Vols Player, Hogs Assistant Ejected

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- A confrontation between Tennessee's Eli Iorg and Arkansas pitcher Nick Schmidt nearly led to a bench-clearing brawl in the fifth inning of Friday's 4-1 Razorbacks win in Nelson Stadium.

After a fly out to left field with one out and the bases loaded, Iorg came out of the on-deck circle to tell the runner at third whether to slide and made contact with Schmidt, who was trying to back up a possible throw to home that was never made.

From here, the story gets one-sided as everyone involved fromTennessee declined comment including Iorg and coach Rod Delmonico.

"We just kind of ran into each other and it kind of went down from there," Schmidt said. "They were just mouthing the whole time, but I didn't think anything was going to happen."

Iorg and Schmidt were face-to-face briefly until Hogs catcher Brian Walker stepped between them. That brought both dugouts onto the field including a livid UA assistant coach Matt Deggs, who traded words with Iorg until both were escorted back to the dugouts.

"(Iorg) popped off to (Schmidt) and that's when Walker jumped in the middle of it," said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. "And that makes sense. It was kind of one of those things where I think they were trying to build a little momentum and get a little fire going over there."

Another strange incident came prior to the ninth when Iorg one-hopped his warm-up ball off of Deggs' left leg. Iorg was ejected after several minutes of arguing between Iorg, umpires and coaches from both teams.

"(Iorg) threw the ball at coach Deggs -- bottom line -- and that's why he got thrown out," Van Horn said. "I saw it, (first base umpire Tony Maners) saw it. There was no doubt about it because the guy he was playing catch with was a good 15 feet to the right of (Deggs).

"Naturally, that got everybody riled up."

Once Iorg was finally escorted off the field, all three umpires cornered a clearly-upset Deggs, but nothing came out of it as Van Horn jogged over to put a halt to the argument.

Then Deggs, responding to some taunting from the Tennessee dugout, was ejected himself prior to the start of the bottom of the ninth.

"Everybody was still getting on Deggs and he was just being loud about how he felt about it," Van Horn said. "And (home plate umpire Tony Walsh) didn't want to deal with it and just wanted to get him out of there, so he did.

"There was a lot of emotion out here tonight ... I'm glad we won."

Neither Iorg or Deggs are expected to be suspended for today's 6 p.m. game.

Luke Hogwalker
Tennessee starting pitcher Luke Hochever entered Friday's game as one of the best in the Southeastern Conference at not allowing walks with only 16 free passes in 65 innings.

He walked five Razorbacks by the seventh inning Friday.

Arkansas also stole four bases on Hochever in the fifth inning, including two by junior speedster Craig Gentry. Last season, the Hogs stole five bases off Hochever's deliberate delivery to the plate.

High Velocity
On the scoreboard over the right-field wall, the speed of each pitch is displayed in red numbers. Hochever topped out at 96 mph while Schimdt hit 91.

Hammerin' Hamblin
Arkansas sophomore Danny Hamblin extended his hitting streak to 10 games Friday with a single to left to lead off the eighth inning. However, he was thrown out at second attempting to stretch it into a double.

In the last seven games, Hamblin's hitting .560 with a 1.400 slugging percentage, six homers and 13 RBIs.

Hode Update
Arkansas senior shortstop Scott Hode overcame a broken index finger on his right (throwing) hand to start Friday. He went 2 for 4 after not playing Wednesday in a 14-5 win against Southwest Missouri State.

Time Change
Originally scheduled for noon, Sunday's game will now start at 10:15 a.m. because of Arkansas' travel schedule.

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