May 21, 2005
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The No. 11 Tennessee baseball team tied a season-high with 22 hits Saturday night while posting a dominating 18-2 series-clinching win over Georgia at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Knoxville native Craig Cobb threw a complete game, and eight Volunteers tallied hits.
Tennessee (39-16, 18-10 SEC) recorded at least 10 hits for the 30th time this season and won its seventh SEC home game in a row. The crowd of 2,737 marked UT's largest home attendance of the year. Georgia fell to 29-24 (11-17 SEC) with the loss.
Cobb scattered just two hits, issued no walks and posted a career-high eight strikeouts while improving to 6-3 on the year.
A fielding error by UGA left fielder Jonathan Wyatt enabled the Vols to put runners on second and third base with no outs in the bottom of the second inning. Tennessee's Nos. 4-6 hitters all came in to score on consecutive RBI singles by freshman outfielder Julio Borbon and Rivera and an RBI groundout by senior Rob Fitzgerald.
With no outs in the bottom of the third inning, junior third baseman Chase Headley drove in Josh Alley and Iorg with a two-RBI single to right field. Headley then stole second base to put runners on second and third. Following a popout, Borbon's second RBI basehit in as many plate appearances brought in two runs and made the score 7-0.
That marked the end of Georgia starter Sean Ruthven's day, as he was pulled after allowing seven runs (six earned) on nine hits in just 2 2/3 innings. Ruthven took the loss to drop to 2-5 and was replaced on the hill by right-hander Mitchell Boggs.
Both teams went scoreless in the fourth and fifth innings before Georgia second baseman Jason Jacobs put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard with a two-run home run to left field in the top of the sixth.
Tennessee senior first baseman Alex Suarez laid down a sacrifice bunt in the sixth inning to move Rivera and Kelly Edmundson into scoring position with one out. Alley then brought them both in to score when he sent a two-RBI single through the right side of the infield. The basehit brought Alley's series RBI total to six.
The Vols batted around in the bottom of the seventh and wound up tacking on four runs on four hits in the inning. Miscues by the UGA battery enabled the Vols to plate their first two runs of the inning. Headley advanced to third base, and Borbon took second base on a wild pitch by Boggs. Headley then scored on a passed ball, and Borbon crossed on an RBI double by Rivera.
Later in the bottom of the seventh, Rivera scored on an RBI sacrifice fly by Suarez, and Edmundson came home on a double by Iorg.
The Bulldogs used a pair of fielder's choices and an infield hit to load the bases with two outs in the top of the eighth inning, but Cobb got UGA first baseman Josh Morris to fly out and end the threat.
Tennessee continued to pile on runs as it batted around once again in its half of the eighth. Rivera drove in King with an RBI basehit to right field, and Iorg crushed a grand slam out of the park in right-center. Iorg's team-leading 15th homer of the season closed out the night's scoring and moved him into a tie for seventh place on UT's all-time single-season home run list.
Boggs lasted 3 2/3 innings and gave up six runs on six hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Right-hander Johnny Dobbs pitched the final 1 2/3 innings for Georgia and was touched for five runs (four earned) on seven hits.
Florida defeated Vanderbilt 2-1 in a 13-inning thriller in Nashville Saturday. The first-place Gators lead that series 2-0 and retain a half-game lead over second-place Tennessee in the SEC standings. In SEC Western Division action, Ole Miss defeated Arkansas to move into a tie for the division lead with LSU.
Both SEC division titles will be decided Sunday. A loss by Florida and a win by Tennessee would give the Vols their first SEC regular-season championship since 1995. The Vols are guaranteed to be either the No. 1 or No. 3 seed in next week's SEC tournament in Birmingham, Ala.
The Vols' series concludes Sunday at 2 p.m. The game marks the final regular-season contest for both teams. Freshman left-hander James Adkins (7-3, 3.34 ERA) is expected to start for Tennessee. Georgia has not announced its starting pitcher.