While many coaches would be celebrating the fact that their team is off to its best start in school history, Tennessee baseball head coach Dave Serrano isn’t celebrating yet.
“I thought we got bored with winning,” said Serrano. “We got complacent in the middle innings. We can’t win enough to ever get bored.”
Despite their slip up in the middle innings, the No. 28 Tennessee Volunteers (10-0 overall, 0-0 in the SEC) finished a weekend series against the Quinnipiac Bobcats (0-6, 0-0 in the MAAC) with a 9-4 victory on Sunday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. The Vols took an early lead in the bottom of the first inning after a home run by sophomore left-fielder Christin Stewart made it 3-0.
Tennessee’s lead only increased in the second inning for Tennessee as the Vols scored four more runs after a double by junior second baseman Will Maddox. Another run walked in after catcher’s interference was called on Quinnipiac’s Lou Iannotti. Freshman pitcher Kyle Serrano is confident in the team’s ability to score.
“I know that my offense is always going to put up some good runs,” Serrano said.
Serrano started for the Vols and didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning. Quinnipiac junior shortstop Scott Donaghue gave the Bobcats their first score of the game after hitting a line drive double to right field.
Sophomore pitcher Joseph Scaglione was given the start for Quinnipiac, but was taken out in the third inning after freshman Jordan Rodgers was hit by a pitch. Freshman Matthew Oseija then took over as pitcher for the Bobcats.
Tennessee scored another run off of an RBI single to right-field by catcher Tyler Schultz in the sixth inning to make the score 8-1. Sophomore Tyler Bettencourt entered the game to replace freshman Kyle Serrano who finished the game with five strikeouts. Serrano allowing only two hits and one run in six innings.
Coach Serrano was pleased with his son’s performance and believes it’s another step in the right direction.
“It’s a step,” said Serrano. “He has more steps to go just like this team does.”
The Bobcats mounted a slight comeback in the top of the seventh inning after scoring two runs, resulting in another pitching change for the Vols as junior Peter Lenstrohm came in. The Bobcats late drive wasn’t enough to catch the fire that Tennessee has been playing with since the season started. Tennessee closing pitcher Drake Owenby took over in the top of the ninth inning, allowing a home run before the game ended.
The victory for Tennessee marks their tenth win of the season and their best start in school history in front of a crowd of 2,127. Though Tennessee is undefeated, head coach Dave Serrano wants the team to always give their best regardless of their record.
“I will not allow us to ever get satisfied with anything but our best every single time,” said Serrano.
The season is just beginning, but Christin Stewart says that if the team focuses on the game instead of the opponent, they will continue to win.
“We’re playing against the game, we’re not playing against the opponent,” said Stewart. “We just have to respect the game and keep playing hard.”
The Vols will host a two-game series against the La Salle Explorers on Tuesday and Wednesday before heading out on the road to battle Arizona State on Friday.
Edited by Zach Dennis