No. 3 Vols drop series opener to No. 2 Commodores
Tennessee was shut out for just the second time this season and was held to a season-low two hits on Friday night.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - No. 3 Tennessee was unable to get the bats going against Vanderbilt ace Kumar Rocker, dropping Friday night’s series opener, 5-0, against the second-ranked Commodores in front of an electric crowd at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Rocker improved to 8-1 on the year after throwing seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out eight batters.
Vols’ starter Chad Dallas had a solid night himself, totaling seven strikeouts and scattering five hits over seven strong innings. The Orange, Texas, native allowed three runs, only two of which were earned, but was stuck with the first loss of his UT career, falling to 5-1 on the season.
Logan Steenstra broke up Rocker’s no-hit bid with a two-out single in the fifth inning. Connor Pavolony had the only other hit of the night for Tennessee, ripping a double into left-center field in the seventh, but was left stranded on third to end the inning.
The Commodores (27-5 // 10-3 SEC) took advantage of a UT error to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. Parker Boland scored from second on the play after reaching base with a two-out double one batter earlier.
Senior third baseman Jayson Gonzalez doubled Vandy’s lead with a solo home run in the third to make it a 2-0 game and Carter Young added a solo shot of his own to make it 3-0 in the sixth. The Dores tacked on two more runs in the eighth to round out the scoring.
Redmond Walsh and Elijah Pleasants combined for 1.2 scoreless innings of relief to finish out the game for the Big Orange.
The Vols (28-7 // 9-4 SEC) will look to even the series tomorrow afternoon. First pitch for Game 2 is slated for 4 p.m. and the game will be televised on the SEC Network.
VOLS HELD TO SEASON LOWS: Tennessee was shut out for just the second time this season and was held to a season-low two hits on Friday night.
SPENCE EXTENDS ON-BASE STREAK: Despite being held without a hit, Vols’ leadoff man Liam Spence extended his on-base streak to 35 games with a walk in the third inning. Spence’s on-base streak extends all the way back to last season.Copyright 2021 WVLT. All rights reserved.