May 6, 2007
KNOXVILLE — The Tennessee baseball team came up one run short in its attempt to complete a three-game sweep over 13th-ranked Ole Miss Sunday, dropping the series-finale by a score of 7-6 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The Volunteers crucial series victory also was the program's first series triumph over the Rebels since the 2002 season. Tennessee now stands at 27-20 (10-12 SEC) on the year.
Sunday's loss marked the first game of the season that UT lost despite out-hitting its opponent. Juniors Andy Simunic and J.P. Arencibia led the Vols offensive attack, accounting for four hits and three hits, respectively. Arencibia and shortstop Danny Lima each drove in two runs in what turned into UT's fourth consecutive one-run affair and its 15th of the year.
As it had in the series' first two games, Ole Miss (32-18, 13-11 SEC) assumed the early lead Sunday. Rebels centerfielder Logan Power drove in Cody Overbeck with an RBI groundout in the top of the second inning to open the scoring.
Rebels catcher Brett Basham occupied third base with one out in the third, but Arencibia picked him off when he wandered off the bag during Justin Henry's at-bat. The heads-up play prevented a run because Henry flied out to end the inning - a play that could have otherwise resulted in an RBI sacrifice fly.
Ole Miss led off the fourth with a hit batsman and a walk before a dropped flyball in the outfield gave the Rebels bases loaded with no outs. Vols head coach Rod Delmonico then lifted starting pitcher Lance McClain in favor of right-hander Danny Wiltz, who earned the win in Saturday's series-clinching comeback victory.
Wiltz retired the next three batters consecutively, but a pair of RBI sacrifice flies extended the Ole Miss lead to 3-0.
Arencibia cut into the Rebels' lead with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth. It was the Miami, Fla., native's fifth homer of the season and the 30th of his career. Arencibia is the sixth Vol ever to hit at least 30 career home runs.
Tennessee outfielders Jarred Frazier and Julio Borbon led off the bottom of the fifth inning with back-to-back basehits, and both runners moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Tony Delmonico. Vols first baseman Yan Gomes then made it a one-run game with an RBI groundout that plated Frazier. But Ole Miss pitcher Nathan Baker got UT to strand a pair of runners and keep the Rebels' lead intact.
Power drove in his third run of the game with an RBI single in the sixth that gave Ole Miss a 4-2 advantage.
Simunic led off the bottom of the sixth with a bunt single and was driven in one batter later when Lima crushed an RBI double off the top of the wall in right-center. Lima - representing the potential tying run - was then moved to third base on a Cody Brown groundout, but that was as far as a stingy Baker would let him advance.
Ole Miss used three hits, an error and a passed ball in the seventh to push its lead to 7-3. Only one of the Rebels' three runs in the frame was earned. Tennessee erased one of those runs in the bottom of the seventh when Simunic plated Arencibia with a two-out RBI double.
Arencibia laced an RBI double of his own to deep left-center in the ninth, bringing in Gomes and making it a two-run game. Rebels reliever Cody Satterwhite then intentionally walked UT designated hitter Jeff Lockwood, putting the potential tying run on base once again. Simunic kept the rally alive with a single to left field that loaded the bases for Lima, who cut Tennessee's deficit to a single run with an RBI line drive up the middle.
Satterwhite recovered, however, getting the next two batters to fly out while earning his third save. Baker earned the win to improve to 6-1.
McClain took the loss for UT to fall to 5-5 on the year after surrendering three runs (two earned) on three hits in three full innings. Wiltz and freshman Bryan Powell combined to allow four runs (one earned) on six hits before Aaron Everett took the mound for the final three innings. Everett struck out two and issued one walk while allowing no hits.
Borbon's bunt single in the fifth inning was the 200th hit of his career. The junior is the 14th Vol ever to reach the 200-hit milestone.
Ole Miss now leads the all-time series with Tennessee 34-31-1, dating to 1907.