Tigers drop opener to Tennessee 7-1

Tennessee catcher J.P. Arencibia highlighted a six-run third inning with a bases-loaded double, and left-hander James Adkins tossed a complete game three-hitter as the Vols defeated LSU, 7-1, on Friday night at Alex Box Stadium.

The Tigers (23-19-1, 8-10-1 SEC) were held to three hits or less for the fourth time this season.


Tennessee snapped a five-game SEC losing streak and improved to 24-18 overall and 7-10 in conference play.


Game 2 of the series is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday. Sophomore right-hander Ryan Byrd (5-1, 4.20) will get the start for LSU while Tennessee will counter with senior right-hander Craig Cobb.


Adkins (5-6) fired the second straight complete game by an opposing pitcher in as many series openers. The junior limited the Tigers to three hits and a run while walking one.


Adkins, who ranked 10th nationally in strikeouts per a game, fanned a season-high 14 batters and became the Vols' career strikeout leader with 350 Ks. He surpassed R.A. Dickey's previous mark of 345. 


"We couldn't touch him," said LSU head coach Paul Mainieri. "He had a great breaking ball. He just totally dominated the game."


LSU left-hander Charlie Furbush (3-6) suffered the loss as he was tagged for six runs -- five earned -- on three hits in 2.1 innings. He walked two and struck out none before exiting in the third.


Designated hitter Blake Dean provided the Tigers' lone run with a solo homer in the fourth. Shortstop Michael Hollander and centerfielder Jared Mitchell had LSU's other two hits.


Four out of the first six Vol hitters lined out hard in the first two frames. Tennessee finally found the holes in the third, and the Vols capitalized on an error to plate six runs against Furbush.



After retiring the first batter of the inning, Furbush walked left fielder Jarred Frazier. Frazier easily stole second and came into score the game's first run on an RBI double by rightfielder Andy Simunic.


Simunic, who stole third, came into score when centerfielder Julio Borbon chopped a ground ball in front of home plate. Second baseman Nicholas Pontiff then failed to field a Tony Delmonico grounder keeping the inning alive.


Tennessee then broke the game open after Furbush issued his second walk to first baseman Yan Gomes. Arencibia then unloaded a bases-clearing, three-run double into the left field gap to extend the lead to 6-0. 


"We should have really gotten out of the inning only giving up two runs," said Mainieri. "We had a double-play ball that would have ended the inning and four runs scored after that. We dug ourselves such a big hole, and going up against a pitcher like that is really difficult."


Adkins benefited from double plays in the fourth and seventh to silence any attempt of an LSU comeback. The Tigers put their first two runners on in the seventh, but Pontiff struck out and third baseman J.T. Wise grounded into an inning-ending double play.


Adkins retired the last eight batters of the game, including perfect eighth and ninth innings.


The Vols added a run in the eighth on an RBI double by Jeff Lockwood -- who finished 3-for-4 -- against freshman reliever Matt Jackson.


Jackson spelled sophomore Louis Coleman to start the eighth after Coleman fired 4.2 scoreless innings of relief.


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