Game 1: Tennessee 5, Arkansas 4
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Resuming play in the bottom of the second inning of Tennessee's Thursday series opener vs. No. 15 Arkansas, the Volunteers overcame the Razorbacks in a back-and-forth affair to win, 5-4, on Saturday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
On Thursday, May 4, the Vols and Razorbacks played through the top of the second inning before rain suspended play. The teams attempted to resume play on Friday, but more rain pushed the continuation of the series opener to Saturday at 10 a.m.
Following the conclusion of Game One, the teams are scheduled to play a seven-inning contest as the series finale, weather permitting.
With the win, Tennessee moves to 24-18 (7-14 SEC) while the Razorbacks now stand at 34-13 (13-9 SEC) entering Game Two of the series.
Resuming play in the bottom of the second inning with Arkansas holding a 1-0 lead, Tennessee's offense came out with bats swinging to gain an early edge over the Razorbacks. Singles from Matt Waldren and Will Heflin allowed catcher Pete Derkay (2-for-3, 2 R, BB) to cross home plate. A double to right center by senior Jeff Moberg then brought Waldren and Heflin home, giving Tennessee's a 3-1 lead.
Arkansas fired back with two runs in the fifth inning. Dominic Fletcher singled to right field and Jake Arledge drove him in with a triple to left field. A single through the right side by the Razorbacks' Chad Spanberger scored Arledge and tied things up at 3-3.
Fletcher hit a solo home run to right field in the top of the sixth to put the Hogs up, 4-3.
The Volunteers rallied back in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Derkay sent the ball sailing to left center for a double. Arkansas reliever Jake Reindl walked Waldren and allowed a single by Max Bartlett to load the bases. An error at first base by Spanberger then provided UT with the go-ahead runs which would hold in the 5-4 final.
Right-handed pitcher Hunter Martin moved to 5-5 with his resumed start and the win. Through the first 6.2 innings, Martin struck out four batters while allowing four runs on eight hits.
Zach Warren came in to relieve Martin in the top of the seventh. The junior allowed just one hit against the six batters he faced, and delivered two strikeouts to keep the hits limited in his 1.2 innings.
Freshman Zach Linginfelter finished the game for UT and picked up his second save of the season, striking out one of his two batters faced.
TENNESSEE QUICK HITS
- With the win, Tennessee moves to a 33-26 all-time record against Arkansas, including a 14-12 mark in games played in Knoxville.
- After his walk in the bottom of the second frame, Pete Derkay extended his team-leading count to 32 on the year. Entering the weekend series vs. Arkansas, he ranked tied for sixth in the league with 31 walks.
- Zach Linginfelter recorded his second save of the year, tying teammate Jon Lipinski for most on the Vols' staff in 2017.
- With a 2-for-4 effort vs. Arkansas on Saturday, Jordan Rodgers leads the Volunteers with 18 multi-hit games this year.
- On Deck for the Vols: Saturday's Game Two of a doubleheader and the series finale begins at 2 p.m. ET, weather permitting.
Game 2: Arkansas 2, Tennessee 0
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Freshman Dominic Fletcher's solo home run in the fifth inning was all Arkansas needed to split a double-header with Tennessee Saturday afternoon. His homer coupled with a great performance on the mound by junior Trevor Stephan gave Arkansas the 2-0 victory over the Volunteers, its 14th conference win of the year.
Stephan was locked in from first pitch striking out the side in the first and third innings. He ended up tallying 11 strikeouts over a complete seven innings, his third outing of 10 or more strikeouts this season. It's also the first complete game by a Razorback pitcher this year and first since Zach Jackson pitched a complete game shutout in seven innings at Kentucky on April 23, 2016.
As for Fletcher, the freshman was nearly unstoppable at the plate in both games of the double-header, going 5-for-7 at the plate with two home runs on the day. He now has eight homers on the year, which leads all freshmen in the SEC.
The victory for the Hogs (35-13, 14-9 SEC) is key for them to stay in the hunt for the SEC Western Division as their 14 conference wins keeps them just a game and a half back of leader Mississippi State and just a half game behind Auburn.