HOOVER, Ala. -- It was set up all night for the newly crowned SEC player of the year to end Tennessee's season in the first round of the league tournament. Instead, Michael Bernal finished off the Vols with a walk-off double to give Arkansas a 2-1 victory Tuesday night.
Benintendi entered with a .415 batting average, but stranded seven runners in an 0-for-5 night that included strikeouts in his first three at bats.
Arkansas (34-20) got the game winner when Rick Nomura singled with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and Bernal followed with a line drive into the corner in left. Nomura scored without a play at the plate.
Bernal smoked a 3-1 pitch off of Tennessee closer Andrew Lee, a hard throwing righthander.
"I was looking to get the barrel out if it was in the zone," Bernal said. "If not, I was going to take the walk and turn it over to the next man.
"The bottom of the lineup got it done tonight. Trey Killian pitched his butt off and got us into the eighth."
The Hogs, the No. 5 seed, advance against No. 4 seed Florida in the late game Wednesday. Game time will be approximately 8 p.m. Arkansas enters the double elimination portion of the SEC tournament bracket.
Zack Jackson (5-0) recorded the final four outs for the victory. Killian, the starter, retired the first 14 Vols, but couldn't hold a 1-0 lead when Benito Santiago plated his first run of the season, a double into the gap with two outs in the eighth. A hit batsman started the UT rally.
The Hogs, with 15 left on base for the night, had runners in scoring position in every inning until finally breaking through for the game's first run in the seventh. Tyler Spoon, who had three hits, doubled and Brett McAfee singled. Nomura got the RBI with a fielder's choice to shortstop.
Benintendi stranded two in the first on a strikeout on a swing at a slider outside and in the dirt. He left the bases loaded in the fourth with a called third strike on the inside corner. In the sixth, Benintendi left the bases loaded on a soft bouncer to second base.
Tennessee (24-26) had few chances against Killian. The junior righthander from Norfork threw 101 pitches, giving up 4 hits with no walks and five strikeouts.
Arkansas 2, Tennessee 1
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