May 14, 2005
BATON ROUGE, La. -- The No. 9 Tennessee baseball team suffered a 9-3 defeat at the hands of No. 11 LSU Saturday afternoon at Alex Box Stadium. The Tigers' victory snapped UT's five-game winning streak and evened the series. The Volunteers dropped to 36-15 (16-9 SEC) with the loss.
LSU left-hander Clay Dirks (10-2) recorded a complete-game victory and limited UT to just three runs on 10 hits. Dirks posted five strikeouts and issued no walks.
Due to a change in the Tennessee travel itinerary, Sunday's rubber game is now scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. CT, and the game will have a 3 p.m. CT curfew (the top of a new inning will not begin after 3 p.m.). Freshman All-America candidate James Adkins (7-2, 2.66 ERA) takes the mound for Tennessee Sunday, while LSU counters with left-handed junior Greg Smith (8-2, 2.31 ERA).
Just as they did in the series opener Friday night, the Tigers (34-17, 15-11 SEC) struck first Saturday. Outfielder Ryan Patterson drove in leadoff man Bruce Sprowl with an RBI single to right field in the bottom of the first inning. Patterson later scored on an RBI single through the left side of the infield by Tigers second baseman Clay Harris.
LSU stretched its lead to four runs by scoring two on a pair of hits in the third inning. After drawing a walk, first baseman Blake Gill scored all the way from first base on a double to deep left-center by Patterson. And for the second time in the game, Patterson was driven in on an RBI basehit by Harris.
The Tigers continued to pile it on in the bottom of the fifth, tacking on three runs to take a 7-0 lead. For the third time in the game, Patterson was driven in by a Harris single. Jordan Mayer and Chris Jackson then followed with back-to-back RBI hits, and catcher Dustin Weaver drew a walk to load the bases with no outs. Vols reliever Chris Howell stopped the damage, however, by inducing a popout and getting Sprowl to ground into an inning-ending double play.
With one man on base in the top of the eighth inning, Tennessee junior outfielder Eli Iorg connected on a two-run home run that cleared the bleachers in left field. Iorg's team-leading 14th homer of the season made the score 7-3 LSU.
Patterson recorded his third RBI of the day when he sent a solo home run over the wall in left-center in the bottom of the eighth. The homer was Patterson's fifth of the game, tying the LSU single-game record. Mayer also added a solo home run in the eighth to cap LSU's scoring and make the final tally 9-3.
Vols starter Craig Cobb (5-3) was lifted after facing four LSU batters in the fifth. The sophomore took the loss after allowing seven runs on 10 hits with two walks and two strikeouts in four innings on the hill. Howell replaced Cobb and gave up two runs on five hits with three walks and one strikeout over four innings.