ATHENS, Ga. -- Tennessee overcame an early four-run deficit on Friday afternoon and staged a ninth-inning rally, taking a 5-4 win over the Georgia Bulldogs to even the series at Foley Field.
With the win, Tennessee moves to 28-27 overall and 8-21 in SEC play while Georgia is now 27-28 (11-18 SEC). The Volunteers remain a contender for a spot in the 2016 SEC Baseball Tournament and aim to take a series win over UGA in the regular-season finale on Saturday.
Offensively, Tennessee seniors Vincent Jackson (1-for-3, RBI), Derek Lance (1-for-2, RBI) and Tyler Schultz (0-for-4, RBI) each contributed RBIs in the victory while Lance scored one of UT's late-rally runs in the ninth.
In the bottom of the second, a walk, double and sacrifice fly to center field gave the Bulldogs an early 2-0 edge on UT.
Two extra-base hits and another sac fly to deep center field furthered UGA's lead to 4-0 in the fourth.
Tennessee continued to battle and loaded the bases in the top of the sixth. With one out, designated hitter Schultz drove in the first run of the day for UT on a fielder's choice RBI. With all runners safe, a force-out at the plate gave the Vols two outs before Lance drew a walk, narrowing the deficit to two runs before the end of the frame.
With the score held at a 4-2 Georgia advantage, Tennessee rallied for three runs in the ninth to take their first lead over the Bulldogs. With the bases loaded, the Vols scored on a passed ball, wild pitch and a towering sac fly to left field by Jackson, as UT moved ahead 5-4 entering the bottom half of the inning.
Reliever Aaron Soto then shut down Georgia in their final turn at the plate, retiring UGA in order to secure the win for the Vols.
Sophomore Zach Warren went 4.0 innings in his 14th start of the year and allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits in the no-decision.
Originally slated to start Saturday's finale vs. Georgia, fellow lefty Soto entered the game in relief of Warren in the fifth. He went on to throw 5.0 scoreless innings and held the Dawgs to just one hit, earning his fifth win of the season.