[title_box title=”Baseball Vols sweep field at Grand Canyon Classic”]
Tennessee baseball made an impressive debut in the Grand Canyon Classic over the weekend, completing a three-game sweep at Brazell Stadium. Tennessee entered the tournament with a 2-1 record.
The Vols kicked the tournament off by drubbing the host Grand Canyon University on Friday afternoon, 25-8.
Tennessee senior Vincent Jackson set the tone for the offense, hammering a three-run homer in the first inning, which gave the Vols a 3-0 lead. By the end of the third inning, the Vols already had a 9-1 lead.
Tenessee’s bats came alive again during the fourth inning, adding nine more runs. First baseman Jordan Rodgers contributed by firing a two-out grand slam, the first of the season.
GCU fired back with seven runs in the bottom of the fourth, but the Vols pitching would prevent GCU from scoring the rest of the game.
The Vols continued their hot streak Saturday, defeating Saint Mary’s College 6-3.
Left-handed pitcher Zach Warren (2-0) dominated the mound, throwing six scoreless innings while retiring the first nine batters he faced. Warren finished the game with a career-high seven strikeouts while allowing a mere three hits.
Tennessee’s offense started off strong yet again. Jeff Morberg led things off with a double to center right field, followed by a Jordan Rodgers RBI double. Catcher Tyler Schultz drove in another run to give the Vols a 2-0 lead in the first inning. They added two more runs in the fifth.
Saint Mary’s catcher Nate Nolan responded with a two-run home run in the seventh. However, the Vols offense scored another two runs in the eighth to secure the victory.
Warren was not the only Vol to set a personal record during the game. Morberg set a single-game career high of four hits, going 4-for-4 against the Gaels.
Tennessee’s offense again erupted against Central Michigan, posting its second 20-run performance of the tournament in a 20-1 victory.
Morberg again set the tone for the Vols offense with a leadoff double to center field, followed by a single from Chris Hall, and a two-run RBI double from Nick Senzel. Tennessee had another productive second inning, scoring six more runs. By the third inning, the Vols had a 9-0 advantage.
Morberg and Senzel led the Vols offense with a combined nine RBIs. The Vols ended up scoring runs in six of the nine innings. Tennessee’s pitching staff also put forth a great effort, allowing a total of eight hits and one run.
Collectively, the Vols outscored their three opponents 51-12 over the weekend.
Tennessee will host Cincinnati on Wednesday for their 2016 home opener at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. First pitch will be at 4 p.m. ET.
Featured image by Wade Rackley
Edited by Cody McClure