Tennessee competed in the inaugural Round Rock Classic this weekend in Round Rock, Texas. They played against No. 1 Texas Tech University, the University of Houston and No. 25 Stanford University in the three-day tournament.
The Vols went 3-0 in the tournament and won each game convincingly. Tennessee moved to 7-0 on the season after the tournament.
Game one was the toughest test the Volunteers faced all weekend when they took on No. 1 Texas Tech. The Vols were prepared for the challenge, winning 6-2.
The first run of the game alluded to what the tournament would look like for Tennessee. Zach Daniels hit an inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the first inning, followed by a Jordan Beck two-run homer.
Chad Dallas earned his second win on the mound in the game, giving up two runs in five innings and setting a career high with eight strikeouts. Sean Hunley got his second save of the season in dominant fashion. The junior reliever threw four innings and allowed just one hit to the Red Raiders. The Vols allowed only two runs against a team that had averaged 16.3 runs per game.
Game two of the tournament looked like it would be similar to game one initially. Tennessee once again scored three runs in the first inning but relinquished the lead as Houston scored four runs in the middle innings.
The Volunteers took the lead back in the top of the seventh inning on a three-run double hit by Connor Pavolony, who was brought in to pinch hit with the bases loaded and two outs. The Vols lead was then 6-4, and they would not look back.
Jackson Leath gave up just two hits and one unearned run in 4.2 innings out of the bullpen, which sealed the deal for UT. Leath’s work earned him his second win of the season as the Vols beat the Cougars, 8-4.
After winning their first two games of the Round Rock Classic, Tennessee faced No. 25 Stanford for the final game of the tournament. The Vols took advantage of Stanford’s miscues and won 7-2 to cap off a 3-0 weekend.
Timely hits, including an RBI triple by Luc Lipcius in the second inning and a pinch-hit, two RBI single in the seventh inning by Pete Derkay provided enough offense for Tennessee. Combined with seven walks and five Stanford errors, Tennessee won comfortably.
Freshman LHP Drew Gilbert got his first win of the season, allowing one run in 4.1 IP in relief of starter Elijah Pleasants. Redmond Walsh earned his first save of the season. He tossed three no-hit innings with four strikeouts.
Tennessee was deemed Round Rock Classic champions for being the only team to finish the weekend undefeated. Multiple Vols took home accolades. Jake Rucker, Jordan Beck, Connor Pavolony, Jackson Leath and Zach Daniels were named to the all-tournament team. Zach Daniels, now on a six-game hit streak, was named tournament MVP.
Tennessee returns to Knoxville, still undefeated with a 10-game homestand that begins on Feb. 25 with a midweek game against Northern Kentucky.
Edited by Christian Knox and Ryan Sylvia
Featured image courtesy of Tennessee Baseball Twitter (@vol_baseball)