May 5, 2006
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Senior first baseman Chris Kemp homered twice to lead a Tennessee offensive barrage that propelled the Volunteers baseball team to a decisive 13-3 win over 23rd-ranked Vanderbilt Friday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Craig Cobb worked a five-hit complete game to log his eighth victory of the year as UT improved to 26-19 (8-13 SEC).
Cobb took a no-hitter into the seventh and eventually absorbed three runs (two earned) with no walks and six strikeouts through eight tremendous innings. It was his fourth Southeastern Conference victory of the year and his 18th career win.
While Kemp collected three hits in the game along with right fielder Brian Van Kirk, UT infielders Michael Rivera and Cody Brown each recorded a game-high three RBIs. The Vols out-hit the Commodores 14-5.
After Vanderbilt starting pitcher David Price retired the Vols in order in the bottom of the first, Kemp and Van Kirk recorded consecutive basehits to lead off the bottom of the second. Designated hitter Kelly Edmundson then drew a walk to load the bases for Rivera.
Rivera logged an RBI hit-by-pitch, and Brown then ripped a two-RBI basehit through Price's legs to put Tennessee up 3-0 with two runners on base and still no outs. An RBI fielder's choice by centerfielder Julio Borbon and an RBI single by shortstop Tony Delmonico gave UT an early five-run edge after two full frames.
Tennessee took a 6-0 lead in the third inning when Van Kirk scored on an RBI single by Rivera. Van Kirk had previously doubled to right field before hustling to third on a pop fly by Edmundson. Another run came in when Borbon beat a well-laid bunt single to first, plating Brown with the Vols' seventh run of the night.
Vanderbilt (27-19, 11-11 SEC), meanwhile, was unable to figure out Cobb. The feisty right-hander faced the minimum through three innings with no hits and a pair of strikeouts. The Commodores also struggled defensively through three frames, committing three errors.
Kemp smashed a mammoth solo homer over the scoreboard in right field with one out in the bottom of the fourth, extending UT's lead to 8-0. It was Kemp's team-leading ninth homer of the season and the 11th of his career. Price was chased from the hill one batter later after giving up a basehit to Van Kirk. It was the Vols' ninth hit of the day.
Later in the bottom of the fourth, Rivera logged an RBI groundout that gave him three RBIs in as many at-bats.
Kemp used another smashing swing to give Tennessee a double-digit lead in the sixth. He unloaded on a solo 405-foot blast to dead-centerfield off of Vandy reliever Josh Zeid. The impressive longball gave the Duluth, Ga., native his second multi-homer game of the season.
Cobb didn't surrender his first until the seventh inning, when Pedro Alvarez got a double to fall near the left foul line. Alvarez scored one batter later on an RBI single by Vandy shortstop Dominic de la Osa. Cobb had retired 19 consecutive batters prior to Alvarez's double. The Commodores then managed another run on a pair of Tennessee outfield errors, making the score 10-2 at the seventh-inning stretch.
The Vols continued to light up the scoreboard in the eighth, as preseason All-America catcher J.P. Arencibia drove in left fielder Jarred Frazier with an RBI double. Arencibia's 37th RBI of the year (his 19th in SEC play) bumped UT's lead up to nine runs, 11-2.
Vandy centerfielder David Macias plated catcher Brian Hernandez with an RBI sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth, but UT answered right back in the bottom of the frame when Ryan Jones scored on an RBI double by Edmundson. Brown later plated Edmundson with an RBI sacrifice fly that restored Tennessee's 10-run lead.
Tennessee's five runs in the second inning marked the second-most runs allowed by Price - a national pitcher of the year candidate and the SEC strikeouts leader - all season. He took the loss to fall to 6-4 on the year after giving up nine runs on nine hits in just 3 1/3 innings.
The series resumes Saturday at 1 p.m. ET. Preseason All-America left-hander James Adkins (6-5, 4.38) will start on the mound for Tennessee opposite Vanderbilt senior right-hander Matt Buschmann (4-3, 4.55 ERA). The game will be televised regionally on CSS.