Brian Van Kirk
April 28, 2006
OXFORD, Miss. -- The Tennessee baseball team ran into a red-hot Ole Miss club Friday, suffering a 13-5 loss to the Rebels at Oxford-University Stadium. Sophomore right fielder Brian Van Kirk hit a three-run homer for the Volunteers, who dropped to 25-17 (7-11 SEC) with the setback.
Saturday's game time has been changed to 1 p.m. CT. Preseason All-America left-hander James Adkins (6-4, 3.63 ERA) will start for Tennessee opposite Ole Miss lefty Brett Bukvich (4-3, 2.50 ERA).
The Tennessee bats were fairly harmless until the Vols came alive for a five-run eighth. First baseman Chris Kemp and catcher J.P. Arencibia produced consecutive RBI basehits, and Van Kirk smacked a three-run homer over the wall in left-centerfield. Van Kirk's 393-foot blast was his fourth longball of the season and his third in Southeastern Conference play.
The Vols and Rebels (28-15, 11-8 SEC) began the game by dueling through three scoreless innings before Ole Miss put itself on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth. Outfielders Alex Presley, Mark Wright and Logan Power each logged RBI extra-base hits in the frame to give Ole Miss a 3-0 lead.
Rebels third baseman Chris Coghlan reached on an infield error in the bottom of the fifth and later scored on an RBI sacrifice fly by Presley, stretching the Ole Miss lead to four runs after five innings.
Tennessee managed just two hits in the game until Kemp and Arencibia posted back-to-back singles to lead off the sixth. Nothing came of the threat, however, as Rebels starting pitcher Craig Rodriguez went on to induce an infield fly and an inning-ending double-play ball.
Ole Miss used a two-run homer by first baseman C.J. Ketchum in the sixth to take a commanding 7-0 lead, and later scored four runs on seven hits in the seventh to build a double-digit lead.
UM tacked on two more runs in the eighth to bring the final tally to 13-5.
Rebels starting pitcher Craig Rodriguez picked up the win to improve to 3-1 on the year. The junior left-hander was touched for three runs on seven hits with three walks and four Ks through seven solid innings. Right-hander Stoney Stone finished things off the UM, giving up two runs on three hits through the final two frames.
Vols starting pitcher Craig Cobb (7-2) took the loss after allowing seven runs (six earned) on nine hits with two walks and two strikeouts through six innings. Relievers Chase Hardin and Ryne Simpson worked the seventh and eighth for UT, respectively.
It was the Rebels' eighth straight win, and seven of their 17 hits were for extra bases. The Vols collected 10 hits on the night and committed a pair of errors.