenn., to face top-ranked Vanderbilt for a three-game series at Charles Hawkins Field. Game times are set for 7 p.m. CT Friday, 6 p.m. CT Saturday and 1 p.m. CT Sunday. Saturday's game will be televised regionally on CSS.