May 17, 2005
KNOXVILLE -- After being held to just two runs on four hits through the first eight innings Sunday night, Lipscomb put together a ninth-inning rally to make things interesting as the No. 11 Tennessee baseball team held on for a 7-6 victory at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Eli Iorg and Alex Suarez each drove in two runs for UT, while Joey Andrews and Sean Watson picked up the win and the save, respectively.
The Vols improved to 37-16 (16-10 SEC) on the year, while Lipscomb fell to 22-31 (7-20 ASC) with the loss. Tennessee is now 2-0 all-time versus the Bisons.
Tennessee freshman Julio Borbon entered the game as the unofficial NCAA leader in bunt singles with 18 this season, and he laid down bunt single No. 19 in the bottom of the second inning, scoring junior third baseman Chase Headley from third base to open the game's scoring.
Borbon advanced to third base on a pair of steals and was then driven in on an RBI basehit to center field by junior second baseman Michael Rivera. With just one out in the inning, Suarez doubled down the left field line to plate two runs and give the Vols a 4-0 lead. Iorg gave Tennessee a six-run advantage when his double to left-center brought in two more runs.
The Bisons went hitless until the top of the fifth inning, when second baseman Whit Reed doubled to right-center. An RBI single by Lipscomb right fielder Jeff Baumgartner then scored Reed, giving the Bisons their first run of the night.
Lipscomb scratched its second run of the game when outfielder Nick Cleckler crossed home plate on an RBI groundout by shortstop Tadd Brewer in the top of the sixth inning.
Tennessee plated one unearned run in the bottom of the sixth when Borbon scored from third on a fielding error.
The Lipscomb bats came alive for four runs on four hits in the top of the ninth inning. Pinch hitter David Becker started things off with an RBI double to right field, and Preston Embrey then logged an RBI single. Embrey and Brewer both later scored on a two-RBI single by catcher Ryan Price, who ended up stranded as Lipscomb's rally came up short.
Andrews (3-2) made his first start of the season for the Vols and worked three perfect innings while notching his third win of the year. He struck out the side in the top of the third and finished with five Ks. The start marked his 67th career appearance, which ranks fourth on Tennessee's all-time list.
Right-hander Jabe Beard replaced Andrews and allowed one run on two hits through two full innings. Beard gave way to redshirt freshman Chase Hardin, who gave up one unearned run on one hit in one inning of action.
Senior right-hander Chris Howell was UT's fourth pitcher of the night and struck out four while allowing no runs on one hit with a walk. Knoxville native Craig Cobb pitched 2/3 inning and gave up four runs on three hits before Sean Watson entered the game to record the final out and notch his team-best fifth save.
Lipscomb starter Zach Duncan was lifted after allowing six runs (five earned) on six hits with four walks and no strikeouts. Duncan (5-7) took the loss and gave way to Seth Kuwik, who was touched for one unearned run on two hits with one walk and four strikeouts over the final six innings.
Tennessee hosts SEC Eastern Division rival Georgia (28-23, 11-15 SEC) for a pivotal three-game series this weekend. Friday and Saturday's games start at 7 p.m., and Sunday's series finale starts at 2 p.m. Five Vols seniors will be recognized on the field prior to Sunday's game, and Saturday's contest will be televised on CSS.