May. 1, 2005
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The No. 18 Tennessee baseball team clinched a series victory over No. 3 Florida with a 7-2 win Sunday at UF's McKethan Stadium. The Volunteers posted double-digit hits in each game while winning their first series against a top-10 team since 2003.
Tennessee improved to 32-14 (12-8 SEC) with the win, and Florida fell to 31-12 (14-7 SEC). The Vols have now won five of their seven SEC series this season.
Vols sophomore Craig Cobb enjoyed his best outing of the year, allowing two runs on six hits in his first complete game of the season. The right-hander struck out five batters and had four walks while improving to 5-2.
Five Vols recorded multiple hits, and King and Alley each drove in two runs.
Just as it had in the first two games of the series, Tennessee struck first Sunday. Junior outfielder Josh Alley hit an RBI double to left field in the fifth inning to score fellow junior Michael Rivera, who had led off the inning with a basehit up the middle. Rivera later gave UT a 2-0 lead when he was driven in on an RBI single by freshman catcher J.P. Arencibia.
Tennessee senior Eric King singled to lead off the top of the sixth inning, and he quickly took second base on a balk by UF starter Bryan Ball. Ball was then replaced by left-hander Stephen Locke, but the Vols continued to produce.
King and Rob Fitzgerald both scored on a two-RBI single by first baseman Alex Suarez later in the sixth, and Rivera capped Tennessee's three-run inning when he crossed home plate on a single by Alley.
The Gators finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth when outfielder Brian Leclerc hit a two-run blast off the top of the scoreboard in right field.
The Vols tacked on a pair of runs for good measure in the top of the ninth inning. Both runs came when juniors Eli Iorg and Headley scored on a two-RBI double by King.
Ball (5-2) took the loss after allowing three runs on six hits with one walk and four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. Locke gave up two runs on three hits while failing to record an out. Gators relievers Connor Falkenbach, Tommy Wynn, Darren O'Day and Steven Porter combined to allow two runs on five hits through the final 4 2/3 innings.
Alley's double in the top of the fifth was his team-leading 16th of the season, and Headley walked twice in the game to give him an SEC-leading 50 on the year.
Tennessee now enjoys four day off before hosting South Carolina for a three-game weekend series at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.