FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Justin Parker had three hits and drove in three runs as No. 11 Tennessee defeated Arkansas, 8-7, Friday night in the first game of a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Baum Stadium.
Parker’s RBI single in the top of the ninth inning off UA reliever Jeremy Rankin proved to be the difference as the Volunteers (32-9, 11-7 SEC) held off a ninth-inning threat from the Razorbacks (20-23, 5-14 SEC). Arkansas’ Brian Kirby cut the UT lead to 8-7 with an RBI single in the final frame before the Hogs stranded the tying run at first base.
The win was the third in a row for the SEC Eastern Division-leading Volunteers, ranked 11th in the ESPN/Baseball Weekly coaches poll. Arkansas suffered its fourth-consecutive SEC defeat despite a first-inning grand slam by Jeff Fletcher, who drove in six of Arkansas’ seven runs for a career-high six RBI and extended his hitting streak to career-best 11 games.