FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (UTSports.com)-- After more than a three hour rain delay on Sunday afternoon, the Volunteers fell to the No.20-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks, 5-2, at Baum Stadium.
Originally rescheduled as a Sunday doubleheader due to inclement weather, heavy rains again held Tennessee from playing both games against the Razorbacks. With the win, Arkansas evened the series at 1-1 against the Vols.
With a loss in the seven inning contest, Tennessee moves to 20-25 on the season and 8-18 in SEC competition, as Arkansas (30-19) improves to 15-11 in conference play.
"That was a tough loss and we all know what we're fighting for," Head Coach Dave Serrano said. "We knew that with the rain and lightning delay, we were only going to have the opportunity to play one game. We knew we had one shot to win this series and we didn't come out with the urgency that I expected, especially with our backs against the wall."
Tennessee's offense collected three hits against the Razorbacks, led by designated hitter Andrew Lee (1-for-3, HR, RBI), right fielder Jordan Rodgers (1-for-2) and center fielder Chris Hall (1-for-2).
Lee got things started for the Vols in the second inning, blasting a solo home run to right field to even the score at 1-1. With the homer, the Tennessee native extended his current hit streak to a season-high 16 games. The streak also stands as the longest by a Volunteer this season.
The Razorbacks came back to score two runs in the second and take a 3-1 advantage. Tennessee continued to chip away at the deficit, as Rodgers and Hall put together back-to-back base hits to begin the fifth frame. Catcher Benito Santiago dropped a sacrifice bunt down the third base side, allowing runners to advance before first baseman Parker Wormsley grounded out to second, providing Rodgers the chance to score and make it a 3-2 ballgame.
Arkansas plated one run in the fifth and another in the sixth, due to a solo homer from second baseman Rick Nomura, giving the Razorbacks a 5-2 lead.
Righthander Hunter Martin went 1.1 innings in his start against Arkansas, surrendering three runs on five hits for the loss.
Junior Drake Owenby entered the game in relief of Martin in the second inning and tossed the remaining 4.2 innings, allowing two runs on four hits with four strikeouts.
"I've said this all year long but it look like this team is going to have to do something," Serrano said. "Now it looks like we'll have to sweep [Mississippi State] and hope for Georgia to get beat one or two times in order to go to the [SEC] Tournament. We've got to regroup and take one game at a time."
The Volunteers return home to Lindsey Nelson Stadium for their final regular-season home stretch of 2015, hosting the UNC Asheville Bulldogs on Tuesday, May 12 at 6 p.m. ET before welcoming Mississippi State (May 14-16) to close out SEC play.