April 20, 2007

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NASHVILLE -- The Tennessee baseball team dropped a 3-1 contest to No. 1-ranked Vanderbilt Friday at Charles Hawkins Field as Commodores lefty David Price and Volunteers ace James Adkins put on a show for the sellout crowd of 2,424. The teams combined for 11 hits and 24 strikeouts as UT fell to 22-15 (6-8 SEC) on the year.

Price scattered five hits through eight full innings with no walks and 14 strikeouts. He improved to 7-0 on the year, while the Commodores upped their record to 33-8 (10-6 SEC). In a complete-game effort, Adkins surrendered six hits with nine strikeouts and a pair of walks. He fell to 4-6 with the loss.

The highly anticipated pitchers duel lived up to its billing through the first three and a half innings, as neither team could manage a hit off the projected June first-rounders. Both left-handers recorded three strikeouts through the first two innings, and the only blemish on Adkins' line to that point was a two-out walk issued in the second. Price continued to cruise and would not allow a base runner until the seventh.

Adkins logged his fourth strikeout of the game with two outs in the bottom of the third, getting Vanderbilt leadoff man David Macias to swing at strike three. But the ball got away from Vols catcher J.P. Arencibia, and his throw down to first eluded Yan Gomes. The throwing error gave Vandy its second baserunner of the night, and Macias scored all the way from first on the next at-bat when UT center fielder Julio Borbon overran a single by Alex Feinberg.



Vanderbilt shortstop Ryan Flaherty led off the bottom of the fourth with bloop double that landed just inside the left foul line, and after advancing to third on a groundout, he scored on an RBI double by Shea Robin to give the Dores a 2-0 lead.

Price had a perfect game going through 6 2/3 innings before Vols second baseman Tony Delmonico got a single to fall in left field. Price then recorded his 12th strikeout of the night to strand Delmonico and keep UT off the scoreboard.

Adkins retired the side 1-2-3 in the seventh, picking up his seventh K of the night along the way. And Gomes led off the top of the eighth with a line-drive base hit up the middle. Then following Price's 13th strikeout - UT shortstop Danny Lima was hit by a pitch to give the Vols a pair of one-out baserunners. Nothing further materialized for the Big Orange, however, as Price sat down the next two batters to end the threat.

Commodores right fielder Dominic de la Osa stretched Vandy's lead to 3-0 in the eighth with a solo home run.

A ninth-inning Tennessee rally was keyed by right fielder Andy Simunic's double to centerfield, and Borbon followed that up with an infield hit that put runners on the corners with no outs. Delmonico then collected his second hit of the night, driving in Simunic with a single to right field. Price was then lifted in favor of right-hander Casey Weathers.

Following the pitching change, Arencibia grounded out to move both Borbon and Delmonico into scoring position. But Weathers closed things out with a strikeout and a flyball to record his fourth save of the year.

Delmonico led the Vols offensive effort with two hits, extending his team-high hit streak nine games. Adkins' complete game was the sixth of his career and the third by a Vol this season.

The series continues Saturday at 6 p.m. CT. Craig Cobb (6-2, 4.86 ERA) will start on the mound for UT, while Vanderbilt sends Mike Minor (6-0, 1.69 ERA) to the hill. The game will be televised regionally on CSS.



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