May 4, 2007
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee baseball team used a game-winning RBI single by outfielder Andy Simunic in the bottom of the ninth inning Friday to cap a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over 13th-ranked Ole Miss at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The Volunteers led off the frame with four consecutive walks before Simunic's heroics improved UT's record to 26-19 (9-11 SEC).
The Big Orange totaled just three hits in the game compared to nine for the Rebels (31-17, 12-10), but in the end UT was able to capitalize on Ole Miss reliever Cody Satterwhite's struggles to find the strike zone.
Tennessee was down 2-1 entering the bottom of the ninth, and to that point Satterwhite had struck out six of the seven batters he faced after taking over for starter Will Kline in the seventh. But the Vols led off with consecutive walks by infielders Tony Delmonico and Yan Gomes, putting the go-ahead run on first base with no outs for All-America catcher J.P. Arencibia. Satterwhite then walked Arencibia to load the bases with no outs, and designated hitter Jeff Lockwood followed with an RBI walk that tied the game at 2-2.
Following ball four to Lockwood, a displeased Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco was ejected by home plate umpire Kenneth Couch. Before making his departure, however, Bianco brought Justin Cryer into the game to face Simunic. A drawn-in Rebels infield could only watch as Simunic's blooper fell into shallow right field and pinch runner Jarred Frazier scored the winning run from third.
Vols sophomore Aaron Everett earned the win to improve to 3-0 after surrendering just one hit in 1 1/3 shutout innings. The Loudon, Tenn., native recorded three strikeouts while posting his second win in as many games for UT.
Friday marked just the fifth time Tennessee has won a game this season when being out-hit by its opponent.
Ole Miss leadoff hitter Jordan Henry drew a walk from Tennessee starting pitcher James Adkins in the top of the first, and Henry came in to score two batters later when a grounder by Rebels shortstop Zack Cozart slipped under the glove of Vols third baseman Cody Brown. The unearned run gave Ole Miss an early 1-0 lead.
Brown redeemed himself in the top of the second inning, when he made a fantastic diving grab on what could have easily been an RBI single by Rebels catcher Brett Basham. Brown's stellar grab ended the half inning and stranded an Ole Miss baserunner at second.
Kline faced the minimum through three innings, as UT could not manage a baserunner until Delmonico drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the fourth. Delmonico later advanced to second when Kline's pickoff attempt sailed wide of first base. And an RBI basehit by Arencibia enabled Delmonico to score from second base and tie the game at 1-1.
The deadlock was short-lived, however, as Ole Miss designated hitter Kyle Mills smacked a solo homer to lead off the fifth inning. Mills' fourth home run of the season restored the Rebels' one-run lead.
Nearby rain and lightning forced a stoppage of play with one out in the top of the seventh, and the delay lasted one hour and eight minutes before play resumed at 10:01 p.m. ET. Adkins remained in the game for UT, but Ole Miss brought Satterwhite to the mound for the bottom of the seventh.
Adkins faced four batters in the eighth before being lifted with two outs and runners on first and second. That brought Adkins' final line to two runs on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. Everett then entered the game and struck out the first Rebel he faced, keeping the Vols within one run.
Peyton Farr led off the top of the ninth with a single into left field, and he then moved all the way to third base with no outs following a wild pitch and a passed ball. Everett masterfully escaped, however, recording a pair of strikeouts before getting Henry to ground out to first base.
Satterwhite dropped to 3-2 on the year with the loss.
The series resumes Saturday at 6 p.m. Freshman left-hander Nick Hernandez (3-2, 5.94 ERA) will make his first career SEC start for Tennessee, while left-hander Lance Lynn (5-3, 2.49 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for Ole Miss.