April 26, 2003
Baton Rouge, La. - After spotting Tennessee six runs, the No. 8 LSU Tigers capitalized on two Volunteer errors as they scored nine unanswered runs to claw their way back to a 10-6 victory at Alex Box Stadium before a season-high crowd of 5547. Tennessee will try to salvage the series finale Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Tennessee (24-19, 8-12 SEC) led 6-1 heading into the bottom of the third as the Tigers began mounting their comeback by plating two unearned runs in the inning on Blake Gill's hit, and two more in the fourth to pull within 6-5. Then with two out in the fifth, the second Vol error on a routine ground ball to short opened the floodgates as LSU (29-13-1, 14-5-1 SEC) broke the game open with five unearned runs in grabbing the 10-6 advantage.
Quinn Stewart's two-out two-run triple off the wall in right gave the Tigers the lead for good in the decisive frame, while Matt Liuzza's added an RBI double followed by back-to-back RBI hits by Bruce Sprowl and Ryan Patterson. Patterson, who had a game-high four hits, put the Tigers on the board in the first as he slugged his eighth home run.
That rally would be the end of Vol starter Derek Tharpe (4-5) who surrendered all 10 runs with only three earned on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. Steve Wesley tossed 1 1/3 innings of relief and Beau Massey closed the game with two innings of work, striking out three.
Tennessee jumped all over LSU starter Bo Pettit with four runs on two hits in the first, keyed by Javi Herrera's three-run inside the park home run. After the first three hitters reached safely on a hit batter, a walk and an RBI single by Nick Crowe, Herrera sliced a liner down the first base line that right fielder Jon Zeringue lost track of in the corner. As he was searching for the ball behind the tarp, Herrera motored around the bases for his seventh home run of the season, while first base umpire Fred Cannon emphatically signaled the ball was still in play.
Kyle Norrid notched his fourth home run of the season in the third, a two-run shot that put the Vols up 6-1.
Pettit (7-1) picked up the win as he overcame his early struggles in the first two-plus innings by retiring 14 of the final 17 batters he faced. He scattered six hits in eight innings, giving up just one hit after the fourth, while striking out eight and walking three. Billy Sadler worked the ninth.