Dombrowski Hurls Complete Game in Series Win Over Vols
Sophomore Greg Dombrowski tossed the second complete game of his career to lead No. 26 Kentucky to a 4-1 series-clinching victory over 12th-ranked Tennessee on Sunday at Lindsey Nelson Field.
Dombrowski scattered nine hits - all singles -- and allowed just one run while striking out six and walking two. He improved to 5-0 on the year and 7-0 in his career. However, his string of 58 1/3 innings without a walk came to an end in the sixth inning.
A native of Rome, N.Y., Dombrowski has a quality start in each of his six outings this year. He has allowed one run or fewer in four straight starts and has not allowed an extra-base hit in that span.
The streak-ending walk - while not intentional - was called for by head coach John Cohen, as Kentucky elected put Tony Delmonico on to load the bases with one out in a 3-1 game. The move worked as he induced Brian Van Kirk to ground into a 5-4-3 inning-ending double play to quell the threat.
"The walk was something we called for to set up the double play," Kentucky coach John Cohen said. "You hate to see a streak end on something like that. But the way Greg pitches, with all the groundballs he gets, its something that we felt could help us and it did."
It was the first of back-to-back innings that Tennessee left the bases loaded while down by two. In the seventh, a walk and two errors by Ryan Wilkes brought clean-up hitter Kelly Edmundson to the plate with two outs. After fouling off three two-strike pitches Edmundson swung through strike three to end the inning.
"Greg really battled and made some great pitches to get out of some jams," Cohen said. "The bases were loaded against him without the ball leaving the infield and it didn't affect him. He stepped up and showed his maturity and poise as a pitcher."
After jumping out to a 1-0 lead, Tennessee stranded 10 runners the rest of the way, including five in scoring position.
In the first, Michael Rivera and J.P. Arencibia produced back-to-back one out singles and moved up one base each on a ground out. Rivera came home on Chris Kemp's single, but Arencibia was gunned down at the plate to end the inning by right fielder Collin Cowgill. It was the second time this year Cowgill has nailed a runner at the plate.
Kentucky answered in the second as Shaun Lehmann blasted a two-run home run to put UK ahead for good. His shot plated Billy Grace, who drew a two-out walk. It was the second home run in as many days for Lehmann, who belted a two run shot in Kentucky's decisive five-run ninth on Saturday.
Antone DeJesus, who sparked the Wildcats all weekend long, tripled to lead off the third and scored on a shallow fly ball by Michael Bertram. He just beat the throw from left fielder Jarred Frazier to make it 3-1.
"Antone was tremendous all weekend long. He hit the ball extremely well and really put us in a good position to score a lot of runs," Cohen said. "His ability to get on base and his speed really puts pressure on a defense."
It stayed that way until a solo home run by John Shelby provided added an insurance run in the ninth. The bomb was the second for Shelby in the series and his third in SEC play overall. He has five dingers in his last nine games.
Volunteer starter Josh Lindblom took the loss to fall to 4-2 on the year. He worked seven innings and allowed three runs on five hits. He fanned three and walked two. Sean Watson worked the final two innings, allowing the homer to Shelby and a Grace single.
The win marks a number of firsts for UK. The team won an SEC road series for the first time in more than two years while winning back-to-back SEC series' for the first time since 2003. Both series wins have been over top 15 teams as Kentucky took down No. 8 LSU last week. The Wildcats also won a Sunday SEC game for just the second time in John Cohen's tenure.
Kentucky returns to action on Wednesday when the Wildcats host Morehead State at 6:30 p.m. It will be Website Wednesday at the ballpark as fans can print a special coupon off www.UKathletics.com