May 6, 2006
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- After watching the Tennessee baseball team rally to win the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, 23rd-ranked Vanderbilt put together a late comeback of its own to defeat the Volunteers 6-4 in the series-finale at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Despite the loss, the Volunteers emerge from the weekend with a series win and a record of 27-20 (9-14 SEC) with two weekends remaining in the regular season.
With inclement weather in the Knoxville forecast for Sunday, the teams agreed to play a doubleheader Saturday. Tennessee posted a series-clinching 5-3 win in game one. The Vols also won Friday's series-opener 13-3.
With the score deadlocked at 4-4 in game two Saturday, Vanderbilt first baseman Ryan Flaherty and third baseman Pedro Alvarez each hit RBI singles in the top of the ninth to give the Commodores (28-20, 12-12 SEC) the lead for good.
Six different Vols collected multiple hits as UT out-hit Vanderbilt 14-12.
Tennessee dealt the first blow in game two Saturday, as right fielder Brian Van Kirk singled to right field to drive in catcher J.P. Arencibia in the bottom of the first. Then in the top of the third, Vanderbilt centerfielder David Macias tied the game at 1-1 with an RBI double.
Vols designated hitter Kelly Edmundson broke the tie with a rocket-blast three-run homer that cleared the left-field bleachers in the bottom of the third. The senior's fourth homer of the season - and the 15th of his career - put UT on top by a score of 4-1. It also marked the end of Vandy starting pitcher Cody Crowell's day, as he gave way to reliever Ty Davis.
The Commodores later plated two runs on three hits in the top of the fifth to pull within one run, 4-3. Shortstop Dominic de la Osa and Flaherty each chipped in with RBI basehits.
Vanderbilt used a pair of eighth-inning doubles to tie the game at 4-4. Then with two outs in the frame and a runner on second, UT starter Josh Lindblom handed things over to junior closer Sean Watson.
Watson allowed two runs on two hits with a walk and two Ks through 1 1/3 innings. He took the loss to fall to 4-3 on the season.
Reliever Stephen Shao (2-1) notched the win out of the Vandy bullpen after tossing 2 1/3 shutout innings. Tyler Rhoden worked the final 2/3 inning to log his second save of the year.
Saturday's second contest marked UT second baseman Michael Rivera's 211th career game played, moving him into second place on Tennessee's all-time career list. Former Vols infielder Ed Lewis stands atop that list with 217 games played from 1993-96.
Tennessee returns to action Wednesday at 7 p.m. when it hosts Western Carolina at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.