Baseball Swept by Tennessee in DH, 7-3

Michael Hollander tied game 2 at 3-3 with a HR
Michael Hollander tied game 2 at 3-3 with a HR (@LSUsports) (@LSUsports)
LSU Sports Interactive

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Catcher Yan Gomes capped a nine-RBI day by unloading a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Tennessee a 7-3 win over LSU in Game 2 of a Sunday doubleheader at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The win was UT’s eighth in a row and gave the Vols their first-ever three-game sweep over LSU.

Tennessee (12-4, 3-0 SEC) also won Sunday’s Game 1 by a 7-3 score. LSU (11-6, 0-3 SEC) has lost five straight games.

“We’re certainly disappointed in the outcome of the weekend, but I thought our kids fought hard and competed well throughout the series,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We made some key mistakes, but we’re going to learn from them and continue to move forward. We have a group of hard-working players that I firmly believe will enjoy success this season.”

The teams sped through three scoreless innings in Sunday’s Game 2, with each club logging a pair of hits to that point. LSU centerfielder Derek Helenihi led off the fourth with a triple off the wall in center, and he scored one batter later when Blake Dean sent an RBI single down the right-field line.

The Tigers added another run later in the fourth when designated hitter Matt Gaudet delivered an RBI base hit to give LSU a 2-0 lead.

Gomes duplicated Helenihi’s leadoff triple in the bottom of the fourth. It was the first career triple for the catcher but his third extra-base hit of the series. The “Baseball Gods” then smiled on UT first baseman Jeff Lockwood when his check swing on an 0-2 pitch resulted in an RBI bloop single to left field.

After issuing a two-out walk to UT third baseman Cody Brown in the bottom of the fifth, LSU starting pitcher Blake Martin was lifted in favor of reliever Paul Bertuccini. But Bertuccini’s third pitch was belted out of the park in left-center by Gomes for a go-ahead, two-run homer. It was Gomes’ first dinger of the year and the ninth of his career.

LSU third baseman Michael Hollander came through with a clutch, two-out solo homer in the top of the seventh to tie the score at 3-3.

In the bottom of the seventh, UT shortstop Danny Lima led off with a walk, and he was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Andy Simunic. LSU then opted to intentionally walk Vols centerfielder Kentrail Davis, putting runners at first and second with one out for Brown. LSU reliever Daniel Bradshaw walked Brown on five pitches to load the bases for Gomes.

Gomes’ walk-off grand slam left the yard in left-center and it was his 10th career home run and his first grand slam. Gomes drove in three runs in Sunday’s Game 1, and hit .545 (6-for-11) in the series.

Tennessee left-hander Bryan Morgado (3-1) limited LSU to three runs two earned in Game 1 on five hits with three walks and eight strikeouts.

LSU starter Ryan Verdugo was charged with the loss in Game 1 as he allowed five runs two earned on five hits in 2.2 innings with one walk and two strikeouts.

LSU took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when second baseman Ryan Schimpf walked, moved to third on an errant pick-off attempt by Morgado, and scored on Blake Dean’s sacrifice fly.

Tennessee came back to grab a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first when catcher Yan Gomes ripped a two-run double into left-center field, scoring Kentrail Daviis and Cody Brown.

LSU first baseman Matt Clark tied the game in the second inning with a solo homer, his eighth of the season and second of the series.

Tennessee answered in the bottom of the second when Davis launched a three-run homer to right-center field, giving the Vols a 5-2 advantage.

LSU cut the lead to 5-3 in the third when third baseman Michael Hollander doubled and scored on a single by centerfielder Derek Helenihi.

However, the Vols stretched their lead to 6-3 in the fifth on rightfielder Shawn Griffin’s two-out RBI single, scoring leftfielder P.J. Polk.

Tennessee 7, LSU 3 (Mar 16, 2008 at Knoxville, Tenn.) (Game 1)


LSU..................... 111 000 0 -  3  5  1     (11-5, 0-2 SEC)
Tennessee........... 230 011 X -  7  8  1   (11-4, 2-0 SEC)


Pitchers: LSU - Ryan Verdugo; Jordan Brown(3). Tennessee - Bryan Morgado.
Win-Bryan Morgado(3-1)  Loss-Ryan Verdugo(3-1)  T-2:13  A-0
HR LSU - Matt Clark (8).
HR UT - Kentrail Davis (2).

Tennessee 7, LSU 3 (Mar 16, 2008 at Knoxville, Tenn.) (Game 2)


LSU..................... 000 200 1 -  3  6  0      (11-6, 0-3 SEC)
Tennessee........... 000 120 4 -  7  6  2      (12-4, 3-0 SEC)


Pitchers: LSU - Blake Martin; Paul Bertuccini(5); Shane Ardoin(5); Daniel Bradshaw(6).
Tennessee - Nick Hernandez; Danny Wiltz(4); Jeff Lockwood(7).
Win-Jeff Lockwood(1-0)  Loss-Daniel Bradshaw(1-1)  T-2:14  A-1918
HR LSU - Michael Hollander (2).
HR UT - Yan Gomes 2 (2).
Bertuccini faced 1 batter in the 5th.



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