May 16, 2006
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee senior Kelly Edmundson became just the second player in school history to hit two home runs in a single inning as the Volunteers baseball team pounded in-state foe Belmont 16-4 Tuesday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. UT improved to 31-21 (11-15 SEC) on the year, and Edmundson now has five homers in the last six games.
Another individual milestone was reached during the victory, as 17th-year Vols head coach Rod Delmonico tied former Vanderbilt skipper Roy Mewbourne for fourth place on the Southeastern Conference's all-time coaching wins list with 665 career triumphs.
The game was tied at 3-3 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, during which the Vols plated five runs on five hits to build a five-run lead. First baseman Chris Kemp started the rally with an RBI basehit that brought in centerfielder Julio Borbon, and designated hitter J.P. Arencibia later belted a towering three-run homer over the wall in left field. Edmundson closed out the frame by scoring from second base when second baseman Michael Rivera singled, giving the Vols a comfortable 8-3 advantage.
Tennessee went on to double its run total by posting eight more runs in the eighth.
Belmont starting pitcher Wes Alsup hit a batter and issued two walks in the bottom of the second inning as Tennessee loaded the bases. Vols left fielder Jarred Frazier then opened the game's scoring with an RBI sacrifice fly that plated Edmundson, and both Tony Delmonico and Kemp drew RBI walks after UT reloaded the bases. Through two full frames, Tennessee held a 3-0 lead despite having just one hit in the game.
Tennessee starter Deunte Heath left the game after a predetermined three innings, and right-hander Chase Hardin was the first arm out of the Vols bullpen. Belmont (23-29) put itself on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth when outfielder Kane Simmons hit a two-run homer, and third baseman Derek Wiley followed that up with a game-tying solo blast.
With UT holding an 8-3 lead in the bottom of the eighth, Edmundson sent a line-drive solo homer into the left-field bleachers. Sophomore left fielder Brian Van Kirk drove in Rivera with an RBI basehit later in the eighth, and third baseman Cody Brown scored on an RBI double by Borbon to stretch Tennessee's lead to eight runs, 11-3. A pitching change by Belmont provided little relief, as Kemp proceeded to deliver a two-RBI single, and Arencibia chipped in with an RBI double.
That set the stage for Edmundson's second home run of the inning, a two-run shot to left-centerfield. It was his eighth longball of the year and the 19th of his career. He joined former Vol Sonny Cortez (1996, 98) as the only players in school history to hit a pair of homers in a single inning. Cortez pulled off the feat during a 23-8 win over North Carolina State in the 1998 season-opener at the ACC/Disney Baseball Blast in Orlando, Fla.
Belmont closed out the day's scoring when Wilson Tucker logged an RBI single in the ninth.
Sophomore Ty Pryor (1-1) notched the relief win for UT after tossing four shutout innings with two walks and six strikeouts. Junior closer Sean Watson came on to pitch the ninth for Tennessee. Watson's 72nd career appearance tied him with former Vol great Todd Helton (1993-95) for second place on UT's all-time career list. R.A. Dickey (1994-96) holds the school record with 73 career appearances.
Arencibia's sixth-inning homer was his 10th of the season and the 24th of his career. The Johnny Bench Award semifinalist needs one more home run to tie former Vol Alan Cockrell (1983-84) for 10th place on Tennessee's all-time career list. Arencibia and Kemp each collected four RBIs in the game to go along with three for Edmundson.
Tennessee's victory evened the all-time series with the Bruins at 2-2, dating to 2000.
Tennessee hosts SEC Western Division leader Alabama for a three-game series Thursday-Saturday. All games are set to begin at 7 p.m. ET. The Vols hope for a strong showing as they attempt to earn a berth in next week's SEC Tournament.