#16 Vols dominate Golden Lions in home opener

Tennessee scores 11 in the 8th on the way to a 21-1 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 12:01 AM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Ten different players recorded a hit and Tennessee’s pitching staff struck out 16 batters in a dominating 21-1 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff in Tuesday’s home opener at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

The 16th-ranked Vols (4-0) scored runs in six different innings, including an 11-run outburst in the bottom of the eighth to win their third straight home opener.

Max Ferguson hit his first home run of the year and led the team with four RBI while Jordan Beck had another solid game, going 2-for-3 with a double, a triple and three RBI to pace the offensive onslaught. Pete Derkay added a home run for the Vols, as well.

Seven players made their Tennessee debuts in the win, including redshirt junior pitcher Jason Rackers, who got the starting nod and pitched two solid innings for the Vols after returning from Tommy John surgery.

Senior left hander Will Heflin got the win for UT, striking out eight consecutive batters at one point in his relief appearance. The Morristown native pitched 3.1 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and one walk.

The foursome of Will Mabrey, Connor Housley, Zander Sechrist and Kirby Connell combined to pitch the final 3.2 innings and allowed just one hit.Another player that shined in his collegiate debut was freshman outfielder Kyle Booker. The Mississippi native got the start in center field and finished with a run and three RBI while also making a couple nice defensive plays.

A solo home run by Humberto Maldonado in the second inning accounted for the only run for the Golden Lions (0-1).

Tennessee and UAPB face off again tomorrow with first pitch slated for 4:30 p.m. The game can be seen on and the ESPN app.

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