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Sunday April 6, 2008UT Downs No. 13 Baseball, 12-6, To Clinch Series

Knoxville, TN -

An eight-run outburst in the fifth, featuring three Vol homers and three Gator errors, carried Tennessee (19-10/7-4 SEC) to a 12-6 victory over No. 13 Florida (20-10/7-4 SEC) in the completion of Saturdayís doubleheader at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. After play was halted at 6:17 p.m., the teams resumed at 12:03 p.m. in the sixth inning on Sunday and finished at 12:55 p.m. Junior Patrick Keating (Harrisburg, Ill.) (4-0, 2.45) will face UT sophomore Steve Crnkovich (4-2, 4.42) in the series finale that will start at 1:30 p.m.

 

Having trailed 5-0 at one point, UT sent 11 batters to the plate in the fifth and plated eight unearned runs to turn a four-run deficit into an four-run advantage. Florida has now dropped its last five contests and Tennesseeís win clinched the series between the Eastern Division rivals for the fifth-consecutive year.

 

The Gators opened the scoring in the first inning for the second-straight game courtesy of a balk by redshirt freshman Bryan Morgado and an RBI single by senior Dustin Bamberg (Winter Haven, Fla.). Junior Avery Barnes (High Springs, Fla.) and sophomore Cole Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.) reached because of walks and moved into scoring position on a grounder by freshman Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.). Barnes came home and Figueroa went to third when Morgado was called for a balk and Bamberg stroked a base-hit through the left side for the 2-0 lead.

 

Adams connected on his team-leading sixth homer with Figueroa aboard in the third for a four-run Florida advantage. Figueroa had drawn Morgadoís fourth free pass and Adams sent a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left center.

 

An RBI grounder in the fourth by Barnes extended the Gatorsí lead to 5-0. Sophomore Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) drew a one-out walk and junior Teddy Foster (Jacksonville, Fla.) singled to left for runners on the corners. Foster moved into scoring position with his first career stolen base and a ground ball to first from Barnes enabled den Dekker to score.

 

In the bottom of the inning, Tennessee countered with a two-out RBI single through the left side by sophomore Jeff Lockwood to get on the board. Freshman Tommy Toledo (Tampa, Fla.) had retired the first two hitters before yielding a single to senior Shawn Griffin and a walk to junior Cody Brown. Lockwood punched a base-hit just beyond sophomore first baseman Clayton Pisaniís (Naples, Fla.) reach for a 5-1 count.

 

A one-out smash by Adams that hit Morgado knocked the pitcher from the game in the fifth. The left-hander allowed four hits and five runs, with five walks and three strikeouts. Junior Joey Rosas (2-1) came out of the pen and took over for his injured teammate and earned the win by throwing 3.2 scoreless innings in which he gave up two hits.

 

Thanks to three Florida errors, the Vols exploded for eight unearned runs in the bottom of the frame, including a three-run homer by sophomore Yan Gomes, a solo shot by Griffin and a two-run jack by freshman Josh Liles, to build a 9-5 lead. UT loaded the bases with none out, as Liles reached on a throwing error by Figueroa, sophomore Cody Grisham singled and senior Andy Simunicís sacrifice bunt attempt was botched by senior Jon Townsend (London, Ky.). Davisí RBI grounder plated Liles and Gomes tied the game with his fourth homer into the left-field bleachers. Griffin stepped to the dish and mashed his fourth dinger and second of the afternoon to put the hosts in front. After issuing a walk to Brown, Toledo (4.1 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 1 ER) was replaced by sophomore Clint Franklin (Orlando, Fla.). Brown moved over on a groundout by Lockwood and scored when Adams misplayed P.J. Polkís grounder. Liles then launched his first career homer with two down for the four-run cushion.

 

Simunic doubled to begin UTís sixth and scored on freshman Kentrail Davisí base-knock into right field for a 10-5 count. When the action resumed on Sunday, Lockwood belted a solo shot to start the seventh off freshman Travis Lawler (College Station, Texas) to put the Vols ahead by six runs. An RBI double in the eighth by Griffin plated Simunic for a 12-5 score before back-to-back doubles from Figueroa and Adams finalized the 12-6 margin. Tennessee out-hit the Gators, 12-8, as Griffin was 3-for-5 and the trio of Liles, Lockwood and Simunic chipped in with two apiece. Adams (3-for-5, three RBI) and Bamberg (2-for-5) led Florida.

 

-UF-

 

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