BIRMINGHAM --- Tennessee's James Adkins carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning and ended up giving up a hit in 8.1 innings of work to lead the Volunteers to a 6-4 win over Vanderbilt in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference tournament Wednesday night at Regions Park.
The Commodores dropped their first game to the Volunteers this season in four chances and fell to 46-11 overall, while UT improved to 34-23. VU will take on Mississippi State Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m. in an elimination game.
Adkins faced the minimum going into the eighth before Pedro Alvarez broke up the no-hitter with a single through the right side. Adkins ended up giving up two unearned runs in the inning and finished with five strikeouts and two walks to improve to 7-7 on the year.
"James Adkins was too much," said Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin. Give the credit to him. He was on the money tonight. We've faced him before but he is a proven guy who has pitched in a lot of games. He's been in the College World Series before and he came out with something to show tonight."
The Commodores trailed 5-0 heading into the eighth before scoring an unearned run on a sacrifice fly RBI by Matt Meingasner to get on the board.
UT added another run on a Yan Gomes RBI single in the ninth to make it 6-4.
VU then rallied for three more runs in the ninth, highlighted by Pedro Alvarez' two-run homer to left-center, his 16th of the year. They had the tying run at the plate with two-outs but Shea Robin flied out to deep center to end the game.
The Vols took a 1-0 lead in the first on a sacrifice fly RBI by Jeff Lockwood. Andy Simunic led off with a single, moved to second on a bunt single by Julio Borbon and then stole third. Lockwood then flew out to left to score Simunic.
J.P. Arencibia added a RBI single in the fifth to extend the lead to 2-0. Shawn Griffin added a two-run triple in the sixth to extend the lead to 4-0. Tony Delmonico's solo homer in the eighth pushed it to 5-0.
Brett Jacobson (5-2) gave up four runs on seven hits in five innings with two walks and two strikeouts in the losing effort. Nick Christiani closed out the rest of the game allowing two runs on six hits in four innings with five strikeouts and a walk.
Adkins, Everett (9), Lockwood (9) and Arencibia. Jacobson, Christiani (5) and Robin. W- Adkins 7-7, L- Jacobson 5-2. Sv- None. HR- UT: Delmonico (8), VU: Alvarez (16).
Game Notes: Brett Jacobson made his 13th start of the year and first against an SEC opponent since starting the final game of the Arkansas series on March 25 ... The opponent scored first for the 33rd time this season (Team is 26-7 in those games) ... The Commodores are 4-8 in opening round SEC tourney contests ... VU is 2-5 against UT in the SEC tournament ... Players making their tournament debut: Andrew Giobbi and Brett Jacobson ... Pedro Alvarez hit his 16th homer of the season and 38th of his career, tying him for eighth place with Greg Thomas (1991-93) on the VU career list ... The three hits tonight were the lowest for Vanderbilt since Ole Miss one-hit the team on March 17 ... Ryan Flaherty extended his hit streak to 25 games and Alvarez to 16. Dominic de la Osa's streak ended at seven games and Shea Robin's ended at six.