FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Kris Bennett had three hits and Jeff Christensen drove in three runs as No. 11 Tennessee earned a 6-3 win over Arkansas Saturday in game two of a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Baum Stadium.
The SEC Eastern Division-leading Volunteers (33-9, 13-7 SEC) clinched a series victory with their fourth-consecutive win and ended a streak of three-straight series losses to the Razorbacks (20-24, 5-15 SEC). UA suffered its fifth-consecutive loss in SEC play and fell four games below the .500 mark for the first time this season.
Tennessee, ranked 11th in the ESPN/Baseball Weekly coaches poll, won Friday’s series opener, 8-7.
UT starter Wyatt Allen (7-2) held the Hogs to three runs on six hits and struck out six in 5 2/3 innings to earn the victory on Saturday. Will Curtis struck out three in 3 1/3 innings of scoreless, two-hit relief to earn his fourth save.
Razorback starter Charlie Isaacson (3-6) allowed six runs on 11 hits, struck out two and walked one in 6 1/3 innings and lost his third-consecutive decision.
Christensen gave the Vols and early lead with an RBI double in the top of the first inning, but Arkansas avoided more trouble by turning double plays to get out of the first and second innings.
UT expanded the lead to 4-0 in the top of the fifth inning on a two-run double by Christensen and an RBI single by Bennett.
The Hogs finally got on the board with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. An errant pick off throw to third base by UT catcher Javi Herrera allowed Michael Conner to score from third base and Nick Pitts followed with a two-run, pinch-hit single to cut the lead to 4-3.
The Vols scored two insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning, the second on another RBI single by Bennett.
UT shortstop Chris Burke went 2-for-4 to raise his SEC-leading batting average to .442.
Jeff Hofler led the Hogs with two hits. Jeff Fletcher singled in the fourth inning to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games, the longest hitting streak by a Razorback this season.
The Volunteers will try to complete their first three-game sweep of the Razorbacks since 1997 when the series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. CT. Sophomore right-hander Gary Hogan Jr. (2-3, 3.12 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Razorbacks against the Tennessee senior left-hander Justin Parker (4-0, 3.30 ERA).