Tennessee Clinches Series

ATHENS----The 20th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers clinched a Southeastern Conference series with Georgia, winning 6-4 Saturday in front of a crowd of 2,911 at Foley Field.

The Volunteers (28-5, 8-3) took advantage of an error by shortstop Justin Holmes to plate two runs in the top of ninth to break a 4-4 tie. The Bulldogs (20-12, 5-6 SEC) had just tied the game in the bottom of the eighth off ace reliever Scott Drucker. However, the Volunteers came right back as Josh Alley led off the ninth with a double off sophomore Will Startup who was beginning his third inning of relief. After getting Eric King to ground out, Georgia opted to intentionally walk Kyle Norris. Then, pinch-hitter Chase Headley drew a walk on four pitches to load the bases. Designated hitter Alex Suarez hit a 1-2 offering to shortstop that Holmes misplayed and it bounded into centerfield, scoring Alley and Norrid for a 6-4 lead. With runners at the corners, Startup pitched out of further trouble but the damage was done.

Drucker (6-1) gave up a leadoff walk to Marshall Szabo and hit Jason Jacobs with a pitch before retiring the Bulldogs to pick up his sixth win of the season. Startup got the loss to fall to 3-2, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits over the final three frames. The left-hander kept it a 4-3 contest, getting UT to hit into a pair of double plays, one in the seventh and another in the eighth when the Vols looked to extend their advantage.

Both team's starters pitched six innings and did not figure in the decision. Sean Watson gave up three runs (one earned) on four hits with five walks and five strikeouts while Georgia's Sean Ruthven allowed four runs on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts.

Shortstop Brian Cleveland gave the Volunteers a 2-0 lead with a two-run home run inthe second, his fourth of the season and second in the series. In the third, catcher Nick Crowe smacked a two-run single to put the Volunteers in front 4-0. Georgia responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning with Szabo bring the first run home with a base hit and then a clutch, two-out, two-run single from Kyle Keen.

Drucker's current scoreless inning streak ended at 12.2 innings when Clint Sammons came through with a game-tying, two-out, run-scoring single in the eighth to make it 4-4.

Georgia looks to avoid a sweep when the series wraps up Sunday at 1 p.m.

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