Walk-Off Home Run Lifts Vanderbilt Past Tennessee, 2-1

April 23, 2005

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Vanderbilt shortstop Dominic De La Osa hit a solo, walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Commodores baseball team past No. 16 Tennessee 2-1 Saturday night at Charles Hawkins Field. The loss snapped a five-game win streak for the Volunteers, who dropped to 28-11 (10-6 SEC).

The Vols and Commodores (26-12, 8-9 SEC) took a 1-1 tie into the top of the ninth inning, during which UT junior Michael Rivera advanced all the way to third base. Tennessee was unable to plate the go-ahead run, however, as Vanderbilt starting pitcher Ryan Mullins recorded a strikeout to end the threat and set the stage for De La Osa's game-winner.

Mullins limited Tennessee to just five hits on the night and recorded three walks and seven strikeouts while improving to 5-0 this season.

Saturday's game was a homecoming of sorts for Tennessee freshman pitcher James Adkins, a native of Mt. Juliet, Tenn., and a former prep standout at Wilson Central High School. The left-hander worked 6 2/3 innings and allowed one run on seven hits with eight strikeouts and two walks. The eight Ks marked a career-high for Adkins against an SEC opponent.

Vanderbilt loaded the bases on three basehits in the second inning, but Adkins induced an inning-ending groundout to avoid incurring any damage.

Tennessee's first two batters reached base in the top of the third inning and then advanced to second and third on a sacrifice bunt by junior Chase Headley. An RBI groundout by outfielder Eli Iorg plated leadoff man Josh Alley to give the Vols their only run of the game.

Then in the bottom of the third, Adkins made short work of Vandy's Nos. 1-3 hitters, getting all three to strike out swinging.

In the bottom of the fourth, Vanderbilt centerfielder Antoan Richardson hit an RBI groundout with the bases loaded, scoring Brian Hernandez to tie the ballgame.

With the potential go-ahead run on second base in the seventh inning, Adkins picked off Richardson to clear the bases. Adkins then faced one more batter before giving way to sophomore right-hander Sean Watson, who recorded the final out of the inning to preserve the tie.

Watson took the loss and dropped to 5-3 on the year after allowing one run on one hit with a walk and a strikeout in 1 1/3 innings of relief.

First pitch was delayed seven minutes due to rain. Game-time temperatures hovered in the high-30s, with winds gusting up to 16 mph.

The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. CT. Left-handed freshman David Price (2-2, 1.93 ERA) is slated to start for Vanderbilt, while the Vols starter has not been announced.





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